Four Collagen Benefits for Women
It seems like collagen is added to almost everything. It’s in those hair, skin, and nail vitamins that every Instagram influencer seems to promote. It makes its way into powders you can use to flavor your water. It’s in protein powder, softgel capsules, moisturizers, shampoo, and conditioner. At face value, it looks like collagen is the be-all, end-all solution for eternal youth.
“Collagen is crucial for overall wellness, including skin health.”
Shani Darden, Celebrity Aesthetician
While collagen is one of the most important parts of your body, it doesn’t work like many companies seem to suggest it does. The collagen your body makes is what’s most important for your skin health — not the collagen powder packets you put in your water.
Here’s what you need to know about the potential benefits of collagen supplements and topicals for women and how collagen can help to keep your skin youthful.
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is a protein that provides structure and support to the human body. While collagen works behind the scenes to keep your whole body strong and supported, its benefits are most visible in the skin. Healthy collagen levels can help your skin appear plump, full, and youthful.
Collagen is also a main ingredient in gelatin. If you’ve ever seen Jell-O wobble, then you’ve seen the structural properties of collagen in action.
Your body naturally makes its own collagen but needs the proper ingredients to manufacture natural collagen supply. Collagen production naturally slows down as we age, but there are things you can do to encourage collagen production. We’ll talk more about that later.
Your body contains more collagen than any other type of protein. There are more than two dozen different types of collagen, and they each play a different role in promoting the health of your body. Your body uses collagen to make and maintain muscles, skin, tendons, ligaments, connective tissue, the lens of your eye, and the cushions between each bone in your spine, and collagen can even support bone health.
How Does Collagen Work?
When you consume collagen, it doesn’t enter your body as collagen. It’s digested and broken down into two parts: collagen peptides and the amino acidsglycine, lysine, and proline. Your body can use these things to make more collagen, muscle, or other types of important tissue.
Your body prioritizes what’s most important. If you have an injured muscle, your body is going to be more concerned with repairing the injury than restoring a youthful glow to your face. If your face has a minor injury (like those caused by procedures like microneedling or plasma pen treatments), your body will work to create the collagen necessary to heal the injury.
Because of this, collagen supplements are typically not the most efficient way to brighten your appearance. While collagen supplements are still important for your body’s overall wellness, I recommend using serums or masks to support collagen production in your skin.
Collagen creates newer, healthier tissue to replace damaged tissue. Proper levels of collagen in your body can improve the way you look, as well as support skin health, muscle growth, and joint health, and help maintain muscle mass.
What Foods Contain Collagen?
Collagen primarily comes from animal foods. Whole meats, especially fatty meats and poultry with the skin, are primary sources of dietary collagen. Collagen has to be produced by an animal. When you use collagen supplements or powders, they’re always animal-derived. There are no naturally occurring vegan sources of collagen.
It doesn’t necessarily matter if you eat collagen. All you need are the building blocks of collagen. If you use collagen supplements, look for supplements designed to help you boost your body’s ability to produce its own collagen.
Is Collagen Important for Women?
Collagen is important for everyone. It’s just as important for women as it is for men. People of all ages need collagen to grow and maintain their bodies. Your dog and your cat need collagen just as much as you do. It’s a fundamental part of the structure of all living bodies, specifically for skin, joints, organs, and blood vessels.
What Are the Top Four Collagen Benefits for Women?
There’s a lot of misunderstanding about how collagen supplements work. When you take collagen supplements, you aren’t immediately supplying your body with collagen. They don’t go directly to the places in your body where you need collagen and fill in the gaps. That would be like eating hair to promote hair growth or eating nails for longer nails.
Instead, using a topical formula or device that supports natural collagen can help you target certain areas of your skin and pinpoint results.
From beautifying your skin to supporting strong bones and muscles, here are some important health benefits of collagen.
1. Collagen Can Promote Young-Looking Skin
As I mentioned before, collagen helps provide structure for your skin. In fact, collagen works with another protein called elastin to create skin elasticity.
Skin elasticity describes your skin’s ability to bounce back after physical tension. For instance, if you pinch your skin, elasticity is what pulls your skin back to its original place afterward. While elastin helps your skin stretch, collagen provides a framework that helps your skin always return to its original position.
However, your natural collagen production declines with age, especially after menopause. This is one of the main factors contributing to wrinkles and fine lines. With less collagen to help your skin bounce back, it can begin to sag and develop an aged appearance.
Collagen supplements can help, but one surefire way to ensure that you’re getting collagen back into your skin is to apply topical skincare that help promote collagen production in your skin.
My Déesse PRO LED Light Mask works to help boost collagen in the skin while also minimizing the look of pigmentation and wrinkles.
2. Collagen Supplements Provide Protein Building Blocks to the Body
Collagen passes through your digestive system, where it’s broken down into smaller building blocks your body can use to produce necessary proteins. It may use some of these proteins to repair your skin or facilitate natural collagen production. Your body needs to make its own collagen, and collagen supplements contain some of the building blocks that might help.
3. Collagen Proteins Help Strengthen and Protect Bones
Many women struggle with bone density as they age. Calcium is often touted as the most important thing for strong and healthy bones. While eating a calcium-rich diet is undoubtedly important for your bones, it’s only one part of the puzzle. Bones are actually made primarily of collagen rather than calcium.
Studies have demonstrated that certain collagen peptide supplementscan have a positive effect on bone density in postmenopausal women. One of the most important collagen benefits for women is its potential to preserve skeletal health.
4. Collagen Proteins Can Protect Cardiovascular Health
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States. It’s scary to think about, but it’s important to keep in mind. Your cardiovascular health is imperative to your overall health, and your heart works very hard to keep your body working.
Collagen is the most important part of your arteries. Your arteries need to be flexible in order to expand and contract as they pump oxygenated blood throughout your body. When taken orally, gives them a little bit of elasticity, making it easier for them to do their job.
How Can You Stimulate Natural Collagen Production in Your Skin?
Encouraging your body’s natural ability to produce collagen is more important than taking collagen supplements. Collagen supplements can play an important part in this process, but you can’t direct the way they work. You need to be sure that the choices you’re making are in line with your goals.
When your body manufactures collagen, you don’t get to decide where it goes. Your body will use it where it sees fit. Some of that collagen might make a visible difference in how your skin appears, but your body isn’t worried about aesthetics. It only cares that your skin can do its job, just like any other organ or tissue vital to your health.
In addition to being mindful about the things you eat and drink, you also need to make an effort to inspire collagen production where you want it the most.
First, Look at Your Diet
No amount of collagen will outrun a bad diet. This doesn’t mean you can’t have a brownie or a burger every once in a while. It means that you should drink plenty of water daily and eat nutritious meals and snacks about 80% of the time.
Your body also needs other things to help it produce collagen. You’re only going to get the full wealth of what you need from a balanced diet and eating nutrient-rich foods. Plus, eating a balanced diet is a great way to support your gut health.
If you’re looking for the appearance-focused effects of collagen supplements, then you may also want to increase your water intake. Adequate skin hydration can help your skin appear brighter, healthier, and younger.
Drinking water by the glass is an efficient way to achieve this goal, but you can also try smoothies or collagen-rich bone broth if plain water gets too repetitive.
You may want to consider adding a vitamin C supplement to your daily routine. Vitamin C, known in the skincare world as l-ascorbic acid, plays an incredibly important role in collagen production when taken orally. Without it, your body can’t make collagen — no matter how many ingredients it has.
Make Lifestyle Changes
Nicotine and alcohol are both damaging to your skin. Even if you don’t smoke, the nicotine in your vape can throttle your circulation, decreasing the quality of your skin. Alcohol is dehydrating, and when your skin is dehydrated, it’s definitely not working towards improving collagen production. You might need to change some habits to manifest what you want.
Upgrade Your Skincare Routine
Another way to support your skin’s natural collagen production is through your daily skincare routine. While not the fastest way to see results in your skin, applying topical formulas every day can help give your skin the consistency it needs.
My Déesse PRO LED Light Mask is the perfect addition to your skincare routine if you’re looking for younger-looking, more radiant, even-toned skin. My Light Mask helps boost collagen in the skin to smooth, clear, and brighten your complexion.
For truly impressive results, you can follow your LED therapy with my Intensive Eye Renewal Cream. Since the delicate undereye area is often the first place you’ll see the effects of aging due to collagen loss, an eye cream can lift your appearance by several years.
Using Mildly Invasive Treatments
When you’re wounded, your body sends collagen to the immediate area in an effort to heal that wound. That’s how semi-invasive procedures like microneedling and plasma pen treatment work. Microneedling pokes hundreds of tiny holes in your skin to direct new collagen to form, rejuvenating the appearance of skin in the affected area. Plasma pen is similar, but instead of poking holes, it creates small burns to stimulate collagen production.
Most people need a series of treatments to see a meaningful improvement in the appearance of their skin. Each treatment needs to heal before another treatment can be performed.
Using Non-Invasive Treatments
Many at-home skincare devices can work to improve the health of your skin. Some of them require high levels of commitment, and some of them don’t work. When you’re shopping for skincare devices, it’s important to understand what to expect and how to use them.
LED light therapy has shown success in boosting collagen production, which is why I recommend my Déesse PRO LED Light Mask. LED light isn’t invasive. It reaches deeper layers of the skin, gently heating them and encouraging the production of healthy new cells. Light therapy works gradually, but you can do it at home. It isn’t painful, and it doesn’t leave any scabs, marks, or scars as invasive procedures do.
The Wrap-Up: Do You Need Collagen?
You do need collagen, but you don’t need to eat collagen in order for your body to make collagen. A well-balanced diet should be sufficient. You can also use collagen-boosting supplements designed to support your body’s production of natural collagen, which is likely more beneficial than taking whole oral collagen supplements.
If you want to see a meaningful improvement in the youthfulness of your skin, you’ll need to use targeted, effective, clinically-proven skin care treatments. Always wear sunscreen, wash your face and moisturize it daily, and give yourself a collagen-boosting facial.
My FDA-cleared PRO LED Light mask can help to stimulate collagen production and rejuvenate the appearance of your skin. It can also reduce acne, minimize the appearance of wrinkles, and minimize the appearance of hyperpigmentation. It doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t leave scars, and it’s proven to work. Best of all, you can do it at home.
Specific Collagen Peptides Improve Bone Mineral Density and Bone Markers in Postmenopausal Women—A Randomized Controlled Study | National Library of Medicine
Effect of Vitamin C and its Derivatives on Collagen Synthesis and Cross-Linking by Normal Human Fibroblasts | International Journal of Cosmetic Science
Lower Your Risk for the Number 1 Killer of Women | Health Equity Features | CDC
LED Light Therapy: How It Works, Colors, Benefits & Risks | Cleveland Clinic