Formerly a beauty editor’s best-kept secret, the incredible benefits of edible collagen have captured the attention of the wellness world and beyond. Clinically proven to hydrate, plump, smooth and firm the complexion, this multi-tasking superfood for the skin has cemented itself as a must-have for anyone seeking a lit-from-within glow. With this notoriety has come a rise in new brands and terminologies, one of them being ‘hydrolysed collagen’. Here, we’ll take a look at what hydrolysed collagen is and how it works.
What is hydrolysed collagen?
Hydrolysed collagen is a version of collagen that can be easily absorbed by the human body. All edible collagen is derived from an animal source, most commonly bovine (derived from cattle, it’s what we use at By Beth) or marine (which is derived from fish skin and scales). The problem is, this animal-derived collagen in its raw form is not easily digested by the human body. In order to be optimally absorbed, it must be broken down into smaller parts via a process called hydrolysis. This process results in hydrolysed collagen (also referred to as collagen peptides).
How does hydrolysed collagen work?
When you ingest hydrolysed collagen, its first destination is the small intestine where it is absorbed into the bloodstream. Through your network of blood vessels, it is distributed throughout the body, in particular to the dermis – the deep layers of the skin below the epidermis. Hydrolysed collagen acts in two different ways in the dermis: it both provides building blocks for the formation of collagen and stimulates the production of new collagen. This results in increased hydration, elasticity, firmness, wrinkle reduction and skin rejuvenation.
What does molecular weight have to do with all of this?
You may have also come across the term ‘molecular weight’ in regards to edible collagen, which refers to the size of the collagen peptide. Despite what some may claim, molecular weight does not impact efficacy. In fact, a lower molecular weight can result in a more bitter product that is not as water soluble or pleasant to taste. At By Beth, our priority is delivering a premium and results-driven collagen product – so what is more important to us than molecular weight is creating a high quality supplement which uses the best ingredients available.
Is there a difference between gelatin and edible collagen?
Yes! Collagen that hasn’t been completely broken down via the hydrolysis process we mentioned earlier is called gelatin. Containing larger peptides that don’t dissolve well in liquids, gelatin can cause bloating, an upset stomach, and be unpleasant to drink (as it forms a gel when met with water). It’s best to leave gelatin for making homemade jelly and turning to edible collagen if you want beauty benefits.
What should I look for in a hydrolysed collagen supplement?
As with any edible supplement, it’s important to choose the most high quality and cleanest option available. At By Beth, we only use 100% Australian grass-fed and pasture-raised bovine collagen. We work with local farmers to source our collagen, so we have complete visibility over our supply chain and feel comfortable knowing it was ethically produced according to Australia’s strict farming standards.