You've probably heard of collagen in the context of people getting it injected into their faces as a plumping filler. But it's more complex than that, and incredibly beneficial for our skin and hair. One of the best ways to increase your collagen levels is to drink it. There are lots of collagen products on the market these days, ready to add luster to your hair and youthful glow to your skin.
Read on to learn more about this special little protein and why we should all be drinking it.
What is collagen?
Collagen is a special kind of protein which our bodies cleverly manufacture. Collagen lives pretty much everywhere in our bodies and serves multiple purposes. It gives our skin that "bounce back" elasticity we strive for. It keeps our joints nicely cushioned and comfortable, and it can even help with our muscle gains in the gym.
The issue with collagen is that as we age, our body produces less and less of it. This is why our skin becomes a little more...slack and lined as we age. It’s also part of the reason why our hair becomes thinner and less lustrous. Oh the joys of aging!
Benefits of collagen for skin and hair
Having more collagen in your system means that your body can create more keratin, the protein which our hair is made of. If you introduce collagen to your supplement collection, you might just find that your hair grows thicker, longer and faster.
The next time you see a fresh-faced teen, take note of their skin. You'll notice it is full, plump and smooth. This is because their collagen stores are full and abundant. As we get older, our skin tends to become more hollow and less "bouncy". By drinking a collagen supplement, we are delivering easily-absorbed collagen particles straight to our system. The collagen gets to work to build up our skin cells, add moisture and fill out the parts which may have begun to sag or lose that youthful buoyancy.
Collagen reduces wrinkles, leaving us looking fresher, younger and smoother. It does this by adding moisture to the skin which makes skin fuller and wrinkles shallower. It acts a general building block for the skin, bolstering skin cells and reducing the depth of those pesky lines. Imagine your skin as a piece of earth. When it is dry it becomes dull, dusty, cracked and lined. If you pour water over the soil, it becomes glossier, fuller, and the lines are filled in and smoothed out. Imagine your skin as the soil and collagen as the water. (A very simplified image, but hey, sometimes simple is best!).
Another annoying side effect of collagen decline is that our skin loses the luster and glow we enjoy in our teens and early 20s. We can pile on serums, oils, and creams to get the glow back, but working from the inside out is most ideal. Drinking collagen gives our skin a better chance at being properly hydrated from the inside out, which adds brightness to the complexion.
Should both men and women take collagen?
Yes! Definitely. Women are usually the target audience of collagen supplements as we are the ones who are expected to look young and beautiful forever (eye roll). But men can absolutely benefit from collagen as well. Men do have the unfortunate worry of balding, and collagen can really help to delay and reduce this stressful side effect of age. Funnily enough, men have a little more collagen than women, so their skin tends to remain a little tauter for longer (another eye roll).
Which one to buy, and where to buy it
There are so many collagen drink supplements on the market these days, and it can be a bit confusing when trying to find the best ones. Amazon is a great place to source collagen drinks as there are honest reviews to tell you exactly how customers have experienced each product.
We've chosen two highly-rated collagen powder drinks which both offer all-natural collagen from safe, high-quality sources. These are our top two picks:
Premium Collagen Peptides
Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen Protein
If there's one thing you can do to get supple, elastic and glowy skin, it's drinking a collagen supplement (second only to using an SPF!). The smaller particles provided by hydrolyzed collagen (the kind we drink) are easily absorbed into our bodies. You'll start to see smoother, plumper, softer and brighter skin with slower development of wrinkles. You’ll also start to see your hair become thicker and even more gorgeous. Collagen is a fantastic supplement to use as it supports your hair, nails, and joints as well as your skin from the inside out. Jump on the collagen bandwagon, you won't regret it.