Which Collagen Is Best for the Skin?

Reviewed on 5/17/2021

Type I collagen is usually considered best for the skin.
Type I collagen is usually considered best for the skin.

Type I collagen is usually considered best for the skin. It is the most abundant type of collagen in the body. It maintains healthy bones, skin, hair and nails.

  • Like all types of collagen, levels of type I collagen begin to decline after about 25 years of age.
  • Because it is so prevalent in the connective tissues, the decrease of type I collagen results in characteristics such as sagging skin, fine lines and brittle nails, as well as thinning hair.
  • However, type I collagen isn’t just a beauty-related substance. It’s also a major component of the tendons, organs and bones. This makes it a vital component of any diet or wellness routine.

There are 16 types of collagen. However, the most commonly researched types of collagen are types I, II and III.

Type II collagen:

  • Another common type of collagen found in supplements is type II collagen.
  • Although somewhat less prevalent in the body than type I, type II collagen is extremely important.
  • It is the main component of the cartilage and is extremely healthy for the skeletal system.
  • Active people who need to rely on their joints may also benefit from adding type II collagen into their diet. Cartilage collagen is composed of type II collagen.

Type III collagen:

  • It is found in the vital protein line of collagen products.
  • It is generally found in reticular fiber such as in the bone marrow.
  • It is usually found alongside type I collagen in the body.
  • Vital proteins collagen peptides and marine collagen are rich in types I and III collagen.

As described above, types I and III collagen are the most commonly occurring collagen types within our bodies. These two types of collagen promote hair, skin, nail and bone health. Types I and III collagen increase elasticity of the skin, thus minimizing wrinkles and allowing youthful glow. Moreover, types I and III collagen stimulate the production of amino acids, in particular glycine. Glycine is the amino acid that is responsible for building the muscles and burning fat.

What is collagen?

Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in the body. It is the main structural protein that forms the connective tissue throughout our body, from the skin to bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Collagen makes up a whopping 80 percent of our skin and works with another protein called elastin that keeps our skin elastic. Collagen is the body's most abundant protein that helps provide structure to the hair, skin, nails, bones, ligaments and tendons. It’s made up of amino acids such as glycine, proline, hydroxyproline and arginine. These components help keep our body's connective tissue, skin, hair and nails in working order. In essence, collagen is the glue that holds everything together.

  • Our bodies naturally start reducing collagen production with age.
  • Collagen is ropes of protein in the skin. When we’re young, the rope remains tight, but the ends begin to fray with age.
  • Essentially, our bodies are not able to replace the collagen we are losing as quickly as it is breaking down.
  • From our 20s, we begin losing about 1 percent of our collagen each year, which means drier skin.
  • Sun exposure, cigarette smoke and pollution can also accelerate collagen breakdown.

Summary:

  • Collagen is like a glue to hold things together. It's the major building block of tendons, ligaments, bones, muscles and skin. It also helps your body rebuild itself after injuries, especially at sites such as the tendons, ligaments and muscles.
  • An individual can get better value for money by eating foods rich in protein such as meat, chicken, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, nuts, tofu, dried beans and legumes. This will provide the amino acids that the body needs to make collagen.
  • Because collagen would be unstable without vitamin C, it’s also important to regularly eat foods rich in it. Good sources include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, capsicum, tomatoes, spinach, kiwifruit, lemons and oranges.
  • When it comes to the skin specifically, collagen helps keep it firm, plump, hydrated and supple. It does this through the dermis (the skin’s foundation), which is closely involved in keeping the skin elastic and flexible.
  • Because collagen makes up 70 percent of the dermis, keeping it in good supply is what helps the body retain the benefits.
  • Like all things, time takes its toll and the same is true with collagen. The body's natural collagen production is affected, which can result in fine lines and sagging skin.
  • Adding ingestible collagen to the diet can help the body regenerate what’s been lost or broken down with age.

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References
Collagen: The Fibrous Proteins of the Matrix: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK21582/

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