Collagen is one of the essential proteins that help protect the skin. As we age, collagen levels reduce tremendously leading to the formation of wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging skin. If you want to reverse the effects of aging and maintain a firm, supple and healthy skin, increasing your intake of collagen boosting foods or supplements is vital.
Apart from including collagen boosting foods in your diet, you can buy collagen supplements that are easily absorbed into the body.
Collagen supplements have gained popularity over the past few years as they promise to give a beautiful and youthful skin.
So, if you’re thinking of buying collagen supplements, you need to make an informed decision and choose the right product that will benefit your skin and address your concerns, whether it’s fine lines, wrinkles or loose skin.
Here are five important things to consider when buying collagen supplements
Type of Collagen
The type of collagen you choose plays a significant role in the results you get from the supplement.
While there are several types of collagen (all of them are vital though), the most important types of collagen you must consider when buying a supplement are I, II, III.
Type I collagen makes a significant fraction of the most superficial layer of our skin (dermis). As such, it plays a major role in giving the skin its structure, firmness, and flexibility.
Type II collagen is mainly found in the cartilages. It makes about half of all the protein in cartilage and approximately 90% of collagen in articular cartilage. It’s essential because it reduces joint aging and eases joint stiffness associated with arthritis.
Type III collagen is the second most abundant collagen in the human tissue. It’s mainly found in babies and children, and that would explain why they have a soft and plump skin. However, as age takes its toll on our bodies, type III collagen diminishes and replaced by type I collagen.
So, if you want to get a smooth and desirable skin, buy collagen supplements that contain about 90% of type I collagen.
Concentration and Potency
To get the most out of your collagen supplement, you have to ensure its concentration per serving is 10,000mg. After conducting some clinical studies, it was found that ingesting a high concentration of hydrolyzed collagen helps not only to reduce wrinkles but also increases skin thickness.
If you are taking collagen supplements to get rid of scars or prevent premature skin aging, ingesting high potency collagen supplement promotes would repair response and the growth of new dermis cells.
Moreover, apart from the concentration and potency, you have to use collagen supplement daily for over a period of either 6-8 months to achieve the best results.
Children or young adults who intend to use collagen supplement for preventing or maintain skin aging are required to ingest between 2,500mg – 5,000mg, a concentration which is lower than that for adults.
Formulation and Ingredients
The outermost layer of the skin is made up of Type I collagen, Type II collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. Together, these three key ingredients give the skin its structure, elasticity, and firmness.
No doubt, purchasing collagen supplements you find in your local store is essential, and you can experience visible changes when you take them. However, the best results are achieved when your preferred collagen supplement contains all the three ingredients.
Also, when used together with other anti-aging treatments that are designed to keep the skin smooth, firm and young, you can achieve exceptional results.
However, before buying the best collagen supplement of your choice, make sure the maker is well-known, and the efficacy of their product is backed by science rather than mere marketing frenzy.
Type of Sugar and Preservatives
Aside from the aforementioned key ingredients, you have to consider the type of sugar and preservatives that used on your collagen supplement. Remember, the after-taste of collagen supplements might be awful, so many brands use sugars or sweeteners in their formulations.
The best collagen supplement contains natural sugars that have been extracted from plants including palm sugar, coconut sugar, raw honey, molasses, and stevia. Because of their low glycemic index, these sugars not only keep the blood sugar of the body steady but also help metabolize fats efficiently.
Collagen supplements that contain cheap sources of sugar like fructose or high fructose corn syrup must be avoided. Also, watch out for artificial sugar and sweetener such as Aspartame and Sucralose because even if they provide sweetness without calories, they can cause long-term health issues.
Pills, Powder or Drinks? Which is the Best?
Collagen supplements can be bought in pills, powder and drink forms. So, when buying the best collagen supplement, you have to be mindful of the rate at which the product is absorbed into the body because it determines the efficacy of the nutrients you ingest.
So, pills, powder or drinks, which is the best option?
Liquid collagen is best because they are easily absorbed into the body. They don’t have to be broken down into small, simpler molecules. However, for both pills and powder (even though powder is absorbed faster than pills), they have to be broken down into small ingestible molecules