What’s all the hype around Collagen?
Among the glossary of buzzy words related to skincare these days, you’ll surely find “collagen”. The word is as prevalent as the substance itself in our bodies. So, what really is it and should you bother about it?
Collagen is nothing but a fibrous protein that is already present in our skin. It is the decisive protein that regulates skin physiology, by maintaining the skin structure and enabling its countless functions. So, yes, one should bother about it. There are at least 16 types of collagen, but 80% to 90% of the collagen in the body consists of types I, II, and III. Type I, is the most abundant collagen within your body and mostly found in the skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments. Type II, is found in cartilage and parts of the eye; Type III is common in the skin, intestines, and blood vessels.
Now that we have broken the ice, we’ll dive into some more interesting questions around collagen.
What does collagen do?
Collagen retains water and aids a smooth, firm, and strong skin. Our body produces adequate collagen; if there is deficiency or decrease due to ageing, you will observe rough, wrinkles, and saggy skin. Smoking and over-exposure to the sun can damage or decrease our body’s collagen synthesis. Damaged collagen synthesis in the skin causes poor wound healing and increased skin aging. Research demonstrates that UV radiation also causes photo-aging in skin and damages the collagen and elastin fibres present in our body.
How do I fill this void?
That’s a deeply philosophical question and we don’t have answers for it just yet. Sorry.
But as far as collagen deficiency is concerned, you’d be surprised to know that having a balanced diet, especially rich in vitamin C, zinc, copper, and protein, naturally boosts collagen production. However, sometimes our body is unable to produce enough collagen, and then one must depend on collagen-based supplements or collagen-rich food for it. In recent years, many companies have come up with appetizing ways to tackle this shortfall. Collagen supplements now come in flavoured or unflavoured pills and powder form. And of course, good collagen supplements significantly improve skin hydration and elasticity.
Now, with so many collagen products in the market, how does one choose the right one?
Rule number one, don’t take someone’s word for anything that you ingest or apply. One’s age, body type, composition, current collagen production are major factors to be considered while selecting a collagen supplement.
As mentioned earlier, our body ideally has sufficient collagen for its needs. But conditions arising in old age like leaky gut, joint inflammation, or external environmental factors result in degradation of collagen. Hence, before integrating collagen supplements in their lifestyle, one must consult a medical practitioner. And as with all products, check if the product is genuine, has any allergens present, and take dosage as prescribed by your physician. Do this and you’d find yourself in a much happier place, both physically and mentally. That’s it for now people! It’s time to get up from the couch and have a glass of water. Stay hydrated, stay healthy.