I get asked a lot about oral collagen supplements. Does this really help your skin? Can you believe the companies and the claims? It makes sense that restoring collagen via oral supplements would be the thing to do. If you’re losing collagen from age and sun exposure, then let’s try to get more of it inside the body. Right?

Dr. Cope’s Take on Collagen

Yes, we absolutely want to thicken up your collagen. But the body only gets the signal to do this under certain circumstances. Fibroblasts in the dermis are the specialized cells that produce collagen and elastin and spread it throughout the dermis.

So how can we stimulate fibroblasts to produce more collagen and reverse the aging process?

The Workout Analogy

Think of it like strengthening your muscles. You can have all the dietary protein you want, but that alone will not make you ripped. Your muscles will more or less stay the same unless you STRESS them. You do this with weights and resistance training. Then, you take your protein drinks and eat your chicken breasts, and your body uses that protein to build up stronger muscles.

That’s how it is in the skin. You stress your skin with retinol and treatments. Then, if you want, you can take an oral collagen supplement so the fibroblasts can have something to draw from as they build back stronger collagen.

Is There Data?

Yes and no. Some studies show some modest benefits with collagen supplements alone, and some show no improvement. But they were only studying the collagen supplement by itself, and not paired with retinol or skin treatments. To me they were missing the boat by doing this. It’s like studying muscle growth by only increasing protein consumption.

So… What Should You do?

I’m not against oral collagen supplements at all, but I want you to understand the current state of the data and know what definitively works for collagen stimulation.

What works the best?

Retinol Cream

This is the gold standard that has been shown for many years to thicken the dermis through new collagen stimulation.

RF Microneedling

This is a treatment that causes microthermal damage in the dermis and leads to newer and stronger collagen formation as it heals.

Sculptra (Poly-L-Lactic Acid)

This is a bio stimulatory molecule that gets injected into the dermis and leads to significantly thicker and healthier collagen after about 6 months.

Then, after you’ve maximized the MOST important things, you can add a collagen supplement (also, a high protein diet is probably sufficient as well). I hope that helps as you continue your journey to age gracefully. Collagen is a critical factor, and we need to understand it as much as we can.

Schedule a Consultation

Are you looking for collagen supplements for your care routine? Cope Cosmetic Dermatology in Highland Utah is proud to offer state-of-the-art RF microneedling, skincare topicals, and Sculptra to St. George, Highland, and Salt Lake City patients who desire fresher, younger-looking skin without undergoing invasive procedures. Dr. Austin Cope and his team will tailor a treatment plan to meet your goals. We can also help you make the most of microneedling by combining it with other noninvasive procedures that promote collagen production. Contact us today for a consultation.

Act Fast!

We have a 25% discount on our Collagen Bootcamp for the month of April 2024, where we combine all three of these treatments. Call now to pre-purchase yours at (385) 273-1007!

Dr. Austin Cope, MD, MBA
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Restoration, not augmentation.

That’s Dr. Cope’s philosophy when it comes to skincare. As a board-certified dermatologist, he guides his patients to the best skin of their lives. A big believer in daily habits and routines, he knows what works and what doesn’t. Dermatology and skin care can be very confusing and complicated. He loves to simplify and teach his patients about what really works. He creates customized plans and accountability to deliver the best results possible. Dr. Cope received advanced training from some of the best dermatologists in the US and Canada. He has treated thousands of patients and loves to teach and connect with each person.