Collagen is a word that everyone who is even vaguely interested in skincare is is interested in .There’s a plethora of products on chemists’ shelves, in health food stores and supermarkets, all claiming to boost collagen production. But what exactly is collagen, why is it so important for our skin, and how can we really boost collagen production in our bodies?
What is collagen?
Collagen is a protein found in the human body. But it’s not just any protein - it’s the most abundant protein in the body (making up around 30%), and there are lots of types of it too, which can be found in the skin, bones, connective tissues, joints - pretty much everywhere. It’s often referred to as the glue or the scaffolding that holds everything together structurally. It’s important for many different reasons, but in this post, I’ll stick to why collagen is so essential for our skin.
So, what exactly makes collagen so great?
Well, this protein is responsible for healthy-looking skin that is soft and able to snap back to shape. It keeps us looking smooth, supple and youthful. Imagine a nice juicy nectarine. It’s full, it’s firm and it has no lines - very much like a youthful looking face that has tons of collagen.
What happens to collagen as we age?
While collagen is abundant in youth ,as we age, our once abundant source of collagen starts to diminish. Which means our beautifully young-looking, soft skin starts to sag, thin and lose tone, and those dreaded wrinkles start to appear.
In fact, when we reach our 20s, our collagen production starts to dwindle by 1% each year - and by the time we get to 50, we’ve lost 30% of our body’s collagen. So, if you’re starting to see sagging in your skin, this is the reason. It simply means that the collagen is breaking down and isn’t as structurally sound as it used to be.
There are things you can do to boost collagen production to get rejuvenated-looking skin
Can I apply collagen topically?
One of the biggest questions relating to collagen is whether it can be applied topically to rejuvenate skin, through a cream or serum. After all, there are loads of lotions and potions which promote collagen as the main ingredient, all promising to give us amazingly young-looking skin. But that’s not technically true. The collagen molecule is actually too big to be absorbed into the skin. It is also too big to be absorbed in to the gut. So, while we might be applying it as directed , it won’t give the desired effect that company claim.
So, how can you boost collagen?
While collagen can’t be absorbed through the skin using a cream or serum, there are various ways we can boost it.
Smoking, too much UV exposure and high sugar consumption all lead to faster collagen reduction, which can leave us looking more wrinkled much earlier. So cutting them out is obviously a good step towards keeping your skin looking great.
There are also foods that help increase production of the protein, as well as supplements and some pretty incredible treatments.
One skin supplement is Skinade.
Skinade contains collagen peptide taken from fish . The secret to younger-looking skin cells, called fibroblasts, to produce more of your own natural collagen, You need to ingest 6,000mg of collagen peptides daily to trigger fibroblast activity in the dermis. Skinade provides 7,000mg of collagen peptides to compensate for any shortfall in absorption. Anything less and you are unlikely to see any results.
It is believed that the presence of the collagen fragments sends false signals to the body, indicating that collagen destruction has occurred. This stimulates the collagen-producing cells, called fibroblasts, to produce more of your own natural collagen. The formulation of elastin (which gives skin elasticity) and hyaluronic acid (for hydration) are also stimulated.
The result, arguably, is an increase in your body's collagen levels, which in turn results in a a healthier, firmer complexion.
As we know the collagen molecules are too large to be absorbed. So to be absorbed before the digestive process kicks in, the collagen peptides need to be in a liquid form. This means that the collagen molecules have been broken into smaller pieces, called peptides, which have a very low molecular weight, making them more easily absorbed in the gut.
Research shown in two independent clinical studies, it been proven that the type of collagen peptides used in Skinade are absorbed into the bloodstream and in a recent double-blind, placebo-controlled case study, participants saw an increase in collagen density, skin hydration and skin elasticity after drinking Skinade for 90 days, compared to a control group. Skinade is dairy, lactose and gluten free and does not contain porcine or bovine collagen - it uses marine collagen, so is suitable for pescetarians.
This randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trial confirmed that skin ageing could be addressed using nutrients that are able to restore skin hydration, elasticity, and density.
Objective dermatological measurements, such as cutometry and corneometry, have proven that oral collagen peptides together with other dermonutrients significantly improve skin hydration, elasticity, roughness, and density after three months of intake. These tests thus verify the results obtained in previous trials. Moreover, and in line with the objective measurements, the study participants, in their subjective assessments, concluded that their skin appearance had significantly improved.
Finally, the collagen supplement did not cause any side effects and proved to be safe and well tolerated during the entire period of application and thereafter.
Since the collagen peptides and the skin nutrients were taken orally, the effects reached the deeper layers of the skin and sustainably improved skin physiology and appearance. In conclusion, the tested dermonutrient allowed for a long-lasting and cosmetically relevant regeneration of the skin. Ongoing studies are exploring the decisive nutritional mechanisms involved in improving skin physiology and appearance.
What types of food contain collagen?
A great place to start on your mission to increased collagen production is by selecting the right foods. A diet rich in vitamins C and E is a great place to start. So, think meat, eggs, fish, seeds, nuts and grains, avocado, cabbage, broccoli and peppers.
What aesthetic treatments help boost collagen?
So, what if you want to achieve a collagen boost much more quickly - and in the places we most want to see results? Years ago, we simply had to accept that our skin was ageing, and so too were we, but nowadays, there are so many non-surgical treatments out there that are accessible and involve little to no downtime. Here are just a few examples of the non-surgical treatments that cause controlled trauma to the skin which helps boost collagen to give us rejuvenated skin.
Ablative laser skin therapy
Non-ablative laser skin therapy
Looking for products that will help boost collagen? Vitamin C - SkinCeutical CE Ferulic,Phloretin CF.
Retinol can increase cell turnover and stimulate collagen and elastin production
Why not check out our Skin Consultation service, where you can chat with a skin pro to figure out what products work best for your skincare concern available on our website https://www.nualawoulfe.ie/