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What is collagen and what does it do
March 6, 2023

What is Collagen and What Does It Do? - Dr Dave Reilly

At Absolute Collagen we know how important it is to feel strong in your skin.

We believe that every person should feel strong in themselves, as when you do and have that passionate self belief and self love absolutely anything is possible.

Here, Dr. Dave Reilly, Absolute Collagen’s resident senior scientist, talks through what collagen does in the body and what collagen does for skin.

Firstly, what is collagen?

Collagen is the most prominent protein in the body and can be found everywhere, in your hair, skin, nails and even joints. It is made up of 18 amino acids with high amounts of glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline.

All together, these amino acids form long chains of polypeptide molecules (the building blocks of collagen fibres). When bundled into fibres and combined with elastin, collagen is good for for our connective tissues, giving the body firmness and elasticity to support renewal of healthy skin.


What is collagen for and what does collagen do?

Collagen proteins are critical for and can be found in healthy muscles, tendons, skin, joints, and bones. Having collagen in the body can help to support better strength, movement, and flexibility in the body.

What is collagen in skin?

Collagen helps skin to maintain its plump and firm exterior. When collagen is present in skin, it helps to form a fibrous network in the dermis, upon which new cells can grow, as well as being required for the replacement and restoration of dead skin cells.

Once the body’s natural collagen production starts to decrease after the age of 25 and accelerates after age 40, a collagen supplement can be useful in helping the body replace the collagen lost due to age.

What is collagen in joints, muscles & tendons?

Collagen is a crucial component of muscle and bone. This is why, once the body’s natural collagen production begins to decrease as we age, bones become more likely to break or fracture. It can also help to boost muscle mass.


What is collagen in hair?

Along with being a core component in healthy-looking skin, collagen also supports scalp and hair follicle health. This is related to the fibrous network in the dermis, where new cells are grown and restored. Collagen therefore helps to support the appearance of healthier, thicker, and glossier hair.

What is collagen made of?

Collagen is made of a naturally occurring protein in the body, comprised of 18 different amino acids.

The primary source of collagen in food can be found in meat or fish, and so implementing these into your diet would be a great start if you’re looking to increase collagen in the body.

However, based on dietary preferences not everyone may be able to consume collagen in food through meat or fish-based products. This is where the use of collagen supplements has become increasingly popular and important in supporting a healthy and balanced diet.

So, what is collagen protein and what does marine collagen do? If you’re looking for a collagen supplement to boost your body’s natural collagen production, these come from extracting collagen proteins from animal tissue. Most typically, collagen supplements are derived from bovine (cow), marine (fish), and poultry (chicken) sources.

EXPERT INSIGHT: Marine (fish) collagen is absorbed up to 1.5 times more efficiently than other collagen types!

Take a look here for more on what marine collagen does.

What is collagen type 1?

Type 1 collagen is the most abundant type of collagen in the body, accounting for a huge 90% of our collagen. It is responsible for healthy connective tissues and is best known for helping to improve skin quality, which is why we use it exclusively in our marine collagen supplement.

Reduced levels of type 1 collagen in the body often result in sagging skin, fine lines, brittle nails, and thinning hair.

EXPERT INSIGHT: Look for 'Type 1 collagen' on the ingredients list to find the most effective type of collagen product.

Read here for more about where collagen is found and the different types of collagen in the body.

What does taking collagen do?

Taking a collagen supplement can help to stimulate the body’s natural production of collagen.

People assume that collagen is only good for reducing the appearance of wrinkles, and therefore only needed later in life; the real answer is that it is for everyone at any time! For those who want to take care of themselves not just on their skin, but also their bones, joints and overall health and wellbeing, taking a collagen supplement can be hugely beneficial.

Clinical trials further show that collagen can help the skin maintain itself and have visible improvements in the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and skin elasticity. Take a look at our page on the science of collagen supplements for more on why collagen is good for you.

Dr. Dave Reilly has a PhD in Biochemistry and has worked in Skincare and Life Sciences for over 30 years. Find more information about his expertise here.