Everything you need to know about Collagen

Youthful, glowing skin; strong, shiny hair and thick nails. Every girl’s dream, right? Well, it is not just a dream anymore. One serving of Essa Collagen Drink Powder is packed with 10.4 g collagen of premium quality and hyaluronic acid. These substances are great on their own, but Essa World added Vitamin C and Vitamin E to the formula for better effects. But what are these effects? How do these molecules contribute to anti-aging? You can find out by reading our article!

What is collagen?

Collagen is widely known for its cosmetic use in the prevention of ageing processes, but we have to highlight that collagen is the most abundant extracellular matrix protein in the human body which has a connective role and is the main structural protein of the skin, bones and tendons. Large molecules, such as protein, including collagen can develop different structural forms. These different compositions lead to slightly different types of collagens. The differences can be perceived in the texture of each variant, ranging from being rigid, for example in bones, to compliant, such as in tendons, and all in between like in cartilage or skin. Approximately 28 types of collagen have been identified, but type I collagen is the dominant in most organisms, including humans. The other most common types are type I-V. Type I collagen occurs in skin, teeth, bone, tendon, heart, and lungs. Type II collagen is most present in cartilage while type III has its role in blood vessels and muscles. Type III collagen was found to function along with type I collagen in the skin. Collagen is also a key molecule in wound healing. As you can see, collagen is a very diverse form of substance that has many essential roles in the human body besides aesthetic and anti-aging roles.

Where does collagen derived from?

Bovine, porcine, or marine organisms are the most common collagen sources. Bovine collagen is widely used in collagen-based products which is gathered from the animals’ skin and bones. Bovine collagen is highly cross linked, meaning that it has excellent mechanical strength properties. Marine collagen contains type I collagen while the bovine alternative consists of type I, II and III as well. Around 85% of the skin is type I collagen while 10-15% are type III.

What is the link between collagen and skin ageing?

Skin ageing is caused by oxidative stress and the damage of collagen fibres, reduced collagen biosynthesis and decreased collagen density. Collagen supplements can improve skin integrity and modulate skin ageing. Studies have shown that collagen is effective in reversing skin ageing, reducing wrinkles and it promotes skin rejuvenation. Orally consumed collagen supplements are proven to improve skin hydration, elasticity, and density. Some research also suggest that collagen peptides potentially decrease skin damage caused by UV-B radiation. In addition, collagen does not generally cause side effects when consumed in daily doses of 2.5-15 g. However, it is important to note that even though collagen supplementation has been proven to improve skin quality, similarly to any other nutraceuticals, collagen is not a “life elixir” and is not the solution of reversing natural ageing processes. Ageing is a normal phenomenon in the human life cycle, but with proper self-care and attentive lifestyle, the pace of ageing can be.

Does collagen work? How does it get absorbed into my cells?

Collagen is absorbed after it has been broken down to smaller peptide chains or amino acids (collagens building blocks). Hydrolysed collagen contains enzymatically fragmented collagen particles, resulting in a better absorbing, more bioavailable product. Hydrolysed collagen is easier to dissolve in water and overall being more pleasant for consumption. Essa Collagen Drink Powder also contains hydrolysed bovine collagen of premium origin.

What active ingredients really make a difference?

Besides collagen, another key molecule involved in skin hydration is hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid found in the skin takes up half of the body’s total hyaluronic acid content. Hyaluronic acid found in the middle layer of the skin is responsible for water balance regulation, osmotic pressure and ion flow maintenance, and stabilises skin structures. Hyaluronic acid is a large molecule, structurally called a glycosaminoglycan and has the capacity to retain water in the upper layer of the skin, namely the epidermis. Besides the decreased collagen synthesis and the loss of collagen fibres, the lack of skin moisture is also associated with skin ageing processes. Hyaluronic acid can bind to water molecules, making the skin appear more youthful and plumper. Skin ageing is linked to the disappearance of hyaluronic acid from the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin. As the skin becomes less hydrated and drier, wrinkles start to appear on the skin surface and such wrinkles seem to be deeper and more resistant to mimic gestures. This phenomenon is linked to the decrease of collagen fibres which further contribute to the loss of elasticity that characterises aged skin. Furthermore, exposure to UV light was also found to deplete the skin’s hyaluronic acid storage and strongly contributes to rapid skin damage. This is called photoaging. At Essa World, we highly encourage you to always use sunscreen in your daily skincare routine. It is very important to give proper protection to your skin, not only from within, but also with quality cosmetic products.

What about ageing caused by oxidative stress?

Our skin can be damaged by many different external factors. We also added Vitamin E to our formula due to its potent antioxidant properties. Vitamin E contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a biochemical phenomenon caused by an imbalance between production and accumulation of oxygen reactive species in cells and the ability of a biological system to defend itself against these reactive substances. Oxygen reactive species are also known as free radicals. Even though these substances have their physiological roles, their production is greatly increased by environmental stressors, such as smoking, sunlight, air pollution, alcohol consumption, psychological stress etc. Reactive free radicals can appear due to immune response, inflammation, excessive exercising, and ageing process. Overproduction of free radicals causes homeostatic imbalance and eventually it leads to tissue damage, which is called oxidative stress. Cell membranes, proteins, DNA, lipids can be damaged by oxidative stress. Vitamin E exerts antioxidant properties, meaning that the vitamin is more potent to react with free radicals than other molecules in the human body, such as lipids or proteins. This makes Vitamin E a good choice against free radical induced ageing processes.

Are there any other vitamins that protect my skin from free radicals and ageing?

Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, contributes to normal collagen formation, which is beneficial for normal function of the skin. Vitamin C is crucial in the maintenance of normal collagen networks. This is due to its properties of preventing the inactivation of two enzymes that are key to collagen biosynthesis. Collagen biosynthesis naturally decreases as we age, starting around the age of the mid twenties. Besides its role in collagen production, Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant, just like Vitamin E. Ascorbic acid promotes the conversion of highly reactive free radicals to poorly reactive chemical compounds, making them less harmful for human cells and tissues.

Essa Collagen Drink Powder comes in a delicious raspberry flavour with no added sugar. The product contains active ingredients from animal protein origin and is not suitable for vegans or vegetarians.


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