Looking for a magic pill to make you instantly wrinkle-free and radiant overnight? Unfortunately, that doesn’t exist. What does keep skin healthy, supple, and glowing is a diet rich in whole foods, H2O, and possibly the wellness world's most in demand ingredient: collagen. If you haven’t heard of collagen before, take note, as its benefits are having a major wellness moment (read our guide to the best collagen supplements here including vegan recommendations too).
You are what you eat--it is as simple as that. Eating a diet rich in healthy fats like avocado and olive oil, quality grass-fed and wild-caught proteins, and organic fruits and vegetables helps to ensure beautiful insides and outsides.
Particular nutrients and proteins also help to support the beauty-making process even more. Nutrients like zinc, B vitamins, healthy fats, magnesium, vitamins A, C, and E, all contribute to skin health, while collagen keeps things smooth and elastic.
What Is Collagen?
Collagen, composed of the amino acids glycine, proline, hydroxyproline and arginine, is the main protein found in animal connective tissue, and an essential building block for our skin and bodies.
In fact, collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in the body and helps to make up skin, nails, organs, hair, tendons, ligaments, bones, cartilage, vasculature, and more.
Collagen Benefits: Beauty and Health Rx
In terms of skin health, collagen is necessary for providing the elasticity, suppleness, and regeneration of our skin, meaning it keeps us looking youthful and wrinkle-free – hooray! However, as we age, collagen production decreases and the outer part of our skin, the epidermis, begins to thin and lose elasticity and moisture.
Even more, environmental factors like damage from spending too much time in the sun, pollution, smoking, and genetic factors can speed up the aging process even more.
The good news is that when taken orally collagen may support skin health, increase skin moisture, slow down and may even reverse some skin damage1. A study in 2014 showed that women who took collagen peptides regularly for eight weeks saw a 20 percent reduction in wrinkles2. Hello secret skin food!
Another 2015 study found that taking oral collagen seriously increased participant’s skin hydration after just eight weeks3. Even better, "the collagen density in the dermis (the thick layer of skin beneath the epidermis) significantly increased, while the breaking down of the skin's collagen network significantly decreased after just four weeks of collagen peptide supplementation." Both of these skin-loving effects continued to persist even after 12 weeks.
Along with a wide variety of amino acids for skin health, collagen contains quality protein as well. In fact, just two scoops of most collagen peptides contains around 10-20 grams of protein, which will keep you sated and keep muscles and tissues healthy. Consuming collagen is also thought to be beneficial for joint health, hormone balance, healthy digestion and gut health, and boosting metabolism.
Marine sourced collagen has been making a big impact in the collagen world. A study published in Molecules journal stated that marine collagen visibly improved the appearance of wrinkles in skin4. And another study published in Nutrients journal showed that marine collagen improved the appearance of hydration, elasticity, and wrinkling in skin5.
From the Organic Authority Files
Uses for Collagen
Now that you know the benefits of collagen as a total beauty and health superfood, you’ll want to add it to everything possible. The good news is that collagen can be added to more than just coffee. And no, heat won’t mess with collagen’s uber benefits.
Collagen is tasteless and odorless, so it won’t funk up the flavor, taste, or texture of any of your favorite foods. In fact, it dissolves quickly into hot and cold foods instantly. Use collagen powder in:
-Coffee and tea
-Stirred into organic yogurt or kefir
-Oatmeal and overnight oatmeal
-Chia seed pudding
-Soups and broths
-Stirred into cooked quinoas and grains
-Baked goods like cookies and quick breads
-Pancakes and waffles
-Baked pasta and egg dishes
-Kombucha and fermented beverages
-Or simply, water with lemon
Shopping for Collagen Supplements
Of course, when it comes to getting the most collagen benefits from supplementation, consuming a high-quality product is of the most utmost importance. Look for a collagen product that uses clean ingredients and is sustainably sourced.
We happen to be partial to marine collagen because of the latest emerging science and research and it's bioavailability (take note, more research still needs to be done) that's sustainably soured and GMO free.
You can shop marine collagen in the Organic Authority store here. Choose your favorite flavor coffee, matcha, lucuma or unflavored.
Are you vegan? We also have collagen for you too. Shop our vegan collagen sources here.
Note! Always consult a medical professional before using supplements to address a health condition. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease whatsoever.
Related On Organic Authority
Do Collagen Supplements Work on Wrinkles and Sagging Skin?
5-Collagen Boosting Foods for Inside-Out Beauty
How To Make Cold Brew Coffee (Plus Secret Ingredients You Need to Try)
*Note this article was updated December 30, 2021 to update sources.