Should You Add Collagen to Your Skin-Care Routine? A Derm Weighs In
Whether you’re chasing the fountain of youth or in search of glowier, healthier looking skin, it’s likely you’ve heard about the wonderful (and sometimes mystical) world of collagen. A naturally occurring substance in your body, collagen is a structural protein found in your connective tissue and is responsible for your skin’s strength and elasticity. As you age, collagen decreases, which can lead an increased appearance of wrinkles — hence why people are sipping collagen like it’s going out of style. Although taking collagen supplements or slathering your skin in collagen-packed skin-care products may seem like an easy fix, there’s more to it than that. To break down all things collagen (pun intended) we spoke with Skincare.com consulting dermatologist Kavita Mariwalla, MD, who reveals whether she thinks this buzzy skin-care ingredient is actually worth the hype.
According to Dr. Mariwalla, there are different ways of incorporating collagen into your daily routine.She points to studies that have shown that supplements with collagen and other ingredients can help improveskin hydration as well as skin elasticity and the appereance of aging skin; however, the data is very new and further research is needed. Additionally, you should also be wary of any product promising to increase collagen because Dr. Mariwalla says you can’t measure collagen levels in the body or necessarily increase collagen production.
There are a few ways to incorporate collagen into your routine, including topicals, pills and powder supplements. But most collagen supplements and pills aren’t regulated by the FDA, so it’s important to research the brand you’re purchasing from and check with your doctor before consuming them. Dr. Mariwalla also recommends forgoing online supplement purchases altogether and opting for your local health food store instead, where you can speak with someone knowledgeable face to face. There are myriad options on the market, having some come in vegan and animal-derived varieties.
So will taking collagen increase skin firmness and elasticity? Maybe, maybe not. Dr. Mariwalla cautions against treating collagen pills and supplements as the “fountain of youth.” However, if you still want to add them to your routine, though, Dr. Mariwalla recommends trying a supplement like HUM Nutrition Collagen Love Skin Firming Supplement, which is a daily dietary supplement with collagen,hyaluronic acid and other ingredients to help support skin elasticity and firmness.