Ask The Pharmacist: Photoshop your face with collagen protein

Suzy Cohen

For centuries people, especially women have been trying to solve the problem of looking youthful past middle age.

It’s very difficult because after four or five decades, our face, skin, hair and nails really show the signs of aging. Our skin feels dry, hair gets finer or falls out and there’s an obvious loss in firmness and elasticity of the skin. The laugh lines and crow’s feet get deeper and deeper. Even the fingernails become weaker and break. 

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Of course, declining estrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels cause the signs of aging to become more noticeable, however, hormones aren’t entirely it. The key to looking younger is having plump cells that retain moisture. Also, keeping the matrix underneath our skin intact rather than crumbling. You can do this if you have enough collagen, hyaluronic acid and elastin. Today my focus is collagen. 

15. Skin begins to wrinkle     Smoking contributes to the degradation of collagen and elastic fibers in the skin, suggesting an imbalance between biosynthesis and the destruction of dermal connective tissue, according to research, leading to accelerated aging of the skin. Exposure to toxic smoke,combined with the repeated facial expressions a person makes while smoking, can contribute to wrinkles.

You’re born with an abundance of collagen. If you were to take of all your skin and weigh it, 80 percent of the weight would be collagen. That percentage declines by about two percent every year after 30 years of age. 

Collagen ‘photoshops’ you! That’s why when you were younger, you had lovely firm skin, soft hair and strong nails. Your face looked plump and vibrant. The most dramatic reduction of collagen happens in the first 5 years post-menopause, when women lose about 30 percent of our natural collagen stores. The decline continues over the years, although it’s more gradual. 

One day you look in the mirror and you look older than you thought. And then when you get our bed in the morning, you feel pain and stiffness in your joints. That’s because collagen is in your cartilage, and when it’s depleted you feel the pain. 

There are hundreds of supplements of collagen in today’s global market, but there are things you should know about first before trying it. You should be very cautious about the kind of collagen you buy because some aren’t the correct type. I can send you a video about collagen if you’re interested. Collagen can be sourced from cows, pigs, birds, fish scales and more.

Some brands don’t get absorbed through your intestinal lining, and others don’t have healthy ratios of the amino acids. Maybe they are low in hydroxyproline or they don’t have vitamin C to activate it. To learn more you can watch my video here:

When restoring collagen, keep in mind you want tiny particles, so the little peptides can get into your cells. The reason for this is so that you can produce the collagen intracellularly.

Collagen is a big protein like a long chain that consists of links. The links are amino acids. 

There are five different types of collagen, named Type I, II, III, IV and V. Type II is what supports joint and cartilage health while Type I and III are beautifying for the hair, skin and nails. I have some videos about collagen, and how to choose the best kind for your needs. Nowadays, you can supplement with collagen shots, powders, drinks and facial serums. These products are available nationwide.

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Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist. The information presented here is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any condition. Visit