How Can I Regain Collagen in My Skin?
We’re all familiar with collagen, or at least know of it. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. We find it everywhere – from our skin to our bones, muscles and tendons. It’s the ‘scaffolding’ that holds the body together and is essential for skin, elasticity, healthy hair and nails and even our digestion.
As we age, the process of producing and renewing collagen slows down, which means our skin doesn’t repair itself as fast or as well as it once did. So it’s less resilient and signs of ageing, such as lines, wrinkles and lax skin, begin to show.
Collagen is fundamental to the look and quality of the skin, so what exactly happens to it as we age, and what can we do to build it back up and preserve healthy, youthful skin for longer?
What does collagen do?
Collagen is the protein that gives our skin its structure and firmness, forming the scaffolding of the skin. In the body, collagen keeps our joints and bones healthy and promotes heart and muscle health, making the arteries more flexible and preventing strokes and heart attacks by promoting better blood circulation.
When collagen breaks down in the skin, it will become drier, and wrinkles and fine lines will begin to form. If you fail to maintain a good quality skincare regime alongside healthy lifestyle habits, the effects will worsen, and the skin will age at a much faster rate.
What happens to collagen as we age?
Our skin creates its own collagen in cells called fibroblasts, and the process of producing new collagen goes on very efficiently until we reach the age of 25 when the production line begins to slow down.
Collagen production keeps ticking over at a slower rate during our 30s and into our 40s, but the tipping point comes with menopause, at which point it more or less stops altogether.
In addition to ageing, our lifestyle choices can have a significant impact on our collagen supplies. UV light gradually wears down collagen levels if you fail to protect the skin with sunscreen daily. Smoking, free radicals and sugar consumption also accelerate collagen breakdown, prompting the face to look sunken, wrinkled and to collapse more easily into folds.
What can we do to boost and preserve collagen levels?
There are several different ways you can boost your collagen levels – supplementation, injectable treatments, and energy-based treatments that kick-start fibroblasts into action. Each should be used alongside a healthy lifestyle and daily sunscreen protection – after all, prevention is always better than cure.
When it comes to rebuilding collagen and elastin in the skin for long-lasting results, few treatments can touch RF Microneedling. It works by penetrating the skin at a precise depth with tiny needles before releasing a burst of radiofrequency energy to heat the skin and the deeper tissues. This process awakens your body’s natural healing process by stimulating the production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, resulting in a tighter, smoother, more lifted appearance.
The brands containing enough of the right sort of collagen can make a significant difference to the skin. Studies have shown that oral intake of collagen peptides can reduce fine lines and wrinkles and have several other beneficial effects on the skin.
Look for hydrolysed collagen formulas – collagen that has been broken up into tiny fragments which the body can absorb and distribute efficiently. Essentially, your body is tricked into thinking that these fragments indicate there has been some trauma to the skin and repair is urgently needed, which then stimulates fibroblasts to produce more collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid—Aka, the compounds that give our skin its youthful qualities.
Profhilo is an injectable treatment that works by stimulating collagen and elastin production beneath the skin’s surface, hydrating and boosting the skin, whilst also remodelling the ageing and sagging tissue being treated for improved skin quality hydration and collagen production.
There are various chemical peels that address mild and more advanced skin concerns such as acne, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. And whilst you’re waiting for the skin cells to turn over and reveal a fresher, more radiant complexion, your skin is at work building more collagen and elastin fibres that increase firmness and youthful bounce.
When it comes to creating new and healthy collagen, maintaining a strict skincare regime can increase skin cell turnover, elasticity, radiance and firmness – but choose products with clinical studies to back them up.
Using sunscreen daily to block or reduce skin exposure to UV radiation is the best thing that you can do for your skin. Antioxidants will minimise collagen degradation by reducing the concentration of free radicals in the tissues. Then incorporate cell regulators into your regime such as retinol, peptides and growth factors to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin fibres.
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Disclaimer: Please be aware that results and benefits may vary from patient to patient taking into consideration factors such as age, lifestyle and medical history.