Collagen and skinMaridav/Shutterstock
Before you take a collagen supplement in hopes of improving your skin, consider this: “There’s actually very limited data, or rigorous scientific studies, on ingestible or oral collagen at this point in time,” says Whitney Bowe, MD, board-certified dermatologist. “Consequently, the jury is still out as to whether these supplements actually have any meaningful benefit on the skin in women who are already eating a well-balanced diet with a variety of protein sources, such as chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, and yogurt.” Of the data available, a double-blind placebo study found that women who took the peptide form of collagen regularly for eight weeks saw a 20 percent reduction in wrinkles.
Collagen and hair healthNina-Buday/Shutterstock
As you age, the natural levels of collagen in your body decrease, which is why taking a supplement sounds inviting. According to research, collagen has been shown to support and increase the body’s hair building proteins, which can prevent hair loss, encourage hair growth, and reduce the appearance of gray hair by supporting the healthy structure of the hair follicle, where pigment is produced. Furthermore, collagen supplements have been shown to be very effective in the treatment of dry brittle hair by supporting healthy moisture levels within the hair. If want to take collagen for your hair, Qilib, Viviscal, and Phillip Kingsley Trichotherapy are all reputable brands.
Collagen, diet, and lifestyleMahlebashieva/Shutterstock
It’s not enough just to pop a collagen supplement. According to Osinga, vitamin C and collagen must be consumed together, since if you have too little vitamin C in your body, not enough collagen can be produced. Cabbage, red fruits, and carrots all naturally boost collagen production. Along with the body’s natural collagen production declining with age, modern lifestyle factors like stress, poor diet, and gut health imbalances can all decrease the body’s ability to make it.