Collagen is the main structural protein in the body. It keeps the skin strong and firm, but it is naturally lost with age. Preserving the collagen within our skin as we age is a key element to preventing signs of photoaging.
When collagen in broken-down into fragments called peptides and used in nutraceutical skin supplements and topical cosmeceutical formulations, it reduces the appearance of wrinkles and increases skin elasticity. The benefits of collagen peptides have been and are continued to be studied in numerous scientific studies.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It is the main structural protein and can be found in tendons, ligaments, cornea, cartilage, bones, blood vessels, and skin. The majority of collagen in the body is found in the dermal layer of the skin (alongside elastin and hyaluronic acid) in the extracellular matrix. There are 28 different forms of collagen with collagen type 1 and type 3 being most important for the skin.¹
Collagen is a strong protein that is wound into large fibres. It provides structural support to keep the skin firm and thick. With age, the amount of collagen and the ability to repair collagen within the skin declines. After the age of approximately 25, collagen is lost at a rate of 1.5% per year. In addition, other environmental factors such as smoking, poor diet, stress, sun exposure, pollution exposure, lack of sleep and more, all cause the destruction of collagen. Aging is an extremely complex process however, a decline in collagen is associated with the formation of wrinkles and skin sagging.
Collagen is an extremely large protein, and therefore, when applied topically or ingested orally, it has limited bioavailability. When collagen is broken down into low molecular weight fragments (0.3 - 8kDa) called peptides, it is easily absorbed and distributed in the body.¹
In the skin, collagen peptides (aka hydrolysed collagen) stimulate new collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid production from cells called fibroblasts, and provide the necessary amino acids for collagen synthesis. This has been shown in numerous scientific studies to improve wrinkles, firmness, elasticity.¹²
Both oral intake and topical application of collagen peptides have rejuvenating benefits.²³⁴
1. Sibilla S, Godfrey M, Brewer S, Budh-Raja A, Genovese L. An Overview of the Beneficial Effects of Hydrolysed Collagen as a Nutraceutical on Skin Properties: Scientific Background and Clinical Studies. The Open Nutraceuticals Journal. 2015;8(1):29-42.
2. Proksch E, Segger D, Degwert J, Schunck M, Zague V, Oesser S. Oral Supplementation of Specific Collagen Peptides Has Beneficial Effects on Human Skin Physiology: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Skin Pharmacology and Physiology. 2013;27(1):47-55.
3. Lee Y, Lee S, Jung I, Suk J, Lee M, Kim D et al. Effect of a Topical Collagen Tripeptide on Antiaging and Inhibition of Glycation of the Skin: A Pilot Study. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2022;23(3):1101.
4. Aguirre-Cruz G, León-López A, Cruz-Gómez V, Jiménez-Alvarado R, Aguirre-Álvarez G. Collagen Hydrolysates for Skin Protection: Oral Administration and Topical Formulation. Antioxidants. 2020;9(2):181.
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