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The benefits of marine collagen and hyaluronic acid supplements for the skin

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Hyaluronic acid is becoming an increasingly popular beauty ingredient. It is a natural product abundant in our skin and contributes to skin hydration. Over 50% of the body's hyaluronic acid can be found in the skin, which decreases as we age, leading to moisture loss in the skin.

Moisture loss in the skin, combined with the decline of natural collagen production as we age, can lead to the formation of wrinkles. Collagen is the abundant protein in our skin that contributes to the skin elasticity and firmness we associate with youthful skin. Many people supplement with collagen to support the skin as we age. Marine collagen is a popular type for collagen supplementation since it is very bioavailable.

Due to the effects of these two ingredients on the skin, it is common to find them combined into one supplement. This article will discuss the potential benefits of hyaluronic acid supplementation for the skin and the mechanisms behind these benefits. We will also cover how to take hyaluronic acid for the best results, including marine collagen combinations.

The role of hyaluronic acid in the skin

As mentioned, hyaluronic acid (also referred to as HA) is abundant in the skin; in fact, over half of the total HA present in the body can be found in the skin. Further still, hyaluronic acid is predominantly found in the dermis layer of the skin, where the collagen matrices and hair follicles lie – it makes up a large proportion of the skin's extracellular matrix.

Schematic diagram of the extracellular matrix in the dermis. The diagram shows collagen fibres, elastic proteins, fibroblasts, a hair follicle, and where hyaluronic acid sits in the dermis.

Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, meaning it holds on to water. HA can hold up to 6,000 times its molecular weight in water because it is extremely hydrophilic (attracted to water). Hyaluronic acids are polymer chains made up of units similar to sugar molecules. Many different configurations of hyaluronic acid molecules exist and have different effects on the body.

Larger hyaluronic acid molecules maintain moisture in the skin by encompassing large amounts of water within their tertiary structure – they can make solutions viscous even at low concentrations. This viscosity owed to Hyaluronic acid means that water cannot penetrate the fatty moisture barrier in the epidermis.

Epidermal hyaluronic acid levels in the skin decrease by 50% between the ages of 19-47 and half again by 70. This loss in hyaluronic acid has been associated with intrinsic ageing of the skin (non-preventable skin ageing) and extrinsic ageing of the skin (ageing caused by external factors). Hyaluronic acid scavenges free radicals, which can buffer damage to healthy cells; however, free radicals damage HA molecules, partially resulting in HA decline with age.

Hyaluronic acid supplements

Hyaluronic acid is vital for maintaining skin moisture; however, the question remains as to whether oral hyaluronic acid supplements can replace this loss that occurs with age. Hyaluronic acid has a short lifespan in the skin; it may become degraded after a matter of days. However, 10% of oral HA was found to enter tissue, half penetrating the skin.

Furthermore, according to one study, supplementation with hyaluronic acid improved skin hydration and elasticity, skin roughness, and reduced wrinkle depth after just 20 days. Another study found that ingested hyaluronic acid improved skin moisture after just three weeks, and these benefits continued even two weeks after the treatment ended.

A smiling young woman with beautiful, hydrated skin

How to take hyaluronic acid supplements

How long to take hyaluronic acid?

Studies have demonstrated the benefit of hyaluronic acid supplements for three weeks and 20 days. Also, since HA supplementation has been shown to linearly improve the skin, it may be preferable to use hyaluronic acid for longer than the timescale of these studies.

How often to take hyaluronic acid?

Hyaluronic acid absorption into the skin is the greatest after 24hrs; after this time, HA begins to degrade. To maintain HA levels in the skin to support skin moisture, it may be preferable to supplement daily with hyaluronic acid.

How much hyaluronic acid to take per day?

Multiple successful studies have used 120mg of hyaluronic acid daily to benefit the skin. Look for supplements with HA dosages of around this figure.

Taking hyaluronic acid with marine collagen

Marine collagen is commonly taken with hyaluronic acid because these two ingredients both support the skin as we age. Marine collagen peptides may help to replenish the collagen that we lose with age, whereas hyaluronic acid may help to replenish lost HA, helping to maintain skin moisture with age. The two ingredients combined may support the skin in a way that each component alone cannot.

a woman in a white robe, drinking orange juice

It is not essential that these two ingredients be taken together; however, combining these two ingredients into one supplement can be convenient. In addition, hyaluronic acid does, in fact, prevent the inhibition of collagen synthesis, while collagen peptides have been shown to stimulate the production of hyaluronic acid.

Marine collagen complex supplements

Alternative supplement ingredients may also support collagen synthesis in the body and may support the skin, hair and nails as we age. Beauty Complex marine collagen peptide sachets combine multiple ingredients into one powdered supplement to support your skin, hair and nails daily.

Beauty Complex contains a high dosage of marine collagen peptides, 100mg of hyaluronic acid and additional ingredients such as:

  • Biotin, which supports the normal maintenance of the hair and skin.
  • Vitamin C, which is involved in the normal synthesis of collagen in the skin. It also acts as an antioxidant.
  • Vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant and also helps to maintain healthy skin.
  • Selenium, which contributes to the normal maintenance of the hair and nails and protects fights oxidative damage.
  • Copper, which contributes to the normal pigmentation of the hair and also protects the cells of the body from oxidative stress.
  • Phytoceramides, which may help to support the natural fatty moisture barrier in our skin to prevent further moisture loss.

Suppose you are looking for a hyaluronic acid or marine collagen supplement to support the skin. In that case, you may want to look for a supplement that provides both high dosages of marine collagen and hyaluronic acid to deliver multiple, cumulative benefits to the skin. You may also want to look for additional ingredients such as vitamin C and other vitamins/antioxidants for added benefits.

Common Queries

What are the side effects of taking hyaluronic acid?

Currently, there low risks to taking controlled doses of hyaluronic acid daily. Taking 100-120mg of hyaluronic acid daily should be a safe and effective dose.

What is better, marine collagen or hyaluronic acid?

Marine collagen supplementation may help to replenish the collagen lost with age and help to maintain some skin elasticity. However, hyaluronic acid supplementation may help replenish the hyaluronic acid we lose with age, providing hydration benefits to the skin. The ingredient benefits cannot be superimposed; however, combining them may be the most beneficial approach.

Does marine collagen contain hyaluronic acid?

The skin contains both hyaluronic acid and collagen. Since the marine collagen found in supplements is derived from fish skin, it is understandable to think that collagen supplements may naturally contain hyaluronic acid. However, collagen supplements that do contain hyaluronic acid have had the HA added into them at a later stage for additional benefits to the skin.

Sources

  1. Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging
  2. Ingestion of an Oral Hyaluronan Solution Improves Skin Hydration, Wrinkle Reduction, Elasticity, and Skin Roughness: Results of a Clinical Study
  3. Cosmetic Potential of Marine Fish Skin Collagen
  4. Dietary Hyaluronic Acid Migrates into the Skin of Rats
  5. Ingested hyaluronan moisturizes dry skin
  6. The effect of oral collagen peptide supplementation on skin moisture and the dermal collagen network: evidence from an ex vivo model and randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials
  7. The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health
  8. Improving Skin Hydration and Age-related Symptoms by Oral Administration of Wheat Glucosylceramides and Digalactosyl Diglycerides: A Human Clinical Study