You can’t talk about anti-ageing skincare without the word “collagen” popping up.
We all age differently and that includes our skin. Depending on how you’ve taken care of your skin over the years, the tell tale signs of ageing does eventually start to show.
Hence, the constant search for the magic formula to keep wrinkles at bay and to obtain youthful glowing skin.
So what it all the fuss about collagen?
Dr Bradley Wagemaker, founder and medical director of Lamelle Research Laboratories, tells us all we need to know about the wonder ingredient.
What is collagen and why is it so important?
Collagen is a protein that is produced in all tissues of the body.
Its primary role is to add strength and support to all connective tissues or tissues that provide strength and support to the body.
Bone, cartilage, tendons, muscles are all examples of connective tissues rich in different types of collagen.
The skin also uses collagen as a structural support to prevent tearing if the skin is deformed with being pulled or stretched.
By holding the structure of the skin together, collagen ensures that all the elements of the skin are held in place and function correctly.
The blood vessels of the body even make use of collagen to strengthen their walls as to avoid bursting when the pressure changes.
So collagen is the central ’strength’ protein of the tissues in the body and is a vital to normal organ construction.
How can you naturally boost collagen for your skin?
The collagen in the skin is produced by specialised cells called fibroblasts.
There is an abundance of these cells in the various layers of the dermis (middle layer of the skin) and among its vital functions is the production and maintenance of the collagen strands in the skin.
Once produced, collagen has a very long life span in the skin and so keeping it in good condition is critical to maintaining healthy skin structure and ultimately functioning.
“Boosting” collagen is perhaps not the most accurate way to think of anti-ageing the skin, remember that too much collagen can also be a problem as this represents areas of abnormal skin functioning and structure.
Maintaining healthy levels of collagen requires the removal of damaged collagen and replacing this with normal levels of healthy collagen.
When we speak of home care that can naturally support the collagen structure of the skin, the most extensive research has been conducted on topical ingredients including retinoids, ascorbic acid, copper peptides, growth factors and hyaluronic acid.
Regular use with the correct dosing of these types of ingredients are able to optimally maintain the correct levels of healthy collagen while preventing the excessive breakdown of these proteins triggered by environmental insults.
Anti-ageing skin tips
Depending on your age of the condition of your skin, the best anti-ageing tips are rather different.
An individual with unwrinkled, evenly coloured, hydrated skin
Appropriate sun protection is the essential basis of preventing excessive collagen breakdown by aggressive enzymes.
This is used daily in conjunction with powerful anti-oxidants (and there are many) such as ascorbic acid, resveratrol, vitamin E, green tea extract, pycnogenol, ergothioneine, etc.
Additionally, barrier protection with specialised lipids and also hyaluronic acid assist the skin keep out the “baddies” and keep the much-needed hydration in the skin.
These home-care protocols that are used daily will keep skin youthful and healthy far beyond the years indicated on the birthday cake.
An individual with wrinkles, uneven skin colour and poor hydration
These individuals are the true “age correction” candidates. In addition to the routine above, these individuals need the powerful fibroblast stimulators mentioned earlier.
This individual will also require regular visits to their skin-care provider perform additional skin “activation” treatments to encourage as much removal of damage skin components as possible while optimally stimulating new healthy levels of collagen rebuilding in the skin.
This level of skin activation often requires both appropriate home care as well as professional sin care treatments.