The fashionable beauty fix of the stars has long been thought of as a surgical cosmetic treatment, but now you can get collagen in various pills and supplements on the high street. The question is: are they any good?

What Is Collagen?

Collagen is a protein that provides our skin with elasticity and strength. It’s also found in blood vessels, joints, tendons, bones and the digestive system, gluing our body together and keeping skin plump while helping to reduce stretch marks and cellulite. As we age, collagen production diminishes, and as a result we notice aches and pains from reduced cartilage, as well as wrinkles.

The protein collagen is made from amino acids, which are initially promoted by the proteins we eat. Our skin is 75% collagen, but we lose this at a rate of 1.5% each year after our teens.

The nutricosmetic market is profiting as a result of increased awareness of the importance of collagen and our desire to look young and healthy for longer. It can be argued that beauty starts from within, and yet there are no robust findings to prove the effectiveness of collagen supplements in turning back the years. A trial of the Pure Gold Collagen supplement in 2014 found that a mere 15% of participants reported a reduction in wrinkles over two months. The jury’s out as to whether ingesting collagen is actually beneficial in reducing wrinkles. It’s more than likely that a range of other factors, such as diet and environment, play a large role in the appearance of skin.

What Are the Alternatives?

Firstly, ensure skin stays hydrated with a gentle but nourishing moisturizer. The TV beauty Caprice Bourret uses the Eucerin Aquaphor Soothing Skin Balm when she’s make-up free, which can be found at .

Dietary changes are a simple and natural way to boost collagen and reduce skin damage. Look to increase your vitamin C, vitamin E and co-enzyme Q, which can be found in mackerel. Seek out protein-rich foods like chicken, eggs, yoghurt and nuts. Cut down on processed foods and stress and consider kicking the habit if you smoke. Opt for an SPF moisturiser in your skincare routine, as ultraviolet rays can increase the speed of collagen breakdown. It’s also worth checking for any autoimmune disorder, as this can contribute to collagen breakdown.

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