Do collagen drinks work and do they help?
Before we begin, let us determine what collagen actually is. Collagen is a protein in your skin that keeps its structure and elasticity together. It makes up some 75% of your skin, though by the time we reach our twenties, we start losing collagen every year; small (but growing) amounts each year, indeed, but none the less. Sun exposure and environmental hazards can also break down collagen. Our bodies will replace collagen, but fibroblasts, which are the collagen producing element in the body, become less efficient with age.
Drinking collagen, to replace the lost amounts, could be doing a good job, but for the wrong reason. The collagen drink is broken down as it passes through the digestive system, leaving only small amounts of collagen to get to the skin. However, the body may be tricked tricked into thinking that these fragments indicate collagen breakdown, as would happen, say, with a big tissue injury and repair, the body thinks, is required.
The action of the body, then, stimulates fibroblasts to produce more collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid which are the compounds that give skin its youthful appearance. Collagen drinks or simply drinking collagen rich soups like home-made bone broth, may actually work by persuading the body to synthesise new collagen.
Taking vitamin C can help, if you prefer, as can Retinol inclusive skin care. Be aware, though, that If there are skin problems due to a nutritional deficiency (that is, a rubbish diet), taking a collagen drink will not make your skin more youthful or appear different. Always remember that the best drink for the skin is actually water; making sure one is always hydrated properly and especially when we enter the summer season. If you are not getting enough protein in your diet, milk is an excellent source. Another good way to keep healthy skin, is sunscreen and moisturiser, used daily as well as trying to avoid smoking and junk food.
Please be aware, though, that, as far as I can tell, collagen in skincare and drinks comes from animals, mainly fish. There are no vegetable or synthetic sources of collagen, to my knowledge, so if you only use vegan skincare products, collagen drinks are not on the agenda.