Weatherproof Your Skin with Collagen

A woman in the desert heat, with beautiful youthful skin

Collagen is a key component of the skin’s structure, responsible for keeping it firm and elastic. As we age, our bodies begin to slow the production of collagen, resulting in fine lines and wrinkles, and decreased moisture.

Eating a healthy diet, staying hydrated, and exercising regularly can help slow the process of collagen loss and dryness. Read on to learn how collagen supplements can play a part in maintaining healthy, youthful skin.

How Collagen Can Help Protect Skin

  • Counteract Dryness with Collagen

    Research indicates that collagen supplements can help counteract the natural signs of aging. A group of healthy women with visible signs of aging were given a daily collagen supplement for 12 weeks.

    At the end of the study, their skin had improved dramatically, with fewer visible lines and wrinkles, and a significant decrease in dryness and scaling.

    Researchers concluded that collagen supplements helped to increase collagen production.

  • Battle Fine Lines and Wrinkles

    To reduce skin wrinkles, Alexis Parcells, MD, recommends 2.5 daily grams of hydrolyzed collagen type I or a mixture of types I and II for demonstrated benefits after eight to 12 weeks.

    In a large, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, women who took a daily dose of 2.5 grams of hydrolyzed collagen experienced a 20 percent reduction in crow’s feet after eight weeks.

    Another outcome of the supplementation was that the women’s own production of procollagen—the precursor to collagen—increased by 65 percent.

  • Collagen Boosts Nail Growth

    A recent study revealed that daily oral supplementation with collagen peptides improved symptoms of brittle nail syndrome (nails that are rough, ragged, and peeling).

    Participants saw their nail growth rate boosted by 12 percent, and a 42 percent decrease in the frequency of broken nails after supplementation.

    A whopping 88 percent continued to see improvements four weeks after the end of the treatment period.

  • Collagen Can Improve Elasticity

    A 2017 pilot study determined that oral intake of a collagen supplement derived from eggshells can improve skin elasticity by 12 percent after five weeks of supplementation.

    All study participants reported satisfaction with facial skin softness—and a majority were satisfied with facial skin hydration, body skin hydration, and effects on hair—at the end of 50 days of treatment.

  • Peptides: Skin Deep

    Several studies have shown that oral supplementation with collagen boosts collagen peptide levels in the blood, and now a new study confirms that those peptides show up in the skin, as well.

    Using a mouse model, researchers were able to observe collagen peptides in blood plasma and skin and determined that, “. . . functional peptides can be transferred to the skin by dietary supplements of collagen.”

Click to See Our Sources

“Beneficial effects of oral supplementation with Ovoderm on human skin . . .” by A. Aguirre et al., Journal of Dietary Supplements, 11/2/17

“Oral supplementation with specific bioactive collagen peptides improves nail growth and reduces symptoms of brittle nails” by D. Hexsel et al., Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 8/8/17

“Oral ingestion of collagen hydrolysate leads to the transportation of highly concentrated Gly-Pro-Hyp and its hydrolyzed form of Pro-Hyp into the bloodstream and skin” by M. Yazaki et al., J Agric Food Chem, 3/22/17

“Oral Intake of specific bioactive collagen peptides reduces skin wrinkles . . .” by E. Proksch et al., 12/24/13; “Oral supplementation of specific collagen peptides has beneficial effects on human skin . . .” by E. Proksch et al., 8/14/13, Skin Pharmacol Physiol


Victoria Dolby Toews, MPH

Victoria Dolby Toews, MPH, is an evidence-based, integrative medicine journalist with more than 20 years of research and writing expertise, She received her Master of Public Health from OHSU-PSU School of Public Health.

She is the author or co-author of numerous books, including Life After Baby (2012), The Green Tea Book, 2nd edition (Penguin, 2008). User’s Guide to Healthy Digestion (Basic Health Publications, 2004), The Soy Sensation (McGraw-Hill, 2002), User’s Guide to Glucosamine and Chondroitin (Basic Health Publications, 2002), The Common Cold Cure (Avery, 1999), and The Green Tea Book (Avery, 1998).

Her work was recognized for excellence as a 2001 finalist for the Maggie Awards (Western Publications Association award honoring editorial excellence in magazines west of the Mississippi River).