Collagen peptides: unique antiageing benefits from within for beautiful skin

The beauty industry has grown consistently throughout history into a US$250bn global market.1 It has always been a dynamic industry, adapting to meet new innovations and scientific breakthroughs, says Caroline Brochard-Garnier, Communication Manager, Rousselot

Today, rising incomes, changing lifestyles and growing consumer awareness of the science behind health and beauty is continuing to drive growth and push demand for more choice than there was before. Increasing numbers of consumers are now looking for evermore effective and non-invasive methods to boost their personal beauty. Healthy and youthful-looking skin is a key component of a sought-after attractive appearance, with facial skincare products alone making up around 27% of the cosmetic industry.2 In fact, the skincare segment has long been a key component of the personal care and beauty market, growing by $15bn between 2007 and 2011.3

Beautiful skin on the outside needs a healthy foundation on the inside

Beautiful skin on the outside needs a healthy foundation on the inside. A growing body of research has shown how certain nutrients can make a significant contribution to skin health.4 Also referred to as 'Beauty from Within' solutions, nutricosmetics are nutritional supplements that support the structure of the skin from the inside. As awareness of these solutions increases, the number of consumers turning to nutricosmetics to aid skin beauty is on the rise, with the nutricosmetic market expected to be worth $4.24bn by 2017.5

With this in mind, Mai Nygaard, Global Product Manager for Rousselot’s Peptan collagen peptides discusses the science behind beautiful skin and the innovative ingredients that can deliver advanced skin health benefits from within.

A Healthy Foundation

The main structural element of the skin, collagen, is largely responsible for its characteristic properties, such as firmness and tonicity. The most abundant protein in the body, collagen’s role is to maintain the structure and resistance of the skin’s tissues, creating a network that anchors the layers of the skin and forms a support base for components such as elastin to maintain skin elasticity and hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture. Collagen fibres, constructed within fibroblast cells, are responsible for the maintenance and resistance of the skin tissues. The presence of collagen peptides regulates the activity of fibroblasts in the skin and stimulates the production of both collagen and hyaluronic acid, which is important for skin hydration.6

Smooth, firm and younger-looking skin requires optimum levels of well-organised collagen fibres

As we age, the production of new collagen fibres declines as collagen synthesis by fibroblasts decreases.7 Collagen is also hindered by its own ageing process. With age, collagen becomes more and more cross-linked and fragmented. This makes the skin tougher and limits the protein’s ability to bind large quantities of water, making the skin appear dry, dehydrated and old.

Smooth, firm and younger-looking skin requires optimum levels of well-organised collagen fibres to ensure it retains elasticity, firmness and its moisture-binding capacity. Research has shown that exogenous collagen peptides may act to trigger the synthesis of new collagen fibres by stimulating fibroblast cells.

Collagen peptides are the hydrolysed form of collagen. Having gained sustained popularity across Japan for their antiageing attributes when consumed as an ingestible nutricosmetic, collagen peptides are now increasingly sought after in the rest of the world. Rousselot’s Peptan range is an example of an effective collagen peptide ingredient. Offering a unique combination of amino acids not found in other protein sources, Peptan is derived from three natural origins: fish, porcine and bovine, though the fish-grade collagen peptide remains the most popular variety for beauty applications.

Collagen Peptides: Benefits from Within

As the most extensively researched collagen peptides available on the market, Peptan’s efficacy in supporting skin health is backed by a growing body of evidence. To assess the efficacy of Peptan collagen peptides, three double-blind randomised clinical studies were recently undertaken by leading skin institutes in both France and Japan. In each study, participants orally ingested a 10g daily dose of either Peptan or a placebo, and the antiageing and moisturising effects on the skin were recorded.

Rousselot Peptan collagen peptides

The key to smoother skin: Fine lines and wrinkles are a key indicator of age and, as such, wrinkle prevention is the primary aim of many consumers. A 12-week study conducted by Dermscan in France demonstrated that the consumption of Peptan contributes to a significant decrease in the number of microrelief furrows by 26%. The trial also showed that Peptan can help to prevent deep wrinkle formation and increase skin suppleness by 19%.8

Skin hydration effect: Similarly, in Japan, 22 women aged between 40 and 59 were selected in Tokyo to take part in an 8-week clinical study. Cutaneous hydration measurements were performed in this trial with a Corneometer to record Peptan’s moisturising effect. At the end of the trial, the Corneometer measurement found an increase in skin hydration of 28% for participants who had ingested Peptan. No increase was observed in the placebo group. These results demonstrate that a daily oral intake of Peptan can significantly reduce skin dryness and its associated signs.9

Skin is restructured in just one month: In the most recent French study, done by Cosderma, 106 women took part in a clinical trial to assess the effectiveness of Peptan F (fish origin) in the deeper layers of the skin. Advanced analytical technology was applied, using echography for collagen density measurement and advanced confocal laser technology to assess the degree of fragmentation of the collagen fibre network of the skin. At the end of the 12-week study, a significant collagen fragmentation decrease of 31% was reported in participants who received Peptan F — with obvious results after just 1 month (Figure 1). No change was observed in the placebo group.

Figure 1: Collagen fragmentation after intake of Peptan F at day 0, 28 and 84

In addition, collagen density improved by 9%. By decreasing collagen fragmentation and increasing the overall collagen density, Peptan F can promote visible antiageing effects on the skin.10 This restructuring of the skin is key to the understanding of how Peptan can boost the collagen network and density from the inside, leading to visible improvements in skin appearance, structure, firmness and elasticity after 1–3 months. In these studies, the participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire and report on acceptance of the Peptan supplement. Excellent acceptability was confirmed, with no side-effects reported.

Functional Benefits

As well as the proven efficacy of Peptan to support skin health and beauty, the innovative ingredient also offers a range of unique functional benefits, making it the ideal choice for manufacturers targeting the nutricosmetics market. Peptan, for example, delivers excellent organoleptic properties, such as a neutral taste and odour profile. They are also free from additives and preservatives, are fully traceable, 100% natural and cause no documented side-effects.

Peptan delivers excellent organoleptic properties

Additionally, Peptan is instantly soluble, heat and pH resistant, and can be incorporated into a wide range of applications, including powdered drinks, beauty beverages, bars and gummies.


As consumers grow increasingly aware of the benefits of nutricosmetics, there are growing opportunities for food and beverage manufacturers to tap into the lucrative health and beauty industry. To make the most of these opportunities and deliver products with real consumer appeal, manufacturers should work with proven, easy-to-use ingredients, such as Peptan collagen peptides, to carve their share in this burgeoning market.


1. PRNewswire, Global Beauty Care Products Industry 2012–2017: Trend, Profit and Forecast Analysis (2012).

2. P. Romanowski “A Cosmetic Industry Overview for Cosmetic Chemists,” (accessed on 6 December 2012).

3. Euromonitor (, 2011.

4. M.C. Cosgrove, et al., “Dietary Nutrient Intakes and Skin-Aging Appearance Among Middle-Aged American Women,” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 86, 1225–1231 (2007).

5. Global Industry Analysts, Inc., “Nutricosmetics: A Global Strategic Business Report,” 2011.

6. H. Ohara, et al., “Collagen-Derived Dipeptide, Proline-Hydroxyproline Stimulates Cell Proliferation and Hyaluronic Aid Synthesis in Cultured Human Dermal Fibroblasts,” Journal of Dermatology 37, 330–338 (2010).

7. A.E. Postlethwaite, J.M. Seyer and A.H. Kang, “Chemotactic Attraction of Human Fibroblasts to Type I, II, and III Collagens and Collagen-Derived Peptides,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 75(2), 871–875 (1978).

8. Clinical study 2008 — AOO654 — 51, Dermscan, France.

9. Clinical study YNTKK — 2008 — 4144, Souken, Japan.

10. Clinical Study, “Visualisation and Assessment versus Placebo of the Effect In Vivo of the Oral Intake of Hydrolysed Collagen on Skin Properties. Investigational Products: Rousselot Peptan F versus Maltodextrine PYC,” Cosderma, France, 2012.

Featured Companies

Rousselot (more information, website)