The Truth About Drinking Collagen Supplements for Better Skin
In theory, the thought of tossing back a collagen-infused beverage for a healthier complexion sounds worthy of writing home about, but it begs the all-too-blatant question: Does it actually work? Allure consulted experts to get to the bottom of it.
what is collagen and what does it have to do with skin?
"Collagen is the main structural protein in our skin," says New York City-based dermatologist Joshua Zeichner. He likens collagen to a mattress frame because, without it, the skin starts to break down — like a mattress without a frame would — resulting in fine lines and sagging.
This process is inevitable as we age because the collagen in our bodiesdecreases the older we get, thanks in part to environmental factors, such as sun exposure and pollution. In addition to our skin, dermatologist Yoon-Soo Cindy Bae says that collagen is found all throughout the body, although she explains that there are several different types such as I, III, IV, and VII, that are located in the skin itself.
"[These types] are integral for the structure and function of the skin," she says. Types I, II, and III, for instance, account for 80 to 90 percent of collagen in the body, so it makes sense that they would be integral to the skin's health considering it's our largest organ. Type I is the most abundant of them all and one of the main components of our connective tissue, while II is mostly found in cartilage and the eyes, and III in the skin, muscles, and blood vessels.
More on ingestible collagen
Ingestible collagen supplements, such as the kind you can pour into coffee or any beverage of your choice, began surfacing just a few years ago, with wellness brands and influencers chalking the powders up as a new miracle treatment for skin, hair, and joint health. As of right now, there are two main types on the market: marine collagen, generally from fish, and animal collagen, which can come from cows and pigs, for example. The collagen is found in the bone and tissues of these animals.