The Best Supplements to Support Collagen Synthesis and Skin Health

The Best Supplements to Support Collagen Synthesis and Skin Health

Traditionally in cosmetics, it’s believed that skin quality improves with topical products like creams and serums. Exfoliators and cleansers are also popular for skin enhancement. However, the concept of “beauty from within” has started to gain popularity. The concept relies on the principle of improving skin quality through ingested foods and supplements. There is solid science behind this, and key supplements can significantly support overall skin health.

There are a few main players in enhancing skin health from within, regulating damage to our skin. In fact, three of the main threats to our skin quality are oxidation, inflammation, and impaired blood flow.

Oxidative Stress and Skin Care

One of the best skin care strategies to improving skin quality is to limit the effects of oxidative stress within our skin. One of the main sources of oxidative stress in our skin is the sun. UV rays from the sun primarily exist as UVA and UVB. UVB does not penetrate the skin very deep, but UVA can. Due to this, UVA rays can be a significant cause for concern when it comes to our skin health. When sunlight photons penetrate the skin, they’re absorbed by our body’s own “sunscreen”.

These photo absorbing compounds, as the name may have already given away, absorb photons that have penetrated into our skin. When these compounds absorb photons, it causes them to get excited, which elevates them to a singlet excited state. This is usually followed by the photo absorbers returning to their ground state as they give off heat and light. Through this process, the photo absorbers have protected us from the potentially harmful effect of UVA rays. However, through an intersystem crossing, the singlet excited state photo absorbers can also be elevated to a triplet excited state. Once the photo absorbers have reached a triplet excited state, they can start to interact with molecular oxygen. The interaction of triplet excited state photo absorbers with oxygen generates reactive oxygen species (ROS).

So why does oxidative stress matter to skin health? 

The Impact of Oxidative Stress on Collagen Synthesis

Oxidative stress in the skin interferes with healthy collagen synthesis, leading to detrimental effects. Collagen is a protein which exists in large quantities in the dermis portion of the skin. The dermis sits directly underneath visible skin, called the epidermis. The dermis provides strength and elasticity, supporting the epidermis as its main function. The main way this is achieved is by complex interwoven strands of collagen which come together to form a net.

This collagen net is then attached to the epidermis through a junction called the dermal-epidermal junction. The collagen net can attach itself to the dermal-epidermal junction through the use of various different forms of collagen. As collagen synthesis decreases, the dermal collagen net collapses, leading to reduced support and elasticity in the epidermis. As anticipated, this can lead to wrinkle formation and a decline in overall skin appearance.

Effects of the Sun’s UVA and UVB Rays on Skin Health

Up to this point, we’ve covered how UVA and UVB affect skin quality, particularly in the dermis. However, we have not talked about another component of sunshine which is infrared radiation (IRA). IRA can also penetrate through the epidermis and into the dermis where it can interact with dermal fibroblasts. Dermal fibroblasts are cells which play a major role in the upkeep of both the dermis and epidermis. Dermal fibroblasts produce various connective tissues – mainly by synthesizing collagen. Connective tissues form the extracellular matrix (ECM), providing structural support with collagen, enzymes, and glycoproteins.

The ECM is crucial for epidermal cell anchoring, playing a vital role in epidermis formation. IRA affects dermal fibroblasts by inducing mitochondrial reactive oxygen species leakage and activating MMP-1 enzyme. MMP-1 has the ability to break down collagen, and specifically, it can break down and damage the ECM. This causes an overall reduction in skin quality. It is also important to protect against IRA. This can also be achieved with oxidation regulating compounds, in particular, compounds which target mitochondrial oxidative stress.

Strategies for Maintaining Skin Health

To maintain vibrant skin, controlling oxidative stress and preserving collagen synthesis are crucial aspects to consider. There are various ways by which this can be supported. The most straightforward of which is to simply avoid damaging variables such as excessive sun exposure. This is difficult for many, as a tan can make our skin look healthy and vibrant. We also need UVA exposure to synthesize vitamin D, an important vitamin in our bodies which modulates a large amount of bodily functions. Based on this, completely avoiding the sun, or lathering yourself in very high SPF sunscreen, is not always the best option.

It is generally recommended by experts to keep sun exposure to a minimum (try to avoid long tanning sessions) and to use a moisturizer that includes a low SPF sunscreen. In addition to this very simple strategy, you may also like to consider a smart supplement regimen that specifically targets the support of collagen synthesis and overall skin health. There are quite a lot of supplements which can achieve some of these effects, but not all supplements can offer full spectrum protection. The following list of dietary supplements, either alone or in combination with each other, may provide some of the most comprehensive oral skin protection to help keep your skin looking young and healthy for years to come!

Sensoril Ashwagandha Extract

The Unexpected Skin Benefits of Sensoril

You may already be familiar with Sensoril, a highly potent ashwagandha extract, as we have previously talked about it in a few different blogs. However, you may be surprised to see it in a skin care article as it is normally known for its stress support and calming effects.

Ashwagandha: A Comprehensive Oxidation Regulator

Ashwagandha appears to reduce levels of a major oxidative stress marker called malondialdehyde (MDA). When oxidative stress levels are high in the body, this is often correlated with a sharp increase in MDA levels, which means that a reduction in MDA levels can often be correlated with an overall decrease in oxidative stress.

Stress Reduction and Skin Health

Furthermore, stress can have a majorly detrimental effect on overall skin quality. One of the reasons for this is actually because elevated stress hormone levels, such as cortisol, can break down collagen proteins in the dermis.

Regulating Inflammation for Skin Tone

Additionally, Sensoril may also help promote healthy inflammatory responses throughout the body. This can also be majorly beneficial to overall skin quality as low level inflammation of the skin can result in a reddish color to our skin.

Conclusion: Beauty from Within

Overall, Sensoril has many skin health benefits and definitely represents the concept of “beauty from within” very well. Since Sensoril has many beneficial effects beyond promoting skin quality, it would be a fantastic supplement to consider including in your daily skin care routine!

PrimaVie Shilajit Extract

Primavie Shilajit: A Potent Skin Health Supplement

This is another supplement some of you may also be familiar with due to our blog about shilajit. Interestingly enough, it is also made by Natreon, the same company that makes Sensoril!

Oxidation Regulation for Skin Health

Similar to Sensoril, Primavie shilajit has some significant oxidation regulating effects which can be majorly beneficial to overall skin health. However, unlike Sensoril, most of the oxidation regulating effects of Primavie Shilajit appear to be focused within the mitochondria of cells.

Promoting Collagen Synthesis

To make things even better, it appears that Primavie Shilajit may not just mitigate the breakdown of collagen, it may even help promote collagen synthesis. Research has found that Primavie Shilajit can upregulate the gene expression of four major forms of collagen:

  • Collagen type I
  • Collagen type III
  • Collagen type V
  • Collagen type VI
Supporting ECM Proteins

Primavie shilajit may also help promote the function of collagen by up-regulating the expression of various ECM proteins which help support the function of collagen:

  • Tenascin X
  • Decorin
  • Elastin
  • Fibrillin
  • Fibronectin
Enhanced Skin Health and Wound Healing

Overall, it appears that Primavie shilajit has some remarkable effects on overall skin health, and may even support the body’s natural wound healing process. In combination with all of the other beneficial health effects, Primavie would be a solid choice for supporting overall skin health!

White Jelly Mushroom Extract

Tremella fuciformis Mushroom: A Skin Health Powerhouse

Tremella fuciformis mushroom, also known as White Jelly mushroom, is a popular supplement for skin care. However, white jelly mushroom is often times only used topically.

Internal Benefits for Skin Health

This remarkable mushroom does not necessarily need to be applied topically in order to reap its skin health benefits, as it has some significant skin health boosting effects when taken orally.

Combatting Oxidative Stress

One of the biggest threats to overall skin health is oxidative stress, which can be induced via various different pathways. The effects of oxidative stress may hamper many regenerative processes in the skin and one of the main targets for this oxidation are our skin fibroblasts.

Protecting Skin Fibroblasts

White jelly mushroom appears to attenuate the oxidative damage that can be inflicted upon skin fibroblasts by hydrogen peroxide, and by regulating this damage, white jelly mushroom can help promote healthy collagen levels in our skin.

Supporting Collagen Synthesis

Skin fibroblasts play an important role in collagen synthesis, and general upkeep of our ECM. White Jelly mushrooms appear to exert these beneficial skin health effects by supporting the expression.

Gotu Kola Extract

Centella Asiatica: The Skin Health Wonder

Centella asiatica, also known as Gotu Kola, is mostly known for its calming and cognition support effects. However, Gotu Kola also appears to have some powerful effects on skin health.

Boosting Collagen Synthesis

Bioactive components in Gotu Kola, such as madecassoside and asiaticoside, have beneficial effects on collagen synthesis, particularly on type I and type III collagens, which are abundant in our skin.

Enteric Coating for Enhanced Absorption

Enteric coating of Gotu Kola extract tablets prevents breakdown of bioactives like madecassoside and asiaticoside in stomach acid, enhancing their effectiveness in supporting collagen synthesis.

Selective Enhancement of Collagen Synthesis

Gotu Kola extract selectively enhances collagen synthesis, preventing excessive collagen synthesis that may occur during the body’s natural wound healing process, thereby reducing scar tissue formation.

Inhibition of Enzymes

Gotu kola inhibits enzymes like Matrix Metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1), which degrades collagen, and hyaluronidase, which breaks down hyaluronic acid, crucial for skin hydration and wound healing.

Protection Against UV Damage

By slowing down the breakdown of hyaluronic acid, Gotu kola may help maintain skin health and protect against UVB radiation-induced damage, while also inhibiting elastase to maintain skin elasticity.

Overall Skin Health

Gotu Kola’s benefits extend beyond skin health, making it a versatile supplement for maintaining skin quality, promoting wound healing, and supporting overall well-being.

Green Tea Extract

Acne Formation Mechanisms

Acne can form through lipid accumulation in sebum glands and the proliferation of bacteria like Propionibacterium acnes (P. Acnes), leading to inflammation and cellular damage.

Combatting Acne with EGCG

High in EGCG polyphenol, green tea extract inhibits lipogenesis in sebum glands by blocking sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1 (SREBP-1) function, reducing sebum production and acne occurrence.

Inhibiting Bacterial Growth

EGCG slows down P. Acnes growth, reducing its access to sebum and hindering its proliferation, thus alleviating inflammation and cellular damage associated with acne.

Inflammation-Regulating Effects

Green tea extract’s inflammation-regulating properties further ease acne discomfort, making it a comprehensive solution for occasional minor acne.

While green tea extract alone may not be the ultimate solution for overall skin health, it serves as an excellent supplement to combat minor acne when combined with other skin health supplements.

Topical Use of Skin Health Supplements to Support Collagen Synthesis and Skin Health

In theory, all of the products in this list can also be incorporated into topical skin care routines as a lot of their oral effects will also extend to topical use. All of products are extensively lab tested and have only been handled in clean-room environments, so incorporation into existing skin care products could definitely be a viable option.

Many of the studies we have seen that incorporated these skin health supplements into skincare products used concentrations of around 3-5%. We would recommend starting with a skincare product you are already familiar with and respond well to, and then adding about 3-5% of any given skin health supplement to that skin care product. For example, for Green Tea Extract, if you had a 1 oz (28 grams) jar of facial cream, then you would want to add between 840-1,400 mg of Green Tea extract. We would advise to stick with Gotu Kola extract, Tremella fuciformis extract, and Green Tea extract if you wanted to try any of these skin health supplements out topically. The reason we advise against using Sensoril and Primavie for topical administration is due to their strong smells and dark colors.

Also read our blog on Fasoracetam

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *