Today we present you a key ingredient in nutricosmetics, the collagen
This protein naturally present in the body makes up nearly 90% of our skin. Involved in the regeneration and elasticity of the skin, its stock diminishes over the years, however, leaving signs of skin aging. What is this active ingredient of choice in nutricosmetics and what are its benefits?
What exactly is collagen?
Collagen is a structural protein that acts as a building block for bones, teeth, muscles, skin, joints and connective tissue. It can be thought of as a structural glue that holds our bodies in place. As the most abundant protein in the body, collagen is also the key to repair. However, with age, our body’s natural production of collagen decreases. This largely explains the visual signs of aging such as sagging skin and the appearance of wrinkles.
In what form is it found?
Collagen proteins are mainly composed of three amino acids: proline, hydroxy-proline and glycine. They form a long chain in a triple helix structure. This twisted triple helix gives collagen unique functional properties such as strength and elasticity. But it also means that it cannot be absorbed by our diet in its complete form. Indeed, in this form the protein is not effective for use in food or supplements.
It is therefore necessary to break down this collagen protein into small chains of peptides called “collagen peptides” or “hydrolyzed collagen” to obtain a smaller structure that is more absorbable by our body.
Because of their small size, these peptides are more absorbed by our intestines. Thus, they travel through the body to act as basic elements to repair, rebuild our tissues and provide energy.
These peptides found in supplements and health products come from a variety of sources in many forms. These include bovine collagen, chicken, marine collagen and even alternatives of plant origin (obtained by fermentation).
What are the benefits of collagen?
The benefits of collagen have been known for centuries. Chinese women consider it as a fountain of youth. They regularly consume foods such as pig’s feet, shark fins and donkey skin in the hope of preserving their aging skin and joints. Recently, more appetizing ways to get a dose of collagen have been introduced, including fruity chews, flavoured coffees and creams, powder packets and easy-to-swallow capsules.
A regenerating active ingredient
It promotes tissue regeneration by stimulating the body’s natural production of the molecule. Thus, a topical or oral contribution of collagen makes it possible to compensate for its decline in production, linked to age. On the other hand, it combats premature aging of skin cells and allows tissue healing.
If collagen does not directly hydrate the skin, it prevents dehydration by maintaining a good water level in the epidermis. Indeed, because of its amino acid content, it increases the production of hyaluronic acid, which is a first-rate moisturizing ingredient. Applied to the skin, it reduces the insensible loss of water which helps to fight against skin dehydration.
An anti-aging action
It present in abundance in our body brings flexibility and resistance to stretching. This helps to keep the skin smooth and firm for longer. Its use as a preventive or maintenance measure ensures an improvement in skin texture and elasticity. It is therefore an active ingredient of choice for the formulation of preventive anti-aging care.
A protein that doesn’t stop at the skin
The protein is also linked to the production of keratin in the nails and hair, giving them strength and resistance.
In summary, whether in the form of creams, masks, serums or dietary supplements, collagen is essential for the beauty and youthfulness of the skin. And for good reason, according to the Nutrition Business Journal, in 2020, American consumers should spend 293 million dollars in collagen supplements, against only 50 million in 2014. This represents a growth of 486%. It is clear that nutricosmetics will become an important part of our future rituals. Find our anti-aging product innovations in dietary supplements by clicking here or our cosmetics.