As we age, our skin inevitably undergoes changes, and the signs of aging become more visible. The search for ways to minimize the loss of skin function and improve skin condition has led scientists to discover the incredible benefits of fish collagen. This powerful ingredient has been shown to strengthen the skin barrier function, reduce wrinkle formation, and protect the skin against harmful UV rays. Read on to learn how fish collagen can help you maintain a more youthful complexion.
The Science Behind Fish Collagen
Our skin is constantly exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, which can damage skin cells, accelerate aging, and lead to the formation of wrinkles. Fish collagen has been found to have photoaging inhibitory effects, which means it can help protect your skin from the harmful effects of UV rays (Marcílio Cândido et al., 2022).
The secret lies in fish collagen's ability to increase the expression of antioxidant enzymes. These enzymes help suppress the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), the oxidation product malondialdehyde (MDA), and inflammatory cytokines in skin tissues (Cha et al., 2014). In simple terms, fish collagen helps to neutralize the harmful molecules that are generated when our skin is exposed to UV radiation.
Fish collagen also impacts the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)/Smad signaling pathway, which plays a crucial role in maintaining skin elasticity and promoting the synthesis of collagen and hyaluronic acid. These are essential components of the skin's extracellular matrix (ECM), responsible for giving your skin its structure and firmness (Ghosh, 2002; Quan et al., 2010).
A Stronger Skin Barrier
One of the most important functions of our skin is to act as a barrier, protecting us from external factors and retaining moisture. When the skin barrier is compromised, it can lead to skin dryness, inflammation, and increased susceptibility to irritants.
Fish collagen has been shown to improve the skin barrier function by regulating the expression of genes responsible for skin moisture retention and barrier integrity (B. Kim et al., 2014; Sougrat et al., 2002). It helps maintain the balance of hyaluronic acid (HA) in the skin, which is crucial for maintaining skin hydration and elasticity (Papakonstantinou, Roth, & Karakiulakis, 2012).
Inhibition of Wrinkle Formation
As we age, the structure of the ECM is disrupted due to a decrease in collagen levels and an increase in the activity of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), enzymes that break down collagen. This imbalance leads to the formation of wrinkles and a loss of skin elasticity (Oliveira et al., 2019).
Fish collagen has been shown to help regulate the activity of MMPs, preventing the degradation of collagen and maintaining the structural integrity of the ECM (Cui, Hu, & Khalil, 2017). This leads to a reduction in wrinkle formation and an improvement in skin elasticity.
The Gut-Skin Connection
Interestingly, fish collagen has also been found to have an impact on the composition of the gut microbiota. The gut microbiota plays a crucial role in our overall health, and there is growing evidence to suggest a connection between the gut and the skin.
In a recent study, oral administration of fish collagen led to changes in the composition of the cecal microbiota, including an increase in the abundance of beneficial bacteria such as Akkermansia (Han et al., 2022). These changes in the gut microbiota may contribute to the overall skin health benefits observed with fish collagen supplementation.
The remarkable benefits of fish collagen make it an ideal ingredient for those seeking to maintain youthful, healthy skin. By strengthening the skin barrier function, reducing wrinkle formation, and protecting against UV-induced damage, fish collagen can help you achieve a more radiant and youthful complexion.
Incorporating fish collagen into your skincare routine or taking it as a supplement may provide you with the skin-rejuvenating benefits you've been searching for. As always, consult with your healthcare provider before making any significant changes to your skincare regimen or supplement routine.