Sagging and Crepey Skin: Why Collagen Supplements Can Help
We uncover why collagen peptides and supplements can help sagging skin.
Don’t feel guilty if you are bothered by the sight of your skin slowly sagging, on your face and sometimes on your body.
There are different grades of sagging, from very light and slight on the face, to sagging tummy, thighs and sometimes even worse, loose skin and crepey skin.
The bad news is, this condition only gets worse if you don’t pay attention to the signs your skin and body are trying to tell you.
Are there solutions? And what can you do?
The Truth About Sagging Skin
Our skin is our body’s largest organ, acting as a shield protecting us from the elements, environmental irritants, UV rays, and more.
Because our skin is our body’s first line of defense against external damage, it’s no surprise to see signs of wear and tear on our skin as we age.
One of the common telltale signs of aging skin, besides the appearance of fine lines, is the loss of skin elasticity, or the skin’s ability to stretch and recover, returning to its normal state.
Over time, this gradual loss in skin elasticity results in skin sagging, and somethings formation of crepey skin.
What Causes Sagging Skin
There are many reasons why you wake up one day and suddenly find your skin sagging. Top 3 contributors are:
- Loss of weight
- Lack of quality sleep, poor diet and free radical damage
Worse yet, this sagging skin can turn into crepey skin on different parts of your body as time passes. Yikes!
What these contributors have in common is that over time they destroy the fundamental integrity of your skin – namely, collagen and elastin, resulting in the skin losing firmness, elasticity and eventually, you find your skin sagging.
Collagen’s role for skin health and integrity
You’ve probably noticed that babies and young children have luminous, firm, rosy skin, but have you ever wondered why?
The answer is collagen, elastin and healthy skin fat.
Collagen is an essential structural protein found in the skin and throughout the body, and babies are born with an abundance of it in their skin.
The most plentiful protein in the body, collagen is responsible for holding individual cells together, as well as for providing support and strength within the skin via long fibrils of collagen molecules.
The dermis is composed of over 70% collagen, and 80% of the collagen in the skin is Type I, the most abundant collagen in our body. What remains in the dermis includes elastin, hyaluronic acid, and fibroblasts (specialized cells that are the collagen production factories).
The wealth of collagen found in younger skin allows it to remain plump and elastic.
What happens to our skin as we age
While we’re born with high quantities of collagen, over time, age, environmental factors and diet cause our body’s natural collagen production to slow, and cell structures begin to weaken.
Around age 30, our body stops producing collagen — the building blocks for our skin responsible for its strength and structural integrity — and our skin’s natural process of cell regeneration is less frequent. Worse set, every year after age 30, the collagen levels in our body begin to drop by about 1-2% a year.
During the aging process, the underlying structure of our skin starts to break down.
In addition, sun damage, poor nutrition, and smoking all contribute to weakened collagen in the skin. The effects of naturally declining collagen levels and harmful environmental factors, like UV rays or smog, ultimately result in loss of elasticity, fine lines and thinner, rougher skin that is overall more susceptible to damage.
Since your skin’s strength and firmness depend on collagen, the lower your collagen levels, the more vulnerable your skin becomes to wrinkles, potential damage, and sagging.
Gradual loss in collagen or broken and damaged collagen fibers and elastin leads to loss in skin elasticity, resulting in sagging skin.
Can Sagging Skin Be Restored?
1. Sagging Skin Due to Aging and Loss of Collagen and Elastin
There are two types of collagen that primarily contribute to the structural integrity of your skin. Type I & Type III collagen make up approximately 80% of the dermis, which is the deepest layer of the skin.
Primarily produced by fibroblasts, collagen forms a dense network of supportive fibers throughout the dermis. With another structural protein called elastin, collagen forms the extracellular matrix that gives skin its elasticity, firmness, and structure.
When we lose collagen as we age, the skin starts to sag with the breakdown of collagen, elastin, and fat. Aging fibroblasts tend to synthesize lower levels of collagen, and an older dermis exhibits lower collagen and elastin production.
Smoking and UV damage can also change components of the dermis and affect collagen synthesis. As a result, the skin becomes thinner and less springy, which is how we end up with sagging skin.
The best solution?
Replenish your body’s lost collagen, elastin and support your skin’s natural production of structural proteins to improve the skin integrity and appearance of sagging skin.
2. Sagging Skin Due To Weight Loss
Sudden weight loss is one of the main contributors to sagging skin.
The fat we hate so much that acts as a cushion pushing our skin and stretching it to look tighter, shrinks when we lose weight, resulting in the extra loose skin or sagging skin on our face, tummy and thighs.
One of the most effective solutions to tightening loose skin, besides supplementing with collagen peptides, is to exercise regularly, and for very serious conditions, a ‘tummy tuck’. For sagging underarms, read how to get rid of sagging underarms.
Topical Collagen Skin Care Products: Do They Work?
There are many collagen-based products on the market today that promise to make your skin look younger by stimulating collagen production. However, the benefits of topical products to achieve long term results are questionable.
Many people believe that they can tighten sagging skin with a topical collagen cream or serum, but the reality is that the collagen molecules from cream are far too large to actually penetrate the dermis of our skin.
Instead they sit on top of the outer epidermis layer, which can deliver temporary cosmetic results, but does not solve the root cause of the problem.
The only proven way to boost collagen production and help keep your skin firm is to take a collagen peptide supplement designed for skin and stimulate collagen production from within.
Can Collagen Supplements Help with Sagging Skin?
To replenish collagen in your body and produce noticeable effects on the skin, you need to take collagen supplements that contain Type 1 collagen peptides with a high enough concentration to do the job.
Why are collagen peptides effective?
Collagen is often referred to as a ‘super molecule’ because of its size, and in it’s native state, it is too large for to be absorbed by our body when ingested. Collagen peptides are already broken down into small collagen chains through a process known as hydrolysis. What this means is, when you take in collagen peptides, tiny collagen peptides can enter into your blood stream and distribute to the dermis of the skin faster and more efficiently.
Clinical studies show that consuming a daily dose of highly concentrated hydrolyzed marine collagen can increase the look of your skin’s elasticity, density, and hydration, while decreasing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Replenishing your body’s collagen and promoting the health of your natural collagen levels can help your sagging skin.
Additional Benefits of Ingesting Hydrolyzed Collagen Supplements For Skin
Hydrolyzed collagen supplement benefits can affect the way your entire body feels, for the better. Unlike topical treatments that only work on the area that you apply the treatment, taking good quality hydrolyzed collagen supplements helps sagging skin on the face and entire body.
With regular use, skin becomes thicker and firmer, and also looks younger, smoother, more supple and radiant.
Additionally, ingesting collagen has other benefits, like improved joint pain and function, quicker healing, and stronger hair and nails.
Studies have shown that collagen peptides can be efficiently absorbed and distributed to the dermis where they stimulate the proliferation of fibroblasts and increase the density and diameter of collagen fibers.