Wintertime can be a beautiful time of year. However, it can also be a season that wreaks havoc on a mom's skin, leaving it dull, dry and itchy.
This year, you can give yourself the gift of healthy winter skin. One product, in particular, can improve your skin's health, appearance, and structure from the inside out: collagen.
But not all collagens equal. In fact, there are more than 30 different types of collagen that can be put in a supplement.
Here's why moms' skin needs collagen in the winter, which type to choose, and the science-backed evidence that makes it this year's best gift for your skin.
Why Winter is Tough on Skin
It's not just your imagination; winter really is harder on your skin. Here's why:
- Hot drinks can dry out skin. If you turn to caffeinated coffee or tea more in the winter, you may experience drier skin due to their subtle diuresis effects.
- Winter's cold air and low humidity dry out skin. Winter air can be intensely drying to skin, nails, and hair. It can significantly affect the amount of moisture they retain.
- Indoor heat also dries out skin. When it's cold outside, you may head indoors. Heaters, indoor fires, forced air, and other heat sources all reduce the humidity in the air and in our tissues.
- Warming up in a hot shower can dry out skin. Believe it or not, hot water dries the skin out more than lukewarm water.
- Winter and spring winds. Winds are strongest during winter and spring. Wind dries out skin.
Can collagen actually help improve winter skin against all these challenges?
1. Collagen Changes Skins' Structure from the Inside Out
A recent 2017 study was conducted to see if collagen supplementation actually changed the collagen content in the skin itself.
It did! In fact, collagen consumption for 6 months increased the collagen in the skin and improved its structure. What's more, scientists have also found that collagen supplementation improves the color and luster of hair (or fur) in mice studies (1).
2. When Winter Dries Skin, Collagen can Actually Increase Skin Water Retention
In addition to the increase in collagen content of the skin, these same researchers found that skin elasticity improved. Incredibly, the moisture content was significantly improved with less transepidermal water loss.
Another study of 20 Japanese women found that 10 grams of daily Hydrolyzed Collagen improved water absorption of skin (2).
Great news for moms!
3. Skin Elasticity, Collagen, and Healthy Winter Skin
One of the reasons winter skin feels itchy is that it is drier and loses elasticity of the skin. In fact, a 2014 study of 46 women, ages 35-55, studied the elasticity of skin and collagen supplementation.
After 8 weeks of collagen powder supplementation, the researchers found that skin elasticity improved significantly within just 4 weeks (3).
Not only does improved elasticity improve how skin feels, it also improves its ability to rebound, reduces sagging, and make it more youthful in appearance.
4. Collagen vs. Wrinkles
In another 2014 study, researchers found that daily collagen supplementation reduced wrinkles after just 8 weeks of use (4).
Of course, this is fantastic news! But there's more. Another study found that collagen supplementation improved skin moisture produced younger-looking skin, and reduced the appearance of fragmentation in the skin (5).
5. More Antioxidant Activity in Skin Means Healthy Winter Skin
Especially during winter, our skin is under attack from oxidative stress (from our own bodily reactions, the environments, foods, UV rays, etc.).
Collagen improves skin health and increases the antioxidants in the skin to fight aging free radicals (6).
6. Collagen Improves Digestion to Improve Skin
Digestion is vital to every other organ in the body, including skin. When we digest and absorb nutrients better, more nutrients are delivered to the skin. Fortunately, collagen improves the health of the digestive tract.
Type II Collagen is a vital part of the gut lining, and it improves the barrier of the gut to the rest of the body. This actually improves both digestion and immune function.
7. Collagen Improves Heart Health to Improve Skin
Once nutrients are digested and absorbed, they depend on the circulatory system to get to all organs, including the skin.
Fortunately, collagen also improves heart health. In fact, it helps form artery walls in the human body.
8. Collagen Improves Wound Healing for Healthy Winter Skin
If you want your skin to be healthy, it must be able to heal. As moms, we are constantly bombarded with scrapes, burns, and skin injuries from our everyday tasks.
Collagen can help your skin heal better.
In fact, a 2009 lab study showed quicker wound closure, better tissue regeneration, and better skin structure with collagen supplementation (7).
Which Collagen Should You Buy?
The best collagen supplements have these 3 attributes:
It's hydrolyzed. Hydrolyzed collagen is absorbed and distributed throughout the body more efficiently than native collagen. It provides building blocks for skin fibers, and stimulates the growth of new collagen (8).
It's a powder. It's simply too tough to get a full 8-12 grams of collagen per day through pills, gummies, capsules, and other preparations. Powders make it much easier; usually just 1-2 scoops. Why is this important? Most human studies show benefits with 8-12 grams collagen per day, not the measly 1-2 grams found in many supplements.
It contains 3 types of collagen: Type I, Type II, and Type III. If you want all the benefits listed above, you need all 3 types.
In the winter, your skin needs all the help it can get. And, most busy moms don't have time for weekly facials and treatments. By making just 8-12 grams of collagen per day part of your routine, you can vastly improve your skin plus boost immune, cardiovascular, and digestive health. Healthy winter skin is only one scoop away!
Written by Kyle Colbert for The Healthy Moms Magazine and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.