Collagen is the basis of skin strength and elasticity

7 min read
Collagen is the basis of skin strength and elasticity
Picture: Dmitry Kotin | Dreamstime

Collagen is considered a particularly important protein. It is found under the top layer of the dermis. Fibroblasts are involved in the production of the substance. They are responsible for the strength and elasticity of the connective tissues of the body – the skin, bones, tendons, cartilage.

Collagen is the basis of the dermis, which maintains the epidermis in a normal state and does not allow bones and muscles to “settle”. Protein protein is responsible for how young our body looks. As soon as the body stops producing collagen, they turn to special cosmetics that prevent the skin from sagging.


A similar product to collagen is gelatin. The substance is made up of amino acids, like other proteins. But its composition varies, because it contains serine, arginine, analine, glycine, proline, glutamic acid. The protein protein collagen looks like three chains twisted in a spiral.

Picture: ibreakstock | Dreamstime

Collagen fibers are strong and durable and do not stretch or deform. One of the turns of the helix contains three types of amino acid residues. Collagen is considered an animal protein. Of the total, 21% are the residues of 3-hydroxyproline, 4-hydroxyproline and 5-hydroxylysine.

In total, there are 28 types of collagen in the world, which differ in amino acid sequence and degree of modification:

  • Fibril-associated;
  • Fibrillar;
  • Shaping filaments (beads);
  • Transmembrane;
  • Networking;
  • Other types.
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There are three types of proteins most commonly used. I and III are used to strengthen hair, nails, skin elasticity. Type II is used for diseases of the joints – arthritis, osteochondrosis, rheumatism. The chemical formula of collagen is C2H5NOC5H9NOC5H10NO2.

Interesting fact! Men have a higher collagen density than women. For this reason, the strong sex ages more slowly than the weak.

Collagen is used in various fields, namely:

  • Food industry;
  • Production of cosmetics;
  • Scientific research;
  • Medicine;
  • To make photographic emulsion.

Products containing collagen

To speed up and improve collagen synthesis, foods that contain this substance are included in a special diet. This, for example, salmon and other subspecies of the salmon family. It is the main source of collagen.

Picture: Fascinadora | Dreamstime

For the absorption of collagen, foods containing a large number of amino acids are also useful:

  • Chicken, little idea, duck;
  • Lamb, pork, veal, beef;
  • Pollock, cod;
  • Peanut, walnut, cashew, hazelnut, almond, nutmeg, pistachio, hazelnut;
  • Cottage cheese or cheese;
  • Eggs.
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To normalize the level of protein in the body, eat food prepared on the basis of hydrolyzed collagen (gelatin):

  • Fruit jelly;
  • Meat jelly;
  • Aspic dishes.

To boost collagen production, include foods rich in vitamin C in your diet:

  • Currant;
  • Lemon, lime, oranges, grapefruits;
  • Bulgarian pepper;
  • Sour apples;
  • Broccoli.

Beans and beets help the synthesis of elastin and collagen fibers. They contain hyaluronic acid. Marine collagen, which is found in seaweed and fish caught from the sea, is also important.

Application of collagen

Collagen is used in the manufacture of cosmetics. Protein is added to cosmetics to improve the condition of the skin, giving it tone and elasticity. But the protein is used for medical purposes, the photographic industry and the food industry.

Collagen in cosmetology

Collagen is often added to cosmetic formulations. It prolongs the action of the oils or extracts that are included in the products. In addition, collagen forms a moisture-retaining and breathable layer on the skin, smoothes it and reduces the number of wrinkles, which is why it is used in the production of face creams.

Picture: Solarisys13 | Dreamstime

A study was conducted in the USA. A certain number of subjects were given collagen capsules to find out why it is useful for women. After a course of application (3 months), most of the subjects noticed that collagen smoothes wrinkles, stretch marks, cellulite.

Liquid collagen is often used for hair loss. The reason is that the protein attracts moisture from the environment to the curls. Collagen hydrolyzate enters the hairs. After that, a protective film is formed on the strands. Hair becomes well-groomed, shiny, voluminous, obedient and elastic. Collagen for hair is needed for damaged curls. Cosmetic products containing protein improve the condition of the hair follicles and stop their loss.

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Interesting fact! After 25 years, the dermis produces 2 times less collagen. Because of this, wrinkles form on the skin, elasticity and tone are lost.

Collagen for internal use

This protein is also used for medical purposes. There are several forms of collagen that are better absorbed by the body. For example, in the form of gelatin, the protein is poorly absorbed, thickens the blood and does not improve the condition. Therefore, it is added to various supplements and preparations.

Cosmetic surgery

Protein is used to restore and heal wounds and burns. It is also used for the reconstruction of bone tissue, in surgery, dentistry, orthopedics.

Reconstructive surgery

Protein restores the regeneration of skin tissues after severe burns. Collagen capsules and supplements are used for joint mobility.


Protein helps restore the formation of heart valves and maintains their leaflets in a normal shape.

Treatment of hepatitis C, B, myeloma, warts, influenza

Collagen in capsules, dragees, tablets restore the body in these diseases, for which they are drunk. Protein dragees are so small that they can be injected subcutaneously using injection needles.

Bone substitute

Osteochondrosis, rheumatism, arthritis are diseases of the joints. Collagen will help stimulate the production of proteins in bone tissue or even replace it.

Collagen in the food industry

Many are accustomed to the fact that collagen is used by women to improve skin condition. But most foods contain this protein. And most of all collagen is contained in gelatin. In addition to pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, the product is used in the food industry.

Picture: Luis Echeverri Urrea | Dreamstime

Usually gelatin is added to jelly, marshmallow, desserts, jelly and other dishes that need to be thickened. But due to the small amount of amino acids, the product has a low nutritional value. Gelatin dietary supplements contain collagen. Products improve the condition of nails, skin, ears and generally have a beneficial effect on the body.

What athletes use collagen for

Collagen is added to sports nutrition, as it helps to gain muscle mass. Muscle tissue consists of 1-10% of this protein. Collagen is needed to improve muscle performance.

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The substance promotes the synthesis of creatine and stimulates the growth of new muscles. Some athletes report that protein relieves joint pain during sports and maintains cartilage structure. Collagen itself protects the ligaments and joints from the inside, binds water and prevents the human dermis from losing its natural elasticity.

Application of collagen in the photo industry

Collagen is also used in the photo industry. A photographic emulsion is created from a special photographic gelatin. Photographic film resembles skin in structure, because both the dermis and the emulsion itself contain collagen. Photographs are developed by oxidation with alkali or acid. And collagen saves the picture itself from aging.

Interesting fact! FUJIFILM uses about 200,000 components to develop photographs. They have been working with collagen for 75 years. Protein improves the quality of gelatin on film, prevents aging and fading of pictures.

About collagen creams

Cream with collagen for the face is actively sold in many stores. The secret of the product lies in the combination of three components – low molecular weight hyaluronic acid, and natural proteins – elastin and collagen.

The acid prevents the skin from drying out, losing tone and becoming covered with age wrinkles. Elastin and collagen proteins strengthen the skin, give it plasticity and protection from aggressive external factors.

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Creams do not stimulate the production of collagen or elastin, but saturate it with proteins. There are sites on the Internet where girls who use such cosmetic products express their opinion. And creams containing collagen collect a lot of positive feedback. The product is quickly absorbed into the skin, does not roll, makes it fresh and slowly eliminates wrinkles, crow’s feet. But they are not suitable for oily and combination skin, as they leave a greasy film.

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