The Surprising Beauty Benefits of Collagen

Everyone is drinking collagen. Find out if collagen is a passing health trend or a health-promoting supplement worth the hype.

Collagen is suddenly everywhere. Health-conscious fans of the dietary supplement are scooping collagen into their morning coffee, green juices, and superfood smoothies — and raving about the results.

Everyone is Drinking Collagen. Here’s Why.

Collagen is everywhere in your body. It’s the most abundant protein in your body. It’s found in most connective tissues such as bone, ligaments, tendons, and skin. Collagen is what gives skin elasticity and strength. Unfortunately, your body’s collagen production slows with age.

And age isn’t the only factor that can decrease collagen production and lead to signs of aging, such as wrinkles, and thin, dry, and saggy skin. Sun exposure, smoking, stress, or a high-sugar diet can also lead to less collagen production and more visible signs of aging.

Can collagen supplements turn back the hands of time?

A growing number of scientific studies are suggesting so.

Collagen Supplements Offer Real Benefits to Aging Skin

Several controlled clinical trials have been performed that prove dietary collagen offers some pretty amazing, anti-aging benefits for the skin.

Improved Skin Elasticity

In one controlled clinical trial, women aged 40-60 showed a significant improvement in skin elasticity after 12 weeks of using hydrolyzed collagen (also known as collagen peptides) and vitamins compared to a control group.

Fewer Pores

Also, 81% of the women in this study presented a decrease in their total number of pores after taking collagen for 12 weeks.

The study authors concluded that a combination of collagen and vitamin supplementation was effective at improving skin’s elasticity, as well as reducing wrinkles and pores after three months of use.

Better Hydration

Another study revealed the effectiveness of collagen supplements to increase skin hydration after eight weeks of supplementation.

Decreased Wrinkles

One double-blind, randomized, controlled clinical trial on French women aged 35 – 55 revealed a 30% decrease in the formation of deep wrinkles after 12 weeks of collagen peptide supplementation.

Can Collagen Banish Cellulite?

Nearly 90% of women are affected by cellulite: dimpling of the skin on the thighs, hips, or buttocks. Many women go to great lengths to try and get rid of cellulite.

But expensive creams and treatments may not be necessary; a study shows collagen supplementation may be just the thing to reduce cellulite.

In one double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, researchers investigated the efficacy of collagen peptides on the cellulite treatment of women with moderate cellulite.

The group that received collagen peptides showed statistically significant decreases in the degree of cellulite and reduced skin waviness on thighs compared to the placebo group.

After six months, the women had a decreased cellulite score of 9% compared to the placebo group, a smoother surface of the thighs while lying down, and a decrease in thigh dimpling while standing.

The results of the study demonstrated that regular ingestion of collagen peptides over six months led to a definite improvement of the skin appearance in women suffering from moderate cellulite.

How Does it Work?

Several studies have shown that collagen peptides are absorbed as amino acids — just like other protein sources — but collagen peptides are also absorbed as collagen-derived peptides.

That means they’re able to cross the intestinal barrier, enter the blood circulation system, and be transported right to the skin.

Once they’ve reached the target connective tissue, collagen peptides can affect the metabolic processes of the skin and offer their anti-aging benefits.

How to Use Collagen Supplements

Collagen peptides (also known as hydrolyzed collagen) are virtually odorless and flavorless, which makes taking them easy as pie. They can be added to hot or cold foods and beverages.

Add a scoop of collagen to your morning coffee, juice, or tea. Stir them into oatmeal, a smoothie, or chia seed pudding bowl.

Studies and clinical trials have shown some impressive beauty benefits of supplementing with collagen peptides, with promising results: improved hallmarks of skin aging, fewer wrinkles and pores, improved skin elasticity, and even a reduction in cellulite.

It looks like collagen is living up to the hype, after all.

Melissa Zimmerman
Melissa Zimmerman is a wellness writer, entrepreneur, and GloWell Editor-in-Chief. Melissa is on a mission to help women find inspiration and expert advice to reclaim their GLO. Subscribe to the GloWell newsletter to receive a bi-weekly email containing Melissa's top tips to living your healthiest, most sustainable life.