Thank you to Collagen For Her for sponsoring this post to share more information about the benefits of collagen for women over 50.
Collagen has recently gotten a lot of attention for its glamorous beauty benefits, mainly how taking a collagen supplement can help improve hair, skin, and nails. Yes, that includes wrinkles, thinning hair, and the overall appearance/elasticity of the skin. Especially for women over 50 who have already started to see some of these changes come about, it is important to understand the science behind collagen and how it can have a positive impact. To better understand how collagen can positively affect hair and skin, let’s cover the basics of collagen, how it works, and how to pick the best collagen supplement for you (plus our Prime Women pick!).
What is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. Collagen makes up 70% of the protein found in our skin, 90% in our connective tissue, and 90% in our bone mass. This is why collagen is often referred to as “the glue that holds the body together” because, without collagen, our bodies wouldn’t be able to perform a lot of its essential functions.
While our bodies naturally produce collagen, unfortunately, the older we get, the less collagen our bodies can produce. Starting around the age of 25, our bodies naturally begin making about 1% less each year. That means by the time we are 50, our bodies can have 25% less collagen than they did when we were 25! Since so much of our skin and bones are made up of collagen, a lack of collagen in our bodies can contribute to many of the signs of aging, such as wrinkles, thinning hair, and joint pain.
How Does Collagen Work?
The reason collagen has so many benefits is because of its unique amino acid profile. Collagen peptides contain a combination of essential and non-essential amino acids. Essential amino acids cannot be made by the human body, meaning the only way to get the amount your body needs is through dietary sources or supplements. Non-essential amino acids can be produced by our bodies even if we do not get them from the food we eat. Even though our body can make non-essential amino acids, we need to ensure we get the proper amounts because they are important to our overall health! The various essential and non-essential amino acids all have different benefits that enable our bodies to function properly.
When collagen is taken as an ingestible, it is absorbed into the bloodstream, helping replenish your body with collagen. We recommend looking for collagen peptides that are “hydrolyzed,” which means that they have been broken down through a particular type of water synthesis to allow them to be absorbed much quicker than non-hydrolyzed collagen or gelatin. Hydrolyzed collagen then provides the amino acids that are needed by the body to build connective tissue, help regenerate cell growth, and see all the potential benefits.
How Can Collagen Help with Hair Growth?
Okay, so let’s talk about hair growth! Hair is primarily made up of the protein keratin. Our bodies use amino acids to build keratin. Since collagen is rich in amino acids, it can aid your body in producing keratin and, in turn, help strengthen hair. The amino acid proline is the main component of hair; therefore, consuming proline-rich supplements like collagen can help provide your body with the building blocks it needs to create hair.
In addition to its benefits for hair growth, proline can also help repair skin damage, heal the gut lining, repair joints, regenerate cartilage, and form connective tissue. This is one powerful amino acid that has so many benefits for overall health – hair growth is just an added bonus!
How Can Collagen Help with Skin Elasticity and Overall Appearance of Skin?
When we think about collagen and skin, the first thing that usually comes to mind is collagen creams or injections. These are the traditional ways collagen has been used to improve skin; however, collagen powder has become increasingly popular in recent years.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “beauty comes from within,” meaning that the way we look on the outside has a lot to do with what we are putting into our bodies (food, drinks, supplements, etc.). Collagen supplements have proven to be significantly more effective than topical products because our bodies can actually absorb the supplements, whereas topical products just sit on our skin. When collagen is taken as an ingestible, it is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, helping replenish your body with collagen more effectively than a topical product.
There are two particular amino acids that we want to highlight as they have been shown to directly impact the skin:
- Lysine: This essential amino acid is an anti-aging agent that helps prevent hair loss, combats wrinkles, and strengthens the elasticity of the skin. It also has additional benefits, like helping leaky gut syndrome and improving bone health.
- Methionine: This essential amino acid is a powerful antioxidant and plays a critical role in your body’s metabolism. It has also been shown to help fight radicals in your body and slow the aging process.
How to Pick the Right Collagen Supplement
Choosing the right collagen supplement can be essential for those looking to improve their skin, joint health, and overall well-being. Here are some thoughts to consider when choosing the right collagen supplement:
First, identify your primary reason for taking collagen supplements. Are you looking to improve skin elasticity, strengthen hair and nails, support joint health, or address a specific health concern?
Second, collagen supplements come in various types, with types I, II, and III being the most common. Type I collagen is beneficial for skin, hair, and nails, while Type II is focused on joint health. Type III also supports skin and blood vessels. Choose a supplement that aligns with your primary reasons.
The next important factor to consider is how bioavailable they are, meaning how well the body can absorb it. The definition of bioavailability is the degree and rate at which a substance (i.e., a supplement) is absorbed into a living system (i.e., our bodies). Anything we put into our bodies (vitamins, minerals, supplements, pharmaceutical drugs, etc.) will only take effect if the body can absorb it. This is why it is important to know how bioavailable collagen supplements are before choosing one.
Lastly, Collagen supplements vary in price, so consider your budget. Keep in mind that higher-priced products may not necessarily be of better quality.
One of our favorite collagen supplements for women is Collagen For Her. All of their collagen products pass the bioavailability test and, on top of that, are non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, and soy-free (plus, it’s a woman-owned company). A great place to start is their Unflavored Collagen Peptides. The unflavored collagen peptides are flavorless and tasteless, so you can add a scoop to coffee, tea, smoothies, baked goods, etc.
If you are looking for even more hair, skin, and nail benefits, check out their Marine Collagen Beauty Blend. This product is sourced from marine collagen, so it is pescatarian-friendly and contains 100% daily Vitamin C, biotin, and hyaluronic acid in addition to collagen for added hair and skin benefits. This product is also flavorless, so you can add it to just about anything. If you want to try out Collagen For Her’s products, you can use the code “PRIMEWOMEN” for 10% off through their website here. All of their products are also available on Amazon, and you can save 10% on every order when you choose the Subscribe & Save option here.