What do you think of when you hear the word collagen? For most of us, it is associated with plumping your lips or eliminating wrinkles. Despite that universal tidbit of information, what is collagen and is it safe? First off, collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body that holds the entire body together. It is found in bones, muscles, skin, and tendons. Most people believe it is only synthetic and used by plastic surgeons, but now that we're informed, let’s take a closer look.
Collagen is a protein made up of amino acids. To fully understand collagen you have to first understand our skin, which consists of three layers: epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue. The upper-most layer is the epidermis, which regulates the loss of water from the cells and tissue. Right below the epidermis level lies the dermis and it is primarily made up of protein or collagen. There is a network of fibers that is the foundation for the growth of those cells and blood vessels and collagen acts as a support structure for the skin. There is also collagen in the hypodermis, which is a layer of fat and connective tissues that contains even larger blood vessels and nerves.