What is Collagen?
Collagen is a naturally occurring protein, which helps support skin elasticity, joint and muscle health. Our body naturally produces collagen throughout time and that’s what helps us look young and fresh. But as we get older, the production of certain cells and proteins decreases. Less collagen production makes our skin less plump and also makes fine lines and wrinkles more visible. That change starts happening around the age of 25. It’s also worth mentioning that several lifestyle choices, such as smoking and high levels of UV exposure, can speed up the decline of our body’s natural collagen production rate.
The body produces four types of collagen, which have an effect on different areas of the body:
Type 1 is the main type that the body produces, it’s the one that helps maintain the appearance of our skin. For this reason, most collagen supplements or skincare products use Type 1 collagen.
Type 2 helps maintain the elastin in our body, another protein that gives shape and firmness to the skin and ensures the health of our cartilage and joints. Collagen keeps our muscles and joints healthy and strong, that’s why the older we get, the longer it takes for our bodies to recover from a workout or any physical effort. Therefore, Type 2 collagen is often found in post-workout supplements.
Type 3 is the second most common type of collagen our body produces. It helps to calm inflammation around muscles and surrounds our body’s most important organs like our lungs and blood vessels. Therefore, this type of collagen is vital for keeping our bodies strong and well-functioning.
Type 4 collagen maintains the deeper layers of our skin. When we have a cut or a blemish, the scarring triggers a slower production of collagen. This is why as we get older, scars tend to stay on our skin longer as the cell turnover is not as quick as it used to be.