“Collagen” is a buzzword in skin care, and for good reason: It keeps your skin youthful, supple, and firm. Yet starting at age 21, you’ll start to lose about 1% of your collagen per year. By the time you’re 80, some people have lost as much as 60-80% of their collagen (International Dermal Institute).
So, of course, well-meaning skin care companies have been putting collagen into their skin care products for as long as I can remember. The issue is, collagen in the vast majority of skin care products ONLY hydrates. This is because collagen in most skin care products is supplied as large 15000-50000 Dalton molecules. However, this means topically applied collagen is too large to fit through the stratum corneum [uppermost layer of the skin], as molecules only 5000 Daltons or less can penetrate the skin (Cosmetic Dermatology).
So topically applying collagens will not make your skin firmer or supplement any loss of collagen that occurs with collagen. Instead, when collagen is in most skin care products, it merely lays atop and hydrates your skin.
But there are two products — not from the same company — I found recently that use collagen, but do it in the right way. These products are SABRINA BEAUTY Collagen Rx Plus and BUBS NATURALS Drinkable Collagen Protein. For more, read on!
Recently I came across a product, SABRINA BEAUTY Collagen Rx Plus, which contains nano-sized marine collagen. This skin care product also has a liposomal delivery system, so the collagen and other ingredients are time-released. Studies show it actually reaches the deepest dermis layer of the skin, where new skin cells are being formed.
Sabrina Beauty Collagen Rx Plus is an Organic skin care product and in addition to nano-sized marine collagen it also contains green apple stem cells, advanced anti-oxidants, and hyaluronic acid. While stem cells remain somewhat controversial, I do support their use in skin care, by the following arguments:
- The actions of both human and plant stem cells are dictated by the environment, not by the cells’ internal programming. For instance, isolated plant stem cells are able to form entire plant organs when exposed to the right signaling factors (Cell, 2003).
- Plant stem cells are able to detect genetic damage in their environment, and kill off those damaged cells before the damage spreads (Science Daily, 2009).
- Significant changes have been detected in human skin after using plant stem cells. After two weeks of using a product containing these plant stem cell extracts, consumers have seen a significant reduction in the depth of crow’s feet wrinkles by 8 percent; the reduction in the depth of crow’s feet after four weeks reached 15 percent (Inside Cosmeceuticals, 2009). Unfortunately, this study did not compare the effects to those with a placebo cream.
As for hyaluronic acid, it is a natural moisturizing factor (NMF). When you apply hyaluronic acid to the skin, it draws water into the skin, reducing trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL). It helps to temporarily stabilize and maintain the complex intercellular-skin matrix, which is the “glue” that holds the skin together. Hyaluronic acid also creates a slight swelling of the skin that temporarily reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
Collagen Rx Plus by Sabrina Beauty also contains antioxidants. Together, all of these ingredients should help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, to tighten the skin on your face and neck, and to rehydrate the skin.
The studies on ingesting collagen are limited. That said, there are a few studies that suggest that it may help to improve the skin.
The publicly-available studies that exist about whether a hydrolyzed collagen supplements improves skin health are industry-sponsored studies done by the Rousselot Healthy Choice company for Peptan™ Hydrolyzed Collagen. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled eight-week study, and in another placebo-controlled 12-week study, researchers found that collagen supplements improved cutaneous hydration and had anti-aging effects (Parmentier). Volunteers also self-reported that their skin was softer, brighter, and had better tone.
But there have been other studies done to look into other potential benefits of collagen hydrolysate supplements. A 2006 study in Current Medical Research and Opinion looked at whether collagen hydrolsate supplements could relieve joint pain caused by activity. They recruited 147 athletes for the 24-week, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study. Researchers found that using a dietary supplement with collagen hydrolsate improved joint pain in athletes. A 2006 study in Advances in Skin and Wound Care found that patients who took collagen hydrolysate supplements had Pressure Ulcer Scale for Healing (PUSH) scores twice the rate of the control group. Essentially, the inclusion of the supplement in participants’ diet caused their ulcers to heal significantly faster.
Considering that I lead a pretty active lifestyle nowadays as a business owner, wife, mother, runner and Pilates enthusiast, I’m all about using supplements like BUBS NATURALS Drinkable Collagen if they can help me stay healthy and stay in the game, so to speak, for as long as I can.