What is Collagen and What Does it Do?
Collagen is one of those ingredients in tons of skincare products that’s always promoted on the label in the biggest letters possible, but no one really knows what it is, or what it does. So what exactly is collagen, and why is it so important for your skin?
Collagen is a fibrous protein naturally found in the body — in everything from your fingernails to your hair. Most importantly, it allows for elasticity and thickness in the skin. Natural collagen is found in nature, too, and is one of the most abundant natural proteins around.
So why do people take more collagen if the body naturally produces it? Well, even though the body needs collagen, production of the protein can decrease starting in your early- to mid-20s. Most women find that collagen production significantly decreases by their 30s — which is why so anti-aging serums and various types of face cream with collagen are marketed to middle-aged women so often. Women will see, on average, a decrease in skin thickness by 7 percent every ten years — and men see a decrease as well (maybe just not so much). Ever notice how older people get scratches and bruises easier than younger people? A lot of that has to do with decreased collagen — unless the protein is somehow replaced, the skin will naturally become thinner and will puncture easily.
When the body starts losing collagen, the most obvious effects are wrinkles. Collagen creams usually target wrinkle-prone areas, like lips and eyes, although there are a variety of different natural collagen products on the market which target other areas of the body as well. There are a variety of ways to replace the collagen in your body besides just using a face cream with collagen — cosmetic surgeries often use collagen to fill in wrinkles, and collagen is even available in a pill or powder form. In conclusion, it’s never too early to start researching how collagen can help you look and feel healthier!