A healthy diet, workout routine, and using non-toxic products can help us tremendously in the world of beauty and personal care. Sometimes, taking additional supplements in the form of capsules or powder can boost our health even more. Collagen and Hyaluronic acid are two products very similar as they have been promoted as being effective to promote healthy skin, hair, nails and prevent the effects of aging. Here, we’ll look at Hyaluronic Acid and Collagen to compare and contrast the benefits and effects of both.
Taking Hyaluronic Acid Supplements
WebMD defines Hyaluronic acid (HA) as “a substance that is naturally present in the human body. It is found in the highest concentrations in fluids in the eyes and joints. The hyaluronic acid that is used as medicine is extracted from rooster combs or made by bacteria in the laboratory.” Medicinal use of hyaluronic acid is often used for those suffering from chronic joint pain or osteoarthritis, eye surgeries, and is also used as a lip filler for plastic surgery. Hyaluronic acid can also be applied topically for healing wounds, burns, skin ulcers, and as a moisturizer (1). Because of it’s healing properties and natural ability to improve healthy joints, HA has been used as an anti-aging method, but according to WebMD, there is no evidence to support the claim of HA as a “fountain of youth”. However, Dr. Axe supports the claim that “Hyaluronic acid can keep your skin glowing, and it also benefits your joints — all without the harmful side effects of toxic skin products” (2). Hyaluronic Acid is often recommended by dermatologists and other physicians for its ability to improve skin’s texture and appearance, and it also is included in many anti-aging skin care products. Since HA is “naturally found in the body where it helps retain collagen, increase moisture, and provide elasticity and flexibility” (3), it is believed that taking HA in capsule form as a dietary supplement is also effective. Dr.Axe supports the claim that taking HA can help: hydrated dry, aged skin, reduce wrinkles, repair sores and sunburn, and more. Hyaluronic acid works by acting as a cushion and lubricant in the joints and other tissues. In addition, it might affect the way the body responds to injury. However, these claims have not all been FDA approved and tested for accuracy (4).
Taking Collagen Supplements
Collagen is a well known supplement that claims to help with hair growth and health, skin elasticity, and anti-aging as well as helping healthy joints. Healthline tells us that “Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. It is the major component of connective tissues that make up several body parts, including tendons, ligaments, skin and muscles” (1). Collagen has been gaining major tracking in the beauty world being promoted as a powder added to smoothies or as an additional supplement taken in capsule form. There are two types of collagen supplements: Two types of supplements are gaining popularity: hydrolyzed collagen (collagen hydrolysate) and gelatin. Gelatin is created when collagen is cooked. These have already broken the large protein down into smaller peptides, which are more easily absorbed in the body. Both have been tested and shown to improve muscle mass, skin elasticity and healing arthritis. (2) As we age, collagen breaks down and disappears from our body to be able to use it. The reduction of collagen in our body causes wrinkles, dry skin, brittle hair and achy joints. Thus, it is believed that adding collagen back into the body can improve skin and hair health, reduce joint pain and degeneration, boost metabolism and energy output for muscle mass, strengthen hair, nails and teeth, and more (3).
Since there are so many proposed benefits to both, which should you take? Both have been FDA approved as safe for human consumption, but research is still developing. As we’ve seen, collagen is a great protein and hyaluronic acid helps retain collagen, so many take them both together. A great way to find out what works for you is to try for yourself.