September 10, 2021 9 min read

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    When it comes to skincare, the cosmetic aisle appears saturated with miracle cures, from serums to night creams, and masks. It doesn’t stop there. More invasive treatments like Botox and surgical methods promise the same thing. Skincare brands claim to have found the perfect formula and the best combinations to offer you a glowing, dewy, and youthful complexion that everyone’s aiming for. We’re all tired of flashy ads and marketing stunts, and believe it’s time to investigate the science before coming to any conclusions.

    The secret to long-term skincare results lies in the structure of the skin itself. When you think about it, the skin needs to be properly fed in order to preserve its elasticity and plumpness. And since collagen and hyaluronic acid are important parts of the skin’s composition, we’ve decided to explore the potential of combining them - in both dietary and topical forms. Let’s see what this dynamic duo can do for your skin.

    What Is Collagen Anyway?

    Collagen is a protein found naturally throughout the entire body, but it is mainly secreted by the connective tissue cells. Besides ligaments, joints, bones, muscles, and cartilage, collagen plays one of the most important roles in the skin’s structure. It is largely present in the middle layer of the skin (the dermis) where it promotes the formation of fibroblasts. This process is crucial for the growth of new cells and the replacement of old, dead skin cells. [1]

    Collagen is not just any protein, but the most plentiful protein in the human body, accounting for one-third of the body’s entire protein mass! While there are many types of collagen, types I, II, and III are most abundant. [1] Roughly 90% of all collagen is type I, mainly found in the skin, as well as bones, tendons, and some organs. Type II, on the other hand, is mainly present in cartilage, while collagen type III is dominant in lymphoid tissues and bone marrow. [2]

    Collagen Types

    Besides its predominant role in skin health, collagen has many other health benefits you should know about. Since it is one of the major components of joints, collagen can ease joint pain and aid in improving overall mobility, especially in cases of osteoarthritis. If our bodies become collagen deficient, we risk brittle, weak bones, and osteoporosis. Collagen also plays a role in the health of our muscles. Increased collagen intake is associated with lean muscle building and faster muscle recovery. [3]

    Now, when it comes to collagen there is good news and bad news. The good news is collagen is synthesized from amino acids in the body, which basically means, given the right nutrients, the body can make collagen for us. On the flip side, natural collagen production isn’t something that comes without a limit. In our late twenties, collagen production starts decreasing by about 1.5% per year, and we have to obtain collagen from our nutrition, supplements, and from our skincare routines. [1]

    Hyaluronic Acid: What Is It & Why Do We Need It

    While it may be difficult to pronounce, the role of hyaluronic acid (HA) in skin health, and especially skin aging is clearly proven. This acid is the key molecule in skin hydration. One of the biggest issues in aging skin is its lack of hydration. [4] Just like collagen, the body can produce hyaluronic acid naturally, and it is mostly found in the skin, joints, and eyes. [5]

    Hyaluronic acid is actually a humectant, which means it has moisture-retaining capability. HA, according to Harvard Health, can retain over one thousand times its weight in water! [6] Unfortunately, as we age, the production of collagen isn’t the only process that is jeopardized. With age, the amount of HA we can produce on our own decreases drastically, which is mirrored by visual signs of aging: lack of plumpness, hydration, and uneven tone.

    Hyaluronic acid is actually a humectant

    Besides its role in graceful aging, HA has other important functions in the body. One of them is wound healing, as HA has been found to lower inflammation and aid the body in producing more blood vessels in wounded areas. What’s more, hyaluronic acid treatment has antibacterial properties and has been shown to reduce the size of the wound and can alleviate pain. [7]

    Let’s talk about joints. HA also has a role in joint health and healthy mobility. By keeping bones lubricated, HA prevents the bones from grinding against each other and creating serious injuries. Furthermore, HA can aid in acid reflux management, as it may promote the healing of the esophagus. It’s also effective in reducing dry eye symptoms and improving overall eye health. [7]

    Collagen & Hyaluronic Acid: The Winning Skin Health Duo

    Both of these powerful nutrients have important roles to play in skin health. Even by implementing one of them into your skincare routine, you’ll start to notice a difference in the appearance of your skin within weeks. So why not take advantage of both of these age-defying products by combining them? Here’s what you need to know:

    Collagen makes up 75-80% of the skin, which makes its role in skin health and structure quite prominent. [8] Being the major component in skin structure, collagen is largely responsible for its elasticity and hydration. As natural collagen production decreases with age, wrinkles, fine lines, and dry skin can quickly become visible. [9]

    Collagen Nutrition

    Supplementing with a quality hydrolyzed collagen supplement has been shown to aid in improving skin elasticity and plumpness while reducing the depth of wrinkles and smoothing out skin texture. [9] Furthermore, collagen increases skin hydration, which is the best way to reduce skin dryness and get that dewy, healthy appearance we’re all looking for. In addition, collagen stimulates the production of other proteins we need in our skin, including fibrillin and elastin. [9]

    According to a study conducted by L. Bolke and colleagues, oral collagen peptides can significantly improve skin hydration, elasticity, density, and roughness. The study also recognizes supplementing with collagen peptides as a completely safe method of reaching the deeper layers of the skin and improving skin appearance and structure from within. [10]

    Since skin dryness is one of the main prerequisites for skin aging, as suggested by a study conducted by J. Asserin et al, supporting skin hydration through collagen can be very effective if taken daily. The study also emphasizes the role of collagen supplementation in skin barrier function and the natural synthesis of both collagen and hyaluronic acid. The participants in this study were found to have changes in collagen density and overall skin structure after only 4 weeks of daily collagen supplementation. [11]

    On the topic of skin hydration, adding a hyaluronic acid supplement alongside collagen will help to hydrate the skin on a deeper level. Hydration in the skin actually depends upon the amount of HA in the dermis and its ability to bind water molecules in the dermis and the epidermis. Using collagen and HA together will supercharge hydration levels. [12]

    Besides regulating water balance in the skin, HA plays an important role in skin tissue repair.   A study on hyaluronic acid as a key molecule in skin aging reports that higher levels of HA in the skin have also been linked to scar-free tissue repair. [12] 

    HA plays an important role in skin tissue repair

    Also, many skin barrier injuries seem to come from excessive exposure to UV radiation, which is also one of the leading factors in premature aging. Both collagen and hyaluronic acid play a significant role in the repair of the skin barrier when it comes to UV radiation-induced skin wounds. [12] 

    A study conducted by C. Kawada and colleagues found HA ingestion has been associated with increased collagen production, which is just another reason why collagen and HA make a great combo.[13] This process also boosts cell proliferation, which inhibits water loss in the skin and also supports natural HA production. [13]

    However, this is not the only mutual role of collagen and hyaluronic acid in skin health and graceful aging. Both of these powerful nutrients are responsible for skin moisture and hydration, which are the two main parameters when it comes to skin aging. They’re also a bulletproof duo when it comes to skin tissue repair and wound healing. Finally, by taking them together, you’re getting all the benefits of both of these skin health staples and addressing aging concerns from the inside out.

    Topical Skincare or Supplements

    The topical vs. oral debate has been going on for decades - and not only when it comes to collagen. At the end of the day, we believe all approaches to skincare are valid and creams have a place as much as capsules. However, the most effective skincare happens from within. Essential, graceful aging, skin nutrients are all available in topical products, but their degree of effectiveness comes down to bioavailability.

    When it comes to both collagen and hyaluronic acid, both of these molecules are too big to penetrate the outer layer of the skin and reach the cells in need. [6] So, that $100 serum you bought this summer might not offer the miracles you’re looking for. This means the collagen and HA you get from your favorite skincare products will sit on top of your skin and hydrate the outer layer. While this is still beneficial, it is not as effective at targeting the structure of the skin where lasting results are found. [6]

    Quality topical products containing these nutrients, especially HA, will probably do a great job at moisturizing your skin and giving you that nourished, beautiful appearance on the outside. However, when it comes to managing the visible signs of aging, hydrating the skin from within, and battling dryness - we have to “dig” a bit deeper than that. Only a dietary supplement with high bioavailability (the amount of the nutrient that is actually absorbed and used) can actually reach the deeper layers of skin and make a noticeable change in its composition. [6]

    Dietary supplements for skin

    You’ll notice there are many topical products and oral supplements combining collagen and hyaluronic acid in one product. While this may seem like the best solution and the most convenient way of obtaining both nutrients at once, the quality of the ingredients and the amount of actual nutrients is often questionable. In order to get the best results, prioritize high-quality ingredients with high concentrations. Purchase collagen and HA separately to get the cleanest ingredients and the most effective results. In the end, it will be more value for your money as well.


    While our social media feeds are often saturated with skincare products and mixed messaging, remember that proven skincare results start from the inside out.

    Topical products, as the term itself implies, will only treat the outside portion of your skin. While it’s fine to incorporate topical products as well, lasting changes start from within. Our nutrition is the basis for every single aspect of our health, and the decisions we make in the kitchen will certainly be reflected in our skin’s appearance.

    Collagen and hyaluronic acid both have prominent roles in skin health, from hydration to healing. By combining them, you’re accessing every single aspect of skin hydration, elasticity, texture, strength, and vitality. While they’re available in topical products, it is our recommendation to go with quality collagen and hyaluronic acid supplements, as they offer a much higher rate of bioavailability. For our full assortment of all-natural, non-GMO supplements, check out our online store.

    Article References:

    1. Collagen: What is it and what are its uses? (n.d.). Retrieved from website:
    2. January 2020, R. R.-L. S. C. 23. (n.d.). What is collagen? Retrieved from website:
    3. Elliott, B. (2018, April 6). Top 6 Benefits of Taking Collagen Supplements. Retrieved from Healthline website:

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    1. Papakonstantinou, E., Roth, M., & Karakiulakis, G. (2012). Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging. Dermato-endocrinology, 4(3), 253–258.
    2. Why a Hyaluronic Acid Supplement Is the Secret to Younger-Looking Skin. (2019, November 20). Retrieved August 24, 2021, from Dave Asprey website:
    3. MHS, K. L., MD. (2020, January 23). The hype on hyaluronic acid. Retrieved from Harvard Health Blog website:
    4. Julson, E. (2018, April 21). 7 Surprising Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid. Retrieved from Healthline website:
    5. An Overview of Your Skin | Cleveland Clinic. (2016). Retrieved from Cleveland Clinic website:
    6. Top 6 Benefits of Taking Collagen Supplements. (n.d.). Retrieved from Healthline website:
    7. Bolke, L., Schlippe, G., Gerß, J., & Voss, W. (2019). A Collagen Supplement Improves Skin Hydration, Elasticity, Roughness, and Density: Results of a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Blind Study. Nutrients, 11(10), 2494.
    8. Asserin, J., Lati, E., Shioya, T., & Prawitt, J. (2015). The effect of oral collagen peptide supplementation on skin moisture and the dermal collagen network: evidence from an ex vivo model and randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials. Journal of cosmetic dermatology, 14(4), 291–301. 
    9. Papakonstantinou, E., Roth, M., & Karakiulakis, G. (2012). Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging. Dermato-endocrinology, 4(3), 253–258.
    10. Kawada, C., Yoshida, T., Yoshida, H., Matsuoka, R., Sakamoto, W., Odanaka, W., Sato, T., Yamasaki, T., Kanemitsu, T., Masuda, Y., & Urushibata, O. (2014). Ingested hyaluronan moisturizes dry skin. Nutrition journal, 13, 70. 

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