Collagen – What’s the Big Deal?
So the popularity of Collagen Induction Therapy is on the rise. Great! Well, great supposing you know what collagen is. It’s kind of difficult to get excited if you’re not so sure what it’s all about. But it’s clear to us at Aesthetic BTN that it is something people want more of. What are the benefits of more collagen? How do you get more collagen? Is Collagen Induction Therapy effective?
Time to write a blog!
What is collagen?
Collagen is a protein that is abundant in our skin. It provides scaffolding, structure, support, rigidity, and has sometimes been described as the skeleton of the skin.
These functions in turn gives the skin elasticity and firmness helping it appear tighter, smoother and more youthful. So, it’s quite important then!
Why do we lose collagen?
Our bodies continue to produce collagen naturally until the age of 30. But as we age, the production of collagen slows down in the body. Worse still, from the age of 35 it actually starts to break down! By the age of 40, it is reducing by 1% annually and by age 70, the loss is around 30%! This causes the structure of the skin to weaken and leads to line, wrinkles and sagging.
Now, although the ageing process is unfortunately out of control, there are some thing we can control! Let’s take a look at some of the environmental factors that play a part in collagen loss and skin ageing:
We know sun exposure accelerates ageing of the skin, but how exactly?
- It’s UVB rays that are responsible for sunburn at the surface of the skin, however it’s actually the UVA rays penetrate further into the dermis layer.
- As a result, the collagen which is found in the dermis is broken down. It also breaks down elastin, which is another connective tissue protein found in the skin which maintains skin elasticity (the name is kind of a giveaway).
- UVA rays are present all year round.
- Furthermore sun exposure also stimulates melanocytes, which cause pigmentation.
- WEARING SUNSCREEN EVERYDAY IS SUPER IMPORTANT!!
- When we wash our faces at the end of the day, there is plenty more we should be focusing on removing than just make-up.
- Pollution comes at our skin in so many forms including car exhausts, smog, chemicals such as carbon dioxide and ozone.
- Some of these forms of pollution are present in the air in particles that are smaller than the size of our pores, which is bad news as they absorb easily.
- When these particles come in contact with the skin, they form free-radicals which are aggressive, highly unstable molecules that destroy healthy skin.
- This damage leads to the acceleration of an enzyme called MMP-1. What does this enzyme do? You guessed it, it breaks down collagen!
- We all know of the major consequences of smoking, but how does it affect the skin?
- Smoking starves the skin of oxygen and narrows blood vessels. This affects circulation and accelerates break down collagen and elastin.
- It also depletes Vitamin C in the body, which is essential for the formation of collagen.
- Smoking also leads to the same free-radical process that occurs with pollution.
- It’s definitely time to stop smoking!
- Sugar from our diet attach to the collagen in the skin, through the process called glycation. This produces A.G.E.s or Advanced Glycation Endpoints.
- A.G.E.s are free-radicals and, you guessed it, a process of damage follows that .
So in summary, not a great outlook for our precious collagen? But don’t worry, I’m not going to leave you on a downer!
So, what can we actively do to improve the collagen in our skin and prevent the breakdown?
A few options that we can choose to do:
- Use sunscreen every day. In fact I’m so passionate about this, I feel another blog post coming on!
- Apply an antioxidant serum every morning. I refer you to my previous blog on antioxidants, which has a wealth of information about the benefit and the importance of choosing an effective one!
- Clean eating; your body and your skin will thank you for it.
- Stop smoking; need I say more?
- Cleanse your face efficiently every night. Make up wipes do NOT do this!
- Get a course of Chemical Skin Peels: Numerous studies have shown that no matter what depth the peel penetrates, it will stimulate collagen production.
- And last but certainly not least, Collagen Induction Therapy. It does what is says on the tin! Also known as Microneedling, the controlled injury to the skin by tiny needles triggers the body to form new collagen, therefore plumping the skin.
Hopefully this has shed some light on the protein known as collagen and the important role it plays in maintaining youthful looking skin.
If there are any areas not covered in the blog, please feel free to message us at Aesthetic BTN and we will answer your question as soon as possible!