10 things you probably didn’t know about Collagen


Skinade™ - Credit: Archant

We’ve all heard of Collagen, but how many of us actually know what it is?

Collagen is a part of the skin’s structure that helps maintain elasticity to keeping you looking youthful. It is also used as an ingredient in many face creams and cosmetic products. In order to understand more about what collagen is, and how it works, we spoke to the experts at Skinade™, who have provided us with this list of 10 things you didn’t know about collagen:

1. Collagen comes from the Greek word “kolla” which means “glue.” So the word collagen literally means “producer of glue.”

2. Collagen accounts for around 75% of youthful skin, forming the main structural element of the skin in the dermis layer. It provides the structure which supports the epidermis and gives your skin its youthful fullness. When collagen molecules are damaged, skin loses its elasticity and begins to sag, wrinkle and age.

3. Collagen is composed of three tightly-wound chains, in a three-dimensional, triple-helix structure. These chains are made up of the amino acids, glycine, proline and hydroxyproline. Hydroxyproline plays a particularly important role in stabilising the structure, preventing it from being broken down and eliminated by the body; a process that would cause the skin to age.

4. Research shows that by replenishing the three amino acids, the vital building blocks of the collagen in our skin, it can help to slow down the ageing process.

5. In addition to its structural role, collagen also regulates the activity of fibroblasts in the skin. Fibroblasts are the cells that are responsible for rebuilding the connective tissue and they play a critical role in the healing of wounds.

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6. The vital hydroxyproline is created by modifying proline after the collagen chain has been formed - a process which requires vitamin C. Our bodies cannot produce vitamin C naturally, and if we don’t get enough in our diets, the results can be dangerous - not only for our skin but for all the connective tissues in our body. In order to maintain healthy skin function, and to help with the natural production of collagen, it’s imperative to have a bio-available source of vitamin C.

7. As the body ages, it loses the ability to produce new collagen. This affects the production and activity of the fibroblasts, which, in turn, produce less and less collagen over time.

8. Alongside the reduction in your body’s ability to produce new collagen, the ageing process results in damage to the existing collagen matrix, which becomes fragmented and broken. Fibroblasts are no longer able to perform their regenerative function and repair these broken structures.

9. Our bodies contain more than 20 types of collagen, although 80-90% of the collagen in our bodies comes from only 3 types – types I, II and III. Types I and III are found mainly in the skin, tendons, ligaments and bones. Type II is a major component of joint cartilage.

10. The nutricosmetics industry has grown in recent years. The idea behind these types of products is to support the structure and function of the skin through nutritional supplements. Within this industry, collagen peptides from marine sources are growing in popularity due to their high quality and efficacy. However, in order to be beneficial to the skin, collagen peptides must be bio-available, they need to be easily and quickly absorbed by the body.

About Skinade™:

Skinade™, the UK’s leading professional skincare drink has helped define a new way to look after your skin — from the inside out! Focusing its effort on increasing awareness around the benefits that liquid supplementation can have on supporting normal skin function and nourishing the skin from within, the message is simple: to do the best for our skin, we must look beyond classic skincare treatments.

Skinade™ comes in 2 versions: a ready to drink 150ml bottle and a concentrated 15ml travel sachet that you dilute in a glass of water. Both products offer exactly the same efficacy and it is only a lifestyle choice as to which one you prefer. Most clients use a combination, with the bottled version at home, and the travel sachet on the go.

Skinade™ uses types I and III collagen, which come from pure hydrolysed marine collagen. This is extracted from the skin of fresh-water fish, which is low in sodium and eliminates the potential for mercury contamination. The peptides are extracted using a gentle enzymatic hydrolysis process to achieve the lowest possible molecular weight, which means it’s easier for the body to absorb the collagen.

Case study:

Skinade™ has recently conducted a case study on 15 subjects to determine whether a 90-day course of Skinade™ improves global skin rejuvenation of the face compared to a placebo control.

The open-label controlled trial was conducted at the state of the art Santi Skin Labs (www.santiskinlabs.com) in South Kensington led by Tariq Karim and his research team. The trial involved healthy members of the general population between the ages of 30-60 years.

The results of the 90-day trial show that participants who took Skinade™ saw a 25.5% increase in collagen density, as well as a 34% increase in skin hydration and 28% improvement in skin elasticity, compared with the group not taking Skinade™.

Expert opinion:

Dr Paul Banwell (www.banwellclinic.com) is a leading cosmetic and plastic surgeon based in the UK with a special interest in skin health. He uses Skinade™ in his clinic and understands the use of nutricosmetic products as part of a skincare regime.

He says: “Liquid supplements are an interesting new development in the skin health arena and, though I was sceptical at first, we have seen some great results with patients from the Banwell clinic.”

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