Here’s Everything You Need To Know About The Latest Beauty Buzzword, Collagen
It's considered the best beauty supplement. But how does collagen work? Experts break it down
Collagen is the newest ‘it’ word being tossed around by beauty enthusiasts. But what exactly is this sciencey-word and what is its escalating connection with beauty and wellness? Mumbai-based dermatologist Dr Madhuri Agarwal explains, “Collagen is a protein that constitutes about one-third of the body’s protein composition. It is one of the primary components of your skin, bones, muscles and ligaments, and provides structural strength to the skin to prevent it from tearing. At a younger age, the collagen production is higher than the breakdown; with time, the process is reversed.” But there’s no need for alarm, as collagen supplements can assist the body in making up for the depletion.
How Does The Magic Happen?
A drop in collagen levels can be caused by ageing, a poor diet, UV exposure, smoking and even stress. Dr Agarwal continues, “If you don’t have the right amino acids and nutrients as part of your diet, your body won’t produce enough collagen, making supplementation important. Regular intake of collagen supplements helps improve your skin’s moisture levels, reduce signs of ageing, and increase skin’s elasticity and overall suppleness. Depending on the type of collagen, they can also help strengthen your hair and nails, improve joint mobility and gut health.”
So How Do I Get My Collagen?
Collagen supplements are derived from poultry, bovine and marine life (fish). They can also be plant-based, but as plants are devoid of tissues to produce collagen, these work by supporting your own body’s inherent collagen production. According to Dr Geetika Mittal Gupta, dermatologist and founder, ISAAC Luxe, marine collagen is the most efficient. “It also plays an important part with regards to the ocean ecosystem since it’s made from the scales of the fish—a rich source of Type 1 collagen—that are already caught for consumption; reducing waste.”
She recommends opting for bovine sources only when you know the animals were grass-fed, free-range and raised in sterile conditions. So what’s the best formulation to consume collagen, you ask? “Liquid formulations are absorbed sooner and can assimilate better and faster than powders, while pills have the least efficacy. Powder formulations with premium marine peptides and probiotics for proper assimilation are also a good choice,” Dr Mittal Gupta sorts you out.