Collagen: composition, usefulness, where to find it and in what form?

Collagen: composition, usefulness, where to find it and in what form?


Published on

What exactly is collagen? What are its benefits ? If our body produces it naturally, can we boost its production through our diet, good hydration, or a course of food supplements? We take stock with dermatologist Martine Baspeyras.

Collagen: definition

Collagen is a structural protein present in various tissues of the body, particularly in the skin. “It is the essential constituent of the dermis and hypodermis (there is no collagen in the epidermis) with what is called elastic tissue”explains dermatologist Martine Baspeyras, President of the Aesthetic and Corrective Dermatology group (GDEC) of the French Society of Dermatology (SFD).

Collagen is found almost throughout the body, there are also, for example, in bones and joints. Dr. Baspeyras explains that there are different types of collagen, four in total. Including at the skin level. Depending on the thickness of the dermis, we note small variations in its composition. Type 1 collagen is the most common in the body (nearly 90% of total collagen) and is generally considered to be the skin’s best ally.

What is collagen used for? What are the benefits of collagen?

If there were no collagen (famous structural protein) within the dermis, the skin would be flabby and fall off. “It is a support tissue that helps structure and support the skin, joints and bones”indicates the dermatologist. “Collagen represents 90% of the dry weight of the skin, she specifies. Indeed, collagen is small fibers that come together to form clusters of increasingly thick fibers and this is what gives this dynamic tension to the skin. “When people suffer from collagen disease, these are rare diseases, the skin is of poor quality. It is sclerotic, breaks”she reports.

How is collagen made?

Collagen is produced by fundamental cells in the dermis called fibroblasts.. “The fibroblast is a very particular cell of the dermis which will produce everything that surrounds it, including what we call fibrillar collagen – the fibers, which will little by little braid themselves and come to support the entire skin. cells, fibroblasts also produce hyaluronic acid and elastic tissue which are around her.explains the dermatologist.

Why take collagen?

As we age, there is a natural alteration of collagen and skin tension. It will deteriorate, become more fibrous, more brittle. “This drop in collagen production begins in adulthood, from around twenty years old, informs Martine Baspeyras. Which explains that the skin is more flabby and distended in older people. “Less solid, she will put take longer to heal, be less firm and plumpshe describes.

In addition, collagen supplementation would help relieve joint and muscle pain which may be linked to age and physical activity. Finally, from an aesthetic point of view, collagen reduces the signs of aging (wrinkles) and helps fight against sagging skin.

How to limit this drop in collagen?

If the decline in collagen production is irremediable with age, we can still limit it. Here’s how :

Applying moisturizers to the skin

First of all, we start by maintaining our skin by hydrating it sufficiently. “Major hydration of the skin does not come from drinking water, but from external application”, underlines our expert. That’s to say by applying creams (anti-aging product type, simple moisturizing cream or coupled with hyaluronic acid) on the skin. A fibroblast, for it to work well and produce collagen, it must be in a good atmosphere.

So, “if we are injured, the cell will be able to fulfill its mission which consists of closing the wound”, explains Dr. Baspeyras. Conversely, if our collagen is not good, the wound will not be able to close. It is therefore fundamental to produce collagen in sufficient quantity and of good quality.

Skin massages

“The fibroblast has what are called mechanical surface receptors. However, massage, by mobilizing the tissues, revitalizes the fibroblast, reports the specialist. So don’t hesitate to massage your skin (body and face). These massages go hand in hand with hydration with cream.

A varied, balanced diet, rich in protein and vitamin C

The pitfall, according to the dermatologist: strict or yo-yo diets which weaken the elasticity of the epidermis. Likewise, people who eat little protein will lack it and produce less protein. The same goes for amino acids, largely provided by food. It is also important to eat varied, balanced and sufficientbecause in the synthesis of collagen, vitamin C is involved, which is a synthesis co-factor and which is found in foods.

Indeed, she explains, “to make collagen, you need enzymes to help vitamin C be synthesized”. Fact, “if we suffer from a deficit, a deficiency, in vitamin C, the skin will be damaged and fragile”she adds.


Cold would have positive effects on collagen production (toning effect on the skin and anti-wrinkle action). How ? By activating blood circulation, notably through cryotherapy sessions.

What foods are richest in collagen?

Where to find collagen in food? Here are the three main sources of collagen found in foods:

  • Animal proteins in particular (meat, eggs, fish);
  • Certain plant proteins. Legumes such as beans, chickpeas and lentils are rich in proline, lysine and vitamin C;
  • Fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C (collagen synthesis co-factor).

Food supplements: is it useful to take collagen?

Powdered collagen treatments, in the form of tablets or capsules, are very fashionable. “There have been studies carried out which prove that consuming collagen in the form of a food supplement has a real effect. We improve the quality of the skin by 10 to 15%. It’s not huge, but not bad.”note Martine Baspeyras.

These studies show that it helps slow down aging and improve skin quality. Among the other results observed during a collagen treatment in the form of a food supplement, positive effects have also been demonstrated on joints, brittle nails and hair quality.

Which collagen to take?

In terms of food supplements, what is most fashionable according to dermatologists are collagen peptides. “These are amino acids which will group together to form small chains – peptides – and give rise to larger collagen fibers”. They are mainly consumed in the form of capsules to be swallowed with a little water.

To choose among the many food supplements containing collagen, the dermatologist notes that “generally, those who seem to be well assimilated are the fish collagens. They are also called “marine collagen“. “Some collagens are also egg shell extracts and appear to be of good quality with real effectiveness, according to the studies that have been carried out”she adds.

Is it good to consume collagen every day?

In principle, a collagen treatment is carried out over a period of three months. It is possibly renewable on the indication of your doctor or pharmacist. According to the dermatologist’s findings, certain collagens seem to work better than others and offer more optimal results: “It is complexes coupled with vitamins, amino acids and hyaluronic acid.

Finally, she reassures, “There are, a priori, no contraindications to taking a collagen treatment. The only risk would perhaps be for our wallet.”

Ebike Conversion Kits

Ebike Conversion Kit

Ebike Conversion Kit