"Traditional doctors will tell you that when you ingest collagen, your stomach acids will break it down, and it doesn't do anything," holistic plastic surgeon Anthony Youn, M.D., says on the mindbodygreen podcast. "But there are studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals that do show that people who do take collagen supplements have an increase in the collagen content of their skin. And this is a direct correlation of ingesting collagen supplements."*
Specifically, hydrolyzed collagen peptides have been shown to help promote the body's natural production of collagen and other compounds that make up the skin, like elastin and fibrillin.* "There are also studies that do show that people who take collagen supplements do appear to have skin that is more hydrated, has less wrinkles, and looks more youthful,"* notes Youn. Take this 2019 review of oral collagen's effects on the skin, for example, which showed that collagen peptides will support skin elasticity and hydration levels and promote youthful texture.*
And there’s plenty more research where that came from. In fact, board-certified dermatologist Whitney Bowe, M.D., recently declared on the Healthier Together podcast that collectively, "the science behind collagen would put some of these other trendy skin care ingredients everyone talks about all the time to shame." If you take it consistently over time, “you can absolutely see a difference in your skin," she adds.