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Do Collagen Supplements Work for Wrinkles and Younger Skin? | Lab Muffin Beauty Science


Hi I’m Michelle from Lab Muffin Beauty
Science! Today we’re going to be talking about collagen supplements. If you’re into
beauty and skin care you may have seen collagen supplements around. And
you’ll have seen claims like how taking collagen will smooth wrinkles, boost
firmness and make your skin more elastic. But do they really work? Since I have a
PhD in medicinal chemistry I needed to check out the evidence for myself. Here’s
what I found. Collagen is a protein which means it’s
long chain of amino acids chemically joined together.
Collagen is an incredibly important protein that’s part of what’s called the
extracellular matrix. This holds the cells in your body together. It’s also
found in bones, tendons and tissue. In your skin, collagen lives in the lower
layer called the dermis. It’s important for giving your skin structure and
elasticity, which translates to bouncy skin. As you get older your body produces
less collagen. It’s estimated that skin collagen drops by about 1% per year.
There’s also a change in the types of collagen in your skin so you end up with
thin wrinkly skin that’s more prone to damage. Damage from the environment can
also destroy collagen. Sun exposure and smoking are especially harmful.
That’s why sun-damaged skin looks older and sunscreen is so important. So logically eating collagen could
give your body the building blocks to make more collagen. Unfortunately you
have very little control over what your body does with the things you eat. Eating
plants doesn’t mean we end up green and able to photosynthesize and make food
from sunshine. Eating a mirrorball won’t make you glittery no matter how much you
want to shine. Like I mentioned,
collagen is a protein made up of lots of amino acids joined together. In your
stomach and small intestine you have enzymes that will break up proteins like
collagen into smaller fragments so you can absorb them into your body. So most
of the time when you eat a protein it will get broken up and your body won’t
be able to tell which protein you’ve eaten. But collagen has a special amino
acid in it: hydroxyproline. In humans hydroxyproline is only found in collagen.
So when you eat collagen you’ll end up with hydroxyproline in your blood, so
your body can tell you’ve eaten collagen. But does this do anything? There have been a bunch of studies where
collagen supplements improve skin in mice and rats and even pigs. It’s also
been found that after eating a collagen supplement human volunteers have
fragments of broken-down collagen called prolyl-hydroxyproline in their blood. In
vitro, prolyl-hydroxyproline fragments were found to make human skin cells grow
faster and produce more hyaluronic acid, another component of the dermis.
Hyaluronic acid keeps the water content in your skin high which is also
important for bouncy unwrinkled skin. But the study doesn’t tell us anything about
whether the fragments get from the blood to the skin in high enough
concentrations to actually do anything, which is sort of absolutely crucial to
whether or not collagen supplements work. So does it work in actual people?
Here’s what the clinical trials have found so far. In one study by a
supplement company volunteers took 5 grams of hydrolyzed collagen made from
fish cartilage every day along with other vitamins and minerals. After 60
days, dryness, wrinkles and the depth of the nasolabial fold
(that’s the groove between your nose and cheek) improved, and after 12 weeks
collagen density and skin firmness also improved. But most parts of the trial
didn’t use a placebo control so it isn’t as reliable, and of course there’s the
bias issue. In another study volunteers took either a daily supplement
containing 2.5 grams of collagen peptide or a placebo for eight
weeks. There were improvements in eye wrinkles as well as procollagen and
elastin content of the dermis. The trial was run independently by a university.
The same supplement also improved skin elasticity four weeks after the
volunteers stopped taking the supplement. 10 grams of a daily collagen peptide
supplement was found to improve skin hydration after eight weeks, and
increased density and decreased fragmentation of collagen in the dermis
after four weeks, according to placebo controlled trials run by the manufacturer. So right now you’re probably thinking
that we should all immediately run out and eat all of the collagen supplements.
But before you spend all your money I have to burst your bubble a little bit
with some inconvenient facts. One of the big issues with supplement studies is
that they often use supplements that contain ingredients other than collagen
as well, so you can’t say for sure that it’s collagen having the effect and not
the other ingredients. For the non placebo controlled trials it could also
be something else entirely causing the change. For collagen it’s particularly
tricky because there are at least 28 types of collagen. Collagen is also made
up of thousands of amino acids. Most studies use collagen that’s been
hydrolyzed or broken up, but as you can imagine with a chain that’s thousands of
amino acids long, you can break it up into different lengths. So a supplement
with collagen that’s a thousand amino acids long might not have the same
effect as one that uses fragments that are 100 amino acids long or 50 amino
acids long or 10 amino acids long. So even if a study finds a beneficial
effect with one collagen supplement it doesn’t mean that a different collagen
supplement will also work. If that’s not enough another issue is that a lot of
these studies are done by companies who sell the supplements so there’s an
obvious conflict of interest. It’s unlikely that they’ll publish data that
show that there isn’t any effect, and it’s likely that they have massaged the
results to look as good as possible. Here’s the verdict: collagen supplements
are pretty promising and could potentially work, but the evidence is far
from solid. Only a few collagen supplements have gotten good results in
studies and collagen supplements can be very different. And most of these studies
were run by the companies that sell the collagen supplements, so they’re likely
to be biased. The results also don’t really find that collagen supplements
actually increase collagen and not just improve your skin through other methods
like increasing hyaluronic acid, or just indirectly changing your diet.
For example if you drink more collagen based supplements maybe it makes you eat
less sugar because you’re full from the water, and it’s actually the lower sugar
that improves your skin. If you have the budget there isn’t much harm in trying
collagen supplements as long as you don’t have an allergy, but if you want
the best bang for your buck I’d recommend trying more proven ways of
protecting and increasing your collagen first. Preventing collagen from being destroyed
in the first place is much easier and more effective than trying to repair
your skin later, so make sure you wear a high UVA protection sunscreen daily. One
study found that collagen gets damaged with about one-tenth of the UV that
causes a sunburn, so not burning doesn’t mean your skin
isn’t being damaged. Vitamin C is also great as an antioxidant for soaking up
free radicals that cause sun damage and it can also increase collagen as well.
Vitamin A derivatives known as retinoids are the gold standard for increasing
collagen in your skin, particularly tretinoin. Glycolic acid has been found
to increase collagen in some studies as well. If you want to get more hardcore,
chemical peels can increase collagen. So can laser and IPL light treatments. If
you want to go super basic you should make sure that your skin is adequately
hydrated. Dehydrated skin is a really common cause of tired looking skin and
it’s very easy to fix. Look for serums and moisturizers with humectant
ingredients that help your skin hold onto water, like glycerin and hyaluronic
acid to plump up skin and hide wrinkles. That’s all from me about collagen
supplements. I’m sure there’ll be more research soon on collagen that tells
us more about whether or not it actually works. If you like my video I’d love it
if you could subscribe to my channel! You can also follow me on Instagram and
Facebook for more beauty-based science tips (oops) You can also check out my blog for tons
and tons of beauty science. See you next time!

100 thoughts on “Do Collagen Supplements Work for Wrinkles and Younger Skin? | Lab Muffin Beauty Science

  1. Hi, interesting video, but I think something is missing. Where does collagen complements come from ? I’ve seen a lot of video speaking about that, but no one explains what was tho origin of collagen. I’ve made some searching and what I found is that there are two types of collagen, a vegetable and an animal one. The second one comes from animal’s shell or bones, and it seems that most of the collagen complements or beauty cream are made with animal collagen, even if it’s rarely written in the ingredients list. That’s what I found after searching, and I think it’s an important subject that you should have include in this video. 😉

  2. Loved this video! I was looking for some of this information a few months ago when my mom saw an ad for collagen supplements on a magazine. Being a chemistry and pharmacology student it sounded weird to me to get a whole protein into the skin via oral administration and I am very glad that there is someone making informational videos about these products! I subscribed immediately 🙂

  3. My face skin was always dry, but now last winter it got extremly bad. So I thought whatever, my right shoulder is cracking since forever anyway aswell so why not just give it a try.
    I took powder now on average every 2nd day for 1 1/2 months and for me personally it slowly starts making a difference. I don't have "less wrinkles" or something, I even think they are exactly the same. BUT, my skin isn't dry anymore, AT ALL. It feels "normal", which for me is a huge improvement. Took over a full month tho to even start making ANY difference at all, the label says the changes start to be visible at around 3 months! of daily usage. (I thought like, ye good marketing trick, but some "doctor" on youtube was mentioning that the way your face looks, depends on what you ate and slept on average 3 months prior. So I'm very excited to see how this will turn out.

  4. Thumbs up though your research did not include individual testimony from everyday users. I can tell you I notice minor changes after just a few days. Incorporate turmeric with it and also 1/2 dose of creatine and primafily keto in my diet. Blessings follow clarity. ⚘🐴

  5. I've been taking collagen supplements for almost a month now and they've helped make my lips plumper, my nails stronger, and my hair grow faster. Can't comment on wrinkles/skin since I'm only 19.

  6. Actually they did work for me. I was a HUGE skeptic and didnt expect anything out of them, but wow, Ill be damned they DID GREATLY improve how my skin looked. Not only did my face look better, but they really helped generally with my dry winter skin.

    Im a believer now .

  7. I am extra-concerned about the intake of collagen now, since I am pregnant . Could you talk a little bit about what is proven to work in pregnancy and stretch marks?

  8. Thank you for your honest critique. I'm 69 years old. I've taken a collagen supplement (11g of type 1&3 daily) for the last 2 years and I've found little improvement.

  9. It does work. I'm 54 and my skin is great, have been taking it for years, building it up. I get complements all the time and i have no fake botox etc. I use bovine collagen, 6000mg capsules. Take 4 a day. Started out with 1 years back and smaller dose. Has to be taken on empty stomach.

  10. For me, a 40 year old female collagen peptides really made a difference. My nails grew stronger, hair grew faster, my gut health improved and definitely there’s more elasticity in my skin. I don’t know what the science says, but my experience says it DOES work.

  11. There’s heaps of different collagen – I tried 3 and only one works. Don’t try those collagen lollies but try one with highly concentrated collagen – the one from Laneige made my skin plumper and absorbed skincare better after 2 weeks 🙂

  12. Thank you for keeping it real over here! So sick and tired of people who know nothing about skincare convincing people to do all this stupid crap…

  13. And remember, if you have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome taking extra collagen will have absolutely no effect. We do produce enough collagen, it’s just faulty. (I’m so sick of people asking if I’ve tried collagen supplements.)

  14. Out of topic here but I'll still try to ask.

    When you take pills for hair growth, will it also affect the underarm and pubic hair? I mean yeah I want thicker hair on my head but not the other two😂. What about the lady-stache and hair on arms and legs?

    I'm currently trying castor oil on my hair but It's a bit hard to remove the oily sticky feel in the morning.

  15. I bring all of my skincare onto my hands each step also, and after I started using a topical collagen/amino acid/peptide product, I absolutely swear it changed my my previously dry peeling brittle nails into wonderfully strong healthy nails. An awesome unintended side effect! Now I'm super intrigued by collagen supplements and trying to make informed decision. Recently found this channel and loving!!!! Xx

  16. You work really hard on these videos and it shows. Very appreciated. If you have a patreon account, I would be happy to contribute. One question: in the end of your video, you discuss ways to improve collagen and you mention vitamin c. Are you referring to consumption of vitamin c containing foods and supplements or applying a topical vitamin c to the skin directly?

  17. Ok, here is my 5 cents. I am 50, I used spongilla peels monthly for past 5 years. It removes my upper skin layer completely. I use tretinoin 0,1 every day. My skin is in very good condition. But about 2 years ago it started thinning up. I added 10 to 20 grams of collagen to my diet and it significantly improved my skin elasticity. I do not use any nonsense creams, noticed in my twenties that they make my skin dry and lazy. I do use sunscreen, since I use tretinoin.
    P.S. I am a woman (born), in case someone is sceptical. Nowadays better to be clear. 😉

  18. Hello skin angel! So helpful,no s*t.Funny..all and all great videos! Do it more please..🤯😇..love love love…

  19. Would you eat or drink commercial sunscreen? Then do not put on your skin to be absorbed by your lymph glands, and dont take melitonin unless you want to produce less and less melitonin yourself.

  20. What about hyaluronic acid supplements? I've heard that other than being good for uyour joints, they can also make your skin look much better – I struggle with combination skin but anything that clears it dries it out and anything that helps with the dry patches makes it oily or congested again so I've been trying to find the golden solution. Anyway, about the hyaluronic acid supplements – do you think it could work or is it just wishful thinking?

  21. What if I take proline, lysine, vitamin C, and biotin in pure, powder form for at least 2 months. Do you think this would help in boosting any natural collagen production and helping my skin, hair, and nails? I ask because Bulksupplements on Amazon sells these, and I'm interested in investing in them.

  22. Thank you for this video I just discovered your channel from Paula's Hot&Flashy channel. I'm loving all the information you provide for us.

  23. Great video! There is one collagen which has been studied in several double blind well designed studies by independent scientists for arthritis, and that is Type II Undenatured uc Collagen. This type of collagen hasn't been heated so the collagen strand is intact and the protein chain is longer and unbroken. Here are some of the scientific abstracts.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2764342/

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4015808/

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12837047

    https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12937-016-0130-8

    This is a pdf file. I don't know if the link will work but here goes…

    file:///home/chronos/u-bde35214e7cb2cc0b64f75a4143af311ee83a1eb/Downloads/798-3461-2-PB%20(1).pdf

    Now, I can't speak to whether this collagen will help the skin. I take one pill every day and it does help the arthritis in my hands. It's not a cure, I still have some pain but it's less than it was before. I hope you see this post and add a comment. Love your scientific approach to skin care because the skincare industry is so full of myths and unproven claims.

  24. For the commenters , She did say they might work , But that there is not much research going on , and that I conclude it is also going to be different from one company to another .
    for example one company can sell you one that is easily broken in intestine while another will be protected from enzymes….. etc.
    usually dermatologist and science related skin lover , we dislike claims with no solid evidence like collagen and many many many beauty professionals

  25. I absolutely love your videos. I supplement with a marine collagen powder, not to treat wrinkles, but (because of a health problem) my skin cracks opens and bleeds in the winter, despite hydrating thoroughly. & including electrolytes. Anecdotal, and I’m not suggesting it increases the collagen in my skin, but it does improve the condition of my skin in a way in which it doesn’t get as severely dry. Now I know why 😊

  26. Hi Michelle, is topical use of ATP research based and is actually efficient for firming the skin or is it just lies?

  27. I think taking anti oxidant are more better as it prevent DNA from depleting so at least to save what we have then damage it. 😉 I think 😉 what do you nerd skin goddess lab muffin. You are the best!!

  28. Hi @labmuffin I’ve been told that ac collagen microvectors can penetrate the skin, so is worth having in a topical product. Is this possible? I’m struggling to find research online. Help?!?

  29. There are many 10,000 mg collagen liquid drinks here in the Philippines and some of them are imported from Japan, does using that amount of collagen good?

  30. It's been a rule of thumb since the beginnings of time that whatever part of animal you eat will benefit the same part in humans.

  31. You have to what your copper levels because it as copper in it. I was taking it everyday and my copper levels went very high

  32. Something that REALLY increases collagen production:correctly done Microneedling and 100% sun protection for your face and neck.Always.

  33. In the first 6 months of taking collagen my nails and hair grow (visible) dramatically. Now one year later it stopped working hmm..🤷‍♀️ strange maybe i need to stop taking it for a while. ?😏?

  34. Yawn. We really don’t need you and your chemistry background to tell us what makes a difference to our own skin. We can tell by what we use ourselves and if something affects our skin, without your “scientific” evidence.

  35. Been taking Dr Axe Collagen for two years. Hair thick and beautiful, nails long, strong and healthy. I'm 72…..friends say I look 15 years younger. My skin on my face, neck and hands has greatly improved. Buy quality collagen. Check out Dr Axe website. I use the powder, unflavored, includes 5 kinds of collagen.

  36. I have recently just gotten into skin care, and I just want to say thank you!

    During my childhood there was always a stigma revolving around males involving themselves in things like this. Taking care of yourself was a sign of "weakness" and could lead to ostracization. As a social creature, we fear rejection. It is only now in my early 20's that I have worked past the brainwash of my previous social circles preventing me from taking care of my body.

    I had been watching a bunch of videos on skincare which were aesthetically pleasing but it constantly felt like they were just selling products as "influencers" and I was being misguided by fancy graphics and expensive cameras.

    Thank you for being a stellar human being! ♥️ You are empowering all of us to do what is truly right for ourselves.

  37. I have been taking collagen powder supplements for nearly a year. I will continue taking it because I see the difference in my hair and skin health. Skin looks plumper and softer. Good skin care and sun protection also helps to keep healthy youthful skin.

  38. You need vitamin D !!!! Stop telling people to put sun block on !!!!!!
    Low vitamin D is a epidemic . People need the sun —- dumb dumb gezzzzz

  39. Agreed with her , no need to have supplements. Just buy cosmetic and put on your face like her. That's looks prettier…

  40. "You have very little say with what your body does with what you eat"…….botox and collagen injections for me then……

  41. “So you are telling me there is a chance!” Lol Thank You for another great video. I have been taking collagen supplements for about 3 weeks, but I also take good care of my skin and drink my water :-). SPF is my best friend!

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