Do Collagen Drinks For Skin Give You A Youthful Look?

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Surbhi Mahajan, MBBS, MD (Dermatology)
By Ramona Sinha, Certified Skin Care Coach

You might have used collagen creams for your skin. However, have you tried collagen drinks for skin care benefits? They are claimed to be the fountain of youth and have taken the beauty world by storm.

While topical collagen help to keep your skin youthful and firm, does oral collagen work similarly? How does the body process and utilize oral collagen? Are collagen drinks really worth the hype or just another skin care fad? Keep reading to find answers to all these questions and understand the benefits of collagen drinks.

What Are Collagen Drinks?

Collagen drinks are supplements that claim to promote natural collagen production in your body, reduce the effects of collagen depletion with age, and keep the skin youthful by maintaining its integrity.

The skin is the largest organ of the body, and the collagen content of healthy skin is more than 75% (1). Collagen maintains skin integrity. Different types of collagen in the human body support the cartilages, tendons, tissue membranes, muscles, joints, bones, blood vessels, and other internal organs.

With age, collagen production starts to deplete. As a result, your skin loses its integrity, and your experience sagging, wrinkles, fine lines. Most of us start using skin care products with collagen to make up for the skin damage, while many often resort to collagen drinks and supplements. However, is drinking collagen a feasible option? Let’s find out.

Does Drinking Collagen For Skin Work?

Yes, it may work. However, the mechanism is different.

Drinking collagen will not add those collagen peptides directly to your skin layers. Experts believe that the collagen peptides in the drink signal the body to promote its natural collagen production by stimulating the fibroblasts (cells that produce collagen).

A recent study published in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity evaluated the effects of drinking fish collagen on skin aging (2). It found that collagen drinks could have anti-aging effects by inhibiting the production of reactive oxygen species, reducing oxidative stress, boosting cell functionality, and reducing the harmful effects of UVA radiation.

Most collagen drinks contain hydrolyzed collagen, which is easily absorbed by the body, and the collagen peptides are bioavailable.

Another independent study involving 805 patients demonstrated that oral collagen supplements could promote wound healing, increase skin elasticity, dermal collagen density, and skin hydration levels, and slow down skin aging (3).

Clinical studies conducted by the brands also found similar results. A study evaluating the effects of Pure Gold Collagen supplement found that taking 50 mL of the supplement for two months could reduce wrinkles, dryness, and the depth of nasolabial folds (laugh lines) and counteract the signs of skin aging (4). However, most clinical studies conducted are funded by manufacturers. A recent study questioned the efficacy of collagen supplements on skin aging and concluded that data available so far is limited, and the possible effects of supplements on the skin are yet to be fully explored (5).

Based on these findings, taking collagen supplements can have several benefits.

Benefits Of Collagen Drinks

1. Improve Skin Elasticity

Consuming collagen drinks ensures that your skin retains its moisture and does not dry. Hydrated skin stays plump and tight and does not sag easily.

2. Keep Joints Healthy

Age affects the health of your bones and joints. As you grow older, your knees and joints may creak and cause pain. Collagen is also found in the joints and ligaments of the body. Drinking collagen supplements maintains healthy joints and ligaments. They support the muscles and tendons to maintain your mobility and overall health of the internal organs and tissues. However, collagen that helps in maintaining joint health is different from that of the skin.

3. Keep The Nails And Hair Healthy

Amino acids are also present in hair and nails. Collagen is nothing but a cluster of amino acids and helps keep hair and nails strong. Due to nutritional deficiency or certain underlying factors, you may sometimes notice hair loss or weak nails. Drinking collagen supplements could ensure that your nails and hair remain healthy. However, consult a doctor to ensure you do not have any other deficiencies, which may also affect nail and hair health.

Increased collagen levels in your body can give you healthy and firm skin and help maintain your overall health. In the next sections, we have answered some common doubts and queries that you may have regarding collagen drinks.

Can Drinking Collagen For Skin Help You Look Young?

It might. So far, robust evidence is not available to prove that collagen is really a fountain of youth. Collagen might maintain skin integrity and make up for the collagen loss due to aging. This can help maintain a youthful appearance. While nothing can keep you looking just as young forever, collagen will help you age gracefully and retain healthy skin.

Why Is Supplementary Collagen Necessary?

Collagen is an addition to the multitude of anti-aging approaches available currently. Collagen might keep skin healthy and maintains joints, nails, muscles, and bone health.  Collagen supplements may contain type I, II, or III collagen, which is sourced from animals.

Collagen type II is mostly found in the cartilages that cushion the joints (6). Hence, taking collagen supplements may help relieve joint pains and osteoarthritis. Collagen type I is crucial for bone health. A study on postmenopausal women found that taking 5 grams of specific collagen supplements improved bone density in the spine (3%) and femur (7%) (7).

Oral collagen peptides (15 grams) also help build muscles when combined with resistance training. They increase muscle mass and improve muscle strength (8).

Thus, taking collagen supplements can help in maintaining your overall health in many ways. This is why taking supplements may become necessary after a certain age.

Can Anyone Consume Collagen For Skin?

So far, none of the studies have indicated the side effects of taking collagen supplements. However, there has been no conclusive evidence from all these studies that states with conviction that collagen drinks do give excellent benefits to the consumers.

Anyone who wants to improve their skin elasticity and keep their joints lubricated can consume collagen supplements. However, we strictly recommend consulting a doctor as there are different types of collagen supplements with specific benefits.

Also, if you are lactating or pregnant, avoid collagen drinks and supplements as there is not enough evidence to support their safety.

Although collagen drinks are safe to consume, you may feel dubious about consuming them. You can go the holistic way in such cases and ensure to prevent collagen depletion and maintaining healthy skin and body.

How To Increase And Maintain Collagen In The Body And Skin

1. Consume Collagen-Rich Foods

You can take the dietary approach to boost collagen levels in your body. Consume foods like bone broth, chicken, fish and shellfish, and eggs to promote collagen development. If you do not prefer an animal-based diet, consume foods like garlic, citrus fruits, berries, cashew, beans, bell peppers, lentils, tomatoes, and tropical fruits like guava, mango, kiwi, pineapple.

2. Use Sun Protection

UV rays can impact collagen production in the skin and cause photodamage. Hence, wear sunscreen with high SPF to protect your skin against sunburns and cancer.

3. Topical Creams And Serums

Topical creams that contain antioxidants and humectants can help the skin retain elasticity and collagen. Serums containing vitamin C also help boost collagen and antioxidants in the skin. You can also use skin care products with collagen, peptides, and retinol to reduce oxidative stress, fine lines, and wrinkles and stimulate collagen production.

4. Cosmetic Procedures

Cosmetic procedures like intense pulse light (IPL), fraxel lasers, and microneedling can smoothen the skin and encourage collagen production to maintain a youthful appearance.

5. Lifestyle

Besides good food, skin care, and cosmetic procedures, you also need to ensure that you follow a healthy lifestyle to maintain overall fitness levels. Avoid smoking, have a good sleeping schedule, stay stress-free, and follow a fitness regimen. Unless you are healthy, no supplements can boost collagen production in your body.

Collagen supplements promote collagen production in the body, which helps maintain the joints and skin health. You may consult a doctor and try collagen drinks for the skin. However, remember that supplements will not help unless you maintain a proper skin care routine, diet, and lifestyle. This helps to maintain the collagen levels in your body and ensures that you can reap the maximum benefits of the supplement. So, ensure you consume a balanced diet, drink plenty of water, and lead a stress-free lifestyle. This will help you lead a healthy life and keep your skin youthful and glowing.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I drink collagen?

The best time to consume collagen depends on why you’re taking it. Some people swear to take collagen first thing in the morning while their stomach is empty to enhance absorption. Others recommend taking it at night, so the body has enough time to metabolize the collagen.

How long does collagen take to work?

Collagen turnover is a time-consuming procedure. As a result, regardless of your collagen goals, it will take at least 8 weeks to see apparent benefits (1).

How much collagen should a female take?

Health officials have issued no formal guidelines on how much collagen to take each day. As a result, the amount of collagen you should take is determined by the type of collagen you use and why you use it.

Key Takeaways

  • Collagen levels in the skin start to reduce with age. As a result, the skin becomes saggy, and wrinkles and fine lines show up.
  • Experts believe that collagen drinks may promote natural collagen production by stimulating fibroblasts.
  • In a recent study, drinking fish collagen was shown to have anti-aging effects by reducing oxidative stress and boosting cell function.
  • However, not all collagen supplements available on the market work equally. Hence, seek the advice of your doctor before trying any of them.

Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. A Collagen Supplement Improves Skin Hydration, Elasticity, Roughness, and Density: Results of a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Blind Study
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6835901/
  2. Oral Collagen Drink for Antiaging: Antioxidation Facilitation of the Increase of Collagen Synthesis, and Improvement of Protein Folding and DNA Repair in Human Skin Fibroblasts
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7238338/
  3. Oral Collagen Supplementation: A Systematic Review of Dermatological Applications
    https://jddonline.com/articles/oral-collagen-supplementation-a-systematic-review-of-dermatological-applications-S1545961619P0009X/
  4. Daily consumption of the collagen supplement Pure Gold Collagen® reduces visible signs of aging
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4206255/
  5. Collagen Supplements for Aging and Wrinkles: A Paradigm Shift in the Fields of Dermatology and Cosmetics
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8824545/
  6. Effects of Native Type II Collagen Treatment on Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Controlled Trial
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27551171/
  7. Specific Collagen Peptides Improve Bone Mineral Density and Bone Markers in Postmenopausal Women-A Randomized Controlled Study
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29337906/
  8. Collagen peptide supplementation in combination with resistance training improves body composition and increases muscle strength in elderly sarcopenic men: a randomised controlled trial
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26353786/
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author
Ramona is an editor at StyleCraze. Prior to that, she authored over 200 articles on skin and hair care. She... more

Dr. Surbhi Mahajan

(MBBS, MD (Dermatology))
Dr. Surbhi is a dermatologist by profession and a skincare blogger and counselor by passion. After a few months into... more

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