Collagen For Menopause: Why Is It Necessary For Healthy Skin Aging?








Reference Lab

MAY 25, 2022



Post-menopausal skin can often look quite different from pre-menopausal skin, and that’s largely due to a decline in one essential protein - collagen. To maintain skin health through the rise and decline of hormone levels commonly associated with menopause, it will become increasingly important to not only address the depletion of collagen, but understand why it occurs and what you can do about this hormonal change.

How do perimenopause and menopause impact collagen levels?

When it comes to menopause and skin changes, menopausal and perimenopausal women often experience a collagen deficiency in the skin, which can present as dry skin, increased wrinkles, sagging, thinning skin, or further contribute to the development of crepey skin.
So why does this decline in collagen occur? The marked decline of collagen production during menopause is a direct result of a drop in estrogen levels. Fibroblasts are skin cells that are responsible for stimulating collagen production and are activated when exposed to estrogen. The steep decline in estrogen levels that ultimately contribute to menopause skin changes yields lower fibroblast activation and subsequently, lower collagen levels. 1 In fact, around 30% of skin collagen is lost within the first five years following menopause. 2

Does menopause destroy collagen in our skin altogether?

Although a common symptom for menopausal women is a sharp decline in collagen levels, it doesn’t eliminate it completely from our skin.
Collagen production begins to decline in the skin progressively during our 20s, at around 1 - 1.5% a year, depending on things such as sun exposure, whether you have light or darker skin, and overall skin health and maintenance. 2 However, the rate of this decline is generally accelerated by menopause, and eventually rests at an annual 2% decline. 3 By age 70, our skin has around a fourth of the collagen we had in our 20s. 4
This is a significant change; but what exactly does this mean for the health of aging skin? Continue reading to learn about collagen’s role in skin health and menopause, and what skin changes can result.

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Are collagen peptides essential for menopausal skin?

There are 28 different varieties of collagen, each with different functionalities throughout the body. When it comes to skin health and appearance, Type I and Type III collagens are the most important.5
Type I and Type III collagens are most abundant in skin. They form fibrous networks, which replenish dead skin cells, promoting skin strength, elasticity, and firmness. They also help prevent skin dryness by maintaining hydration in the skin barrier.
Since menopausal skin is collagen-deficient, it loses out on several of the perks associated with this protein. Skin can often lose firmness, exhibit dryness, wrinkle, and break easily. Replenishing skin collagen is therefore essential in counteracting the skin changes observed during menopause.

Why is collagen a top recommendation for women to address skin changes during perimenopause and menopause?

Collagen supplementation is recommended to address menopause and perimenopause skin problems for the simple fact that collagen decline is a leading factor in observed skin changes during menopause. If delivered correctly, collagen supplementation can prevent skin dehydration by maintaining the skin barrier, adding to skin firmness, preventing wrinkles, and maintaining elasticity.3

How can women supplement collagen topically and orally into their regimen?

The effectiveness of collagen on skin health is highly dependent on its delivery method, with the ingestion of collagen yielding very different results than applying collagen topically.


Oral Supplementation

Taking collagen powders, or drinking liquid collagen is one approach to increasing collagen levels in the body. A 2019 study determined that ingesting hydrolyzed collagen significantly improved skin dryness, elasticity, roughness, and density, which are all contributing factors in addressing aging skin.6
Although a few studies show success with this approach, it is not the most efficient way of introducing collagen to the skin, as ingested collagen is digested and broken down into amino acids before being redistributed across the body. Post digestion, the portion of the amino acids that do make it to the skin is often not recognized as collagen fragments and is rather used to build a variety of different proteins. 7


Topical Application

Since orally ingesting collagen can be inefficient, many dermatologists recommend topical application of collagen-stimulating ingredients. It is important to note that collagen itself is often too large a molecule to be properly absorbed into the skin. That’s why smaller molecules, including peptides, with the ability to stimulate collagen synthesis, are recommended instead. 8
Application of topical skin care products, such as creams and serums with collagen-promoting peptides, have been shown to exhibit apparent anti-wrinkle effects on skin, including menopausal skin. 9 OneSkin’s OS-01 proprietary peptide is one such molecule that has been scientifically proven to penetrate the skin and stimulate collagen production by activating a key gene, COL1A1. In addition, the OS-01 peptide increases the activity of a key gene associated with the production of hyaluronic acid, leading to improved skin hydration, and decreased activity of a key gene associated with skin aging.
Powered by the OS-01 peptide, OneSkin’s OS-01 FACE Topical Supplement has been clinically proven to strengthen the skin barrier and skin thickness, improve skin elasticity, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, making it a suitable choice for menopausal and post-menopausal skin.

Key Takeaways

  • Menopausal and post-menopausal skin often exhibit a collagen deficiency. This can cause a decline in skin health and a weakened skin barrier, which often presents as wrinkles, sagging, and the development of crepey skin.
  • y age 70, largely due to the significant change in hormone levels, our skin has around a fourth of the collagen we had in our 20s.
  • If delivered correctly, hormone replacement therapy or collagen supplementation, whether in the form of an oral or topical supplement, can prevent skin dehydration by maintaining the skin barrier, adding to skin firmness, preventing wrinkles and age spots, and maintaining elasticity.
  • Collagen itself is often too large a molecule to be effectively absorbed into the skin when applied topically. Smaller molecules, including peptides, with the ability to stimulate collagen synthesis, are recommended instead.
  • Powered by the OS-01 peptide, OneSkin’s OS-01 FACE Topical Supplement has been clinically proven to strengthen the skin barrier, improve skin elasticity, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.


Sources:

  1. https://www.dermatologytimes.com/view/solution-estrogen-deficient-skin
  2. https://parjournal.net/article/view3863
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1549492/
  4. https://parjournal.net/article/view/3863
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3003457/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6835901/
  7. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/drinking-collagen#what-science-says
  8. https://protgold.com/blogs/news/topical-collagen-vs-liquid-collagen
  9. https://europepmc.org/article/med/15648443

Reviewed by Alessandra Zonari, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and Co-Founder of OneSkin

Alessandra earned her Master’s degree in stem cell biology, and her PhD in skin regeneration and tissue engineering at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil in collaboration with the 3B’s Research Group in Portugal. Alessandra did a second post-doctoral at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. She is a co-inventor of three patents and has published 20 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals.

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