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Collagen for Cellulite

While cellulite, like wrinkles, is entirely harmless, it’s a common issue that impacts a lot of people—perhaps even more than you think. Cellulite, as you may know, causes the appearance of skin waviness. The waviness appears as bumpy-looking lumps under the skin, usually on the thighs, hips, buttocks, and abdomen. The reduction of even moderate cellulite, which women experience more so than men, improves skin appearance.

There's likely a way to reduce cellulite without undergoing surgery, cryolipolysis (cool sculpting), or other painful––and often expensive––medical procedures. The use of collagen for cellulite is thought to be a natural, painless way to improve skin appearance and combat the appearance of cellulite. Plus, those who take collagen peptides often report plumper skin, which reduces wrinkles and other signs of aging.

So what exactly is collagen, and how can it impact cellulite? The short answer is the collagen works within the body to strengthen the skin's connective tissue. And in this article, we’ll explore the potential difference that collagen can make in your skincare routine.

glass bowl of white collagen powder on teal background surrounded by citrus fruits and leaves

What is Collagen?

Some people don't realize that collagen is the most abundant protein in their bodies and plays a significant role in almost every part of the skin, muscle, ligaments, blood vessels, corneas, teeth, and beyond. Some people liken collagen to the glue that holds the body together—a fitting comparison given that collagen stems from the Greek word for glue.

Health experts note your body makes collagen by breaking protein into amino acids. Those amino acids are responsible for the production of various types of protein, including collagen. That's one reason health experts recommend eating healthy protein “packages” such as sirloin steak, ham steak, salmon, and lentils, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.

Diets that lack fresh fruits and vegetables may leave the body lacking antioxidants. That results in oxidative stress that can degrade collagen. If your diet lacks the appropriate nutrition, your body can't create collagen. Plus, smoking, alcohol consumption, and sun exposure all break down this essential protein in your body.

How to Tell if You Lack Collagen—and Start Fighting Back

Does your body lack collagen? While there's no way to measure it, you can instead look for wrinkles and other unattractive skin issues, weak muscles, and reduced flexibility. They’re all the signs of too little collagen in your body. Also consider your age. By age 40, your body loses about 1% of collagen annually, which is why skin structure deteriorates.

Still, those younger than age 40 experience cellulite as well. Researchers note that 85% of women age 20 and older have cellulite on their thighs, buttocks, and abdomen. The appearance of cellulite on the skin often resembles cottage cheese or orange peels.

Although a healthy diet is always the top way to ensure your body has enough collagen, physicians at the Cleveland Clinic note that supplements are a safe way to boost your intake. It's particularly easy to use collagen peptides that have no taste because you can add them to sauces, soups, beverages, and other foods without impacting the flavor of your meal or drink.

woman looking in the mirror noticing the skin benefits of using collagen to reduce wrinkles

How Does Collagen Reduce Cellulite?

side by side diagrams of the human skin - comparing healthy skin with enough collagen and skin with cellulite, lacking in collagen

One of the challenges scientists face is that the root cause of cellulite is not known. However, they do know that cellulite is the fat between muscle and the connective cord that links the skin.

As the fat, or cellulite, gathers, it pushes the skin up as the cord pulls down. That creates the wavy skin in the dermis layer that indicates cellulite. Hormones, genetics, and other individual characteristics contribute to cellulite production, too.

As we hinted at earlier, anyone can develop cellulite, no matter their weight, age, or body type. Lack of muscle tone from inactivity and pregnancy may also cause cellulite to develop. Additionally, while weight loss may help to make cellulite less noticeable, it won’t go away completely.

Although cellulite causes are not yet understood, that has not stopped researchers from studying ways to reduce it through different treatment options. Preliminary studies indicate that increased collagen may reduce cellulite and other skin-related signs of aging. Collagen has also been linked to increased muscle mass, which can help to diminish cellulite.

Does Collagen Actually Reduce Cellulite?

It's important to understand that studies about collagen's impact on the body are preliminary. Yes, collagen is safe, but it's not a miracle cure. Still, there are very positive results from scientific studies and anecdotal evidence that show collagen has health benefits. That includes early studies that support the evidence that collagen does show positive results in the reduction of cellulite.

A study of average weight and overweight women with moderate cellulite ages 24-50 found that a daily dose of bioactive collagen peptides (BCP) saw a significant decrease in the degree of cellulite and a reduction in skin waviness. Specifically, it made a difference on the thighs for those in the average weight portion of the treatment group. Overweight women also had a decrease in cellulite, but it was not as significant as that in women of average weight.

"The results of the study demonstrated that a regular ingestion of BCP over a period of 6 months led to a clear improvement of the skin appearance in women suffering from moderate cellulite," according to the study authors. "Based on the current data, it can be concluded that a long-term therapy with orally administered BCP leads to an improvement of cellulite and has a positive impact on skin health."

before and after photos of the back view of a woman's thighs, showing the reduction of cellulite over time with the use of collagen
bowl of white collagen powder with a wooden spoon on a gray countertop

How Much Collagen Should I Take For Cellulite?

When you eat a healthy, balanced diet, your body generally produces an adequate amount of collagen. Again, though, scientists have shown that extra collagen, such as that from collagen peptides, likely has multiple health benefits—including a decrease in the appearance of cellulite.

Your personal collagen intake depends on many factors, including your diet, specific health considerations, and the type of benefit you hope to achieve. Health officials don't provide guidelines on the proper amount to take. However, before you start taking collagen or consider any dietary supplementation for that matter, talk to your doctor to better understand how they fit into your diet and nutrition plan.

While collagen is a safe supplement, it’s important to consume a reasonable amount that researchers have concluded is safe and effective. Researchers have found that taking 2.5-15 grams of collagen has many benefits, including skin health and hydration. Generally, scientists found a daily dose of 2.5 grams of collagen helps reduce moderate cellulite in women. It also lessens wrinkles and provides other health benefits, so it’s understandable that you may want to add it to your diet.

Can You Get Rid of Cellulite?

Studies are not conclusive, but the early studies we cited above indicate that collagen can help you get rid of cellulite on your body. Like any other supplement, medicine, or food, collagen works inside the body. It’s also hydrating and helps to improve skin elasticity, and it makes the body’s connective tissue stronger.

Researchers found it takes about six months of daily doses of collagen peptides to reduce the appearance of cellulite and increase skin thickness. It helps to heal the collagen bands that are damaged by cellulite, and the collagen works to improve the metabolism in dermal cells while repairing other parts of the body. 

What to Know About Collagen Peptides Supplements

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate nutritional supplements as it does medications and food. Manufacturers follow the guidelines set by the FDA, but there is a wide difference in production from one company to the next. Also, manufacturers are not allowed to claim their supplements treat, diagnose, prevent or cure any diseases.

Those are among the reasons it's vital to choose high-quality supplements. Plus, those that make superior supplements are less likely to vary the quality and effectiveness of their products from one batch to the next.

wooden bowl of white collagen powder with a wooden spoon on a teal background

Finding the Right Collagen Supplement for You

There are many reasons so many people decide to use Brightcore's Revive® as their collagen supplement of choice. It’s consistently produced with the same high-quality, multi-collagen protein powder derived from wild-caught fish, cage-free chickens, grass-fed hydrolyzed bovine, and eggshell, and other premium ingredients. Plus, it's tasteless, non-GMO, dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and has no binders, fillers, and colors.

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