What is collagen?
Collagen is a type of protein that is fibrous in nature, connecting and supporting other bodily tissues. Some people refer to collagen as the glue that holds the body together. Collagen works with keratin to provide skin with strength, flexibility and resistance. As we age, cell degradation occurs, leading to wrinkles. Think of collagen fibers as a chain-link fence. Now imagine those links rusting and falling apart; and as the links break, the fence falls. As our collagen production decreases this is what happens to skin fibers resulting in sagging, crepe-like skin. In addition, fibroblasts (collagen producing cells) decrease their production of new collagen as we age.
Once the importance of collagen in the skin is understood it is easier to understand why stimulating collagen production is the key to any good skin care and anti-aging regimen. Numerous studies explain why certain products and skin care treatments are effective at rejuvenating the skin. These treatments & products (discussed below) improve skin appearance and its ability to resist injury, wrinkling, and sagging by stimulating new collagen production.
Collagen enhancing treatments
IPL treatments stimulate collagen production adding firmness to the skin through the introduction of light waves into the skin. The heat generated by the light signals the body to produce more collagen in effort to repair itself. Even though no harmful damage occurs during this treatment, the body is triggered to produce more collagen. Other treatments such as microdermabrasion and chemical peels work in the same way. These treatments signal to the body that disruption of skin cells has occurred thus triggering an increase in collagen production. In fact, in 2007 researchers reported that the wrinkle-filler Restylane promoted new collagen growth and limited collagen breakdown, helping the body to retain firmness and elasticity as a result of the treatment.
Collagen enhancing products
While many skin care product lines claim to increase or stimulate collagen production, not all products are equal to the task. Cosmoceuticals, or medical grade skin care products, contain higher amounts of the active ingredients necessary to increase collagen production. Therefore, they are more effective at doing the task they claim to do – provide anti-aging benefits for the skin. Products sold at drugstores contain much lower levels of the ingredients, and as a result, often much more of the product is needed and a much longer time is necessary to use these products while still resulting in less than noticeable change in the skin. SkinMedica has developed a product, TNS Recovery Complex, that is very effective at increasing collagen production. Learn more about this product at www.TNSRecoverycomplex.com. When used daily, positive results can be seen in 2 – 3 months.
Antioxidants also help stimulate fibroblasts to produce collagen fibers. These antioxidants include Vitamin C, Green Tea, and Vitamins A & E. Vitamin C is a very potent antioxidant necessary in the synthesis of collagen. Vitamin C’s acidity helps it penetrate the skin and maintain its effectiveness. Many people experience tingling upon application (using it just once a day in the morning.) Because this product is fairly unstable, packaging is important – look for it in a pump dispenser. Vitamin A, in the form of retinols or Retin A, is probably the hallmark of an anti-aging routine. Research has shown that using retinols consistently significantly reduced wrinkles and skin roughness by promoting new collagen. When left on the skin retinols can cause sensitivity to the sun. Because of this it is recommended that this product be used each night after cleansing and washed off in the morning before leaving the house.
Routine, routine, routine
Now that you understand how important collagen production is to our skin’s health you can also understand the importance of getting on a daily regimen that is easy to maintain. It does little good to follow a great skin care routine for a few months only to quit using the products after improvement is noticed. After time, collagen production will slow down again and essentially you will be back to square-one. Like anything else in life, if you want good results you have to stick with it. Make sure you treat yourself to microdermabrasions, chemical peels, facials etc. on a regular basis to keep your skin on alert that it needs to continue to produce collagen. Use your products daily and protect your skin from further damage by using a good sunscreen 365 days per year.
For more information about healthy skin, please contact us at www.enhancedskincare.net
Enhanced Skin Care Center is located at:
24825 Eureka Rd. in Taylor, MI 48180