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What Is Bovine Collagen?

By Amy M. Armstrong ; Updated July 27, 2017

As its name implies, bovine collagen comes from cows. More specificially, it is a naturally-occuring substance found in the skin, muscle, bones and tendons of cows. By isolating and purifying bovine collagen, scientists created a ready supply of collagen to aid the beauty industry in its economically-profitable battle against wrinkles and other facial deformities.

What is Collagen?

The English word "collagen" comes from the Greek word "kola", which means glue. Collagen is a connecting and supporting protein essential for proper condition of hair, skin, bone, tendons, muscle and cartilage inside joints.

Not Straight From The Cow

Research into the use of bovine collagen began in the 1970s. Since then, beauty industry researchers developed a system of extracting the collagen from cow skin and purifying and sterilizing the substance before it is processed into a liquid form for distribution.

Not A Permanent Solution

Because bovine collagen is a protein, it breaks down in the human body just as other proteins do. This means that the wrinkle-decreasing effects of a bovine collagen injection can last anywhere from six weeks to a year before another round of collagen is necessary to maintain desired results.

Most Popular Uses

Bovine collagen therapy is generally used to fill in skin depressions resulting from scars, injury or the lines we all acquire in the aging process. Most often, bovine collagen is used for frown and worry lines as well as crow's feet and deep smile lines.

Allergic Reactions

Approximately three percent of the population is allergic to bovine collagen. Reactions include chest pain or shortness of breath and hives, as well as redness, skin irritation, lumps and scarring where the injection was made.

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