Collagen Myths Debunked: Not All Collagens are Created Equal

After all, collagen loss is the root cause of aging.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Photo Credit: Shutterstock

You hear a lot about collagen today: it is a popular ingredient in supplements, shakes and skin care products touted by celebrities and beauty influencers. We know that collagen is a protein – a crucial component of healthy skin, bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons. Collagen provides structure and support throughout the body; it’s known as the “glue” that holds your body together. As you age, you produce less and less quality collagen, causing sagging skin, wrinkles, and joint pain.

The bottom line is…the root cause of aging is collagen loss, plain and simple.

Photo Credit: Naturel Collagen
Jacqui Dunal, founder, Naturel Collagen

We asked Toronto-based Naturel Collagen founder Jacqui Dunal to explain more about why certain collagens are ineffective, and what to look for in a collagen skin care product or supplement.

What is one of the most popular myths about collagen that you would like to clarify?

[JD] There’s a lot of misleading information about collagen and its effectiveness. Many doctors and dermatologists report that collagen proteins cannot be absorbed into the body or through the skin, and therefore are not recognized to contribute to health and longevity – and of course, younger-looking skin. The reason for this myth is that most dermatologists and consumers do not understand that not all collagens are created equal.

Most of the collagen products you see in health food stores and online is made from hydrolyzed collagen, which does nothing for you. But there is another type of collagen referred to as native collagen. This is the pure, fish-derived form of collagen used in Naturel Collagen products.

So what is the difference between these two forms of collagen?

[JD] Hydrolyzed collagen is composed of amino acids that are “post-collagen” proteins, produced primarily from the connective tissue of cows and pigs, which is not bio-available. To be useful, this type of collagen must undergo hydrolysis, an aggressive chemical process. Now “dead” protein, it cannot penetrate the outer layer of skin – so any moisturizing effect is fleeting. Many dermatologists have confirmed this fact.

Natural fish collagen is entirely different!

Polish scientists discovered how to extract collagen from fresh-water fish skin at the early stage of the developmental process, in the form of triple helix molecules, to make it highly absorbable. It is then preserved – not processed. Unlike hydrolyzed collagen, native collagen peptides easily penetrate the skin’s layers. Our collagen serums are guaranteed to quickly break down into peptides once they touch moistened skin. This then begins the process of collagen regeneration, strengthening the skin and erasing fine wrinkles.

So the defining difference between processed hydrolyzed collagen and preserved native collagen comes down to “absorbability.”

[JD] Yes. Always check your labels before you buy a collagen product. In all likelihood, it will be a hydrolyzed collagen, which, once again, is “dead protein.” Naturel Collagen is one of the only companies in North America offering this type of naturally preserved collagen in native form. Our supplements and skincare line are unique because the collagen is “bio-available” – which basically means the body can easily absorb it and take what it needs.

What can we do about collagen loss — what do you recommend?

[JD] You can combat collagen depletion by taking our high quality, bioavailable collagen internally, in the form of our Colvita supplement. Most people take 2 – 4 capsules daily to reap the health benefits. You can also apply our collagen serums and creams to the skin, twice daily. The supplement, serums and creams complement each other. It’s what I refer to as an “inside out” approach.

Our most popular selling collagen serum – that is also perfect for maturing skin – is called Atelocollagen.

Photo Credit: Naturel Collagen
Photo Credit: Naturel Collagen

It stands out from the rest because is has a unique design: there is a collagen “helix” in the centre of the bottle. It also contains pure gold and healing rose oil in its formula. Atelocollagen cream is the perfect accompaniment that boosts the serum’s effectiveness. It has a velvety texture that leaves your skin moisturized and glowing.

When you adopt this “inside out approach” to collagen rejuvenation, you’ll feel better and experience a big improvement in the condition of the skin, hair and nails – particularly the joints – as the supplement delays the aging process of the tissues.

And one last thing: Many may wonder… do our collagen serums and supplements smell or taste like fish? The answer is no, absolutely not!

This article was updated on January 29, 2020.

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