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What's the deal with collagen supplements? Do they improve your skin?

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You may see more collagen supplements popping up at drug stores in the form of tablets, drinks and powders. They claim to boost the production of collagen from the inside, the protein that gives our skin structure and elasticity.

So how does the collagen get from your digestive tract to your skin? It doesn't, but here's the thinking on how it works:

As the body digests collagen molecules, breaking them down into smaller parts, it recognizes the bits of collagen and thinks there must have been an injury or breakdown and responds by boosting your natural collagen production.

A 2014 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that collagen supplementation helped hydrate skin after eight weeks and increased collagen density after four weeks. And a 2013 report in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology found slight improvement in skin moisture but a significant improvement in elasticity.

Collagen supplements can be sourced from fish, beef and pork.