You’ve probably heard about it a thousand times, but do you know what Collagen actually is … and why it’s so vital for your skin?
Collagen is a protein and as it represents over 25% of the total proteins that make up the body, it’s one of the most important ones.
We find it in all of the body’s essential structures such as bones, tendons, ligaments and the skin. It’s responsible for producing flexible, strong fibres (collagen fibres), that keep the inner workings of all tissues functioning properly.
What’s collagen’s role in the skin?
Collagen is the skin’s support, giving it the firmness and elasticity it needs to move and function healthily. You could say it’s the skeleton of your skin.
Your body makes collagen naturally until about 30 years of age, after which it produces increasingly fewer hormones and less collagen.
At the age of 40 collagen production can decrease up to 1% annually, while this loss is around 30% per year by the age of 70!
The progressive decline of collagen production and the resulting reduction in the quality and quantity of collagen fibres, causes the skin to weaken. This in turn thins the skin and triggers more sagging and wrinkles.
In summary, ageing doesn’t destroy collagen, but rather diminishes its production. Other factors contribute to the loss of collagen and destroy the body’s existing reserves ie stress, a diet poor in vitamins, minerals and amino acids, plus over exposure to the sun.
Easy Ways to Boost Your Collagen
Even though it is impossible to maintain stable levels throughout life, there are factors that can help us to compensate for the loss of collagen and slow down damage to our skin:
- You Are What You Eat: It’s important to eat a balanced diet, thus preventing destruction of the skin’s collagen levels. Eat beans, cabbage and garlic, which are rich in sulphur, which aids the forming of collagen and maintains the skin’s natural healthy pigmentation. Vitamin C – from citrus fruits, kiwi, broccoli, spinach – also supports the process of collagen formation and works to reduce oxidative damage. Meat, fish, dairy and eggs are a good source of collagen for our body. Adding gelatine to your diet is also favourable, as it is highly beneficial for skin elasticity in addition to being low in fat and calories.
- Quit Smoking And Sugar! Smoking can kill off collagen, as it ages the skin restricting blood flow. This results in dry, leathery and wrinkled skin around the lips and eyes. Unfortunately sugar can have the same effect. Cut back where you can.
- Vitamin E and its derivatives. Incorporating vitamin E into your diet or applying it to your skin will aid in protecting collagen fibres and elastin. Some foods high in Vitamin E are: oils, almonds, spinach, quinoa, salmon and pine nuts.
- Stay Well Hydrated. Keeping your skin hydrated with plenty of clean water, plant foods and hydrating skin care is possibly the easiest way to boost collagen. The more hydrated your skin is, the better environment it gives for collagen to thrive.
- Aesthetics Solutions. There are several aesthetics treatments that help the skin to re-build lost collagen such as Microneedling – the ultimate Collagen Induction Therapy – and the Plasma Pen Skin Tightening treatment, also known as Fibroblast or Plasmablast Treatments. These will help to enhance skin tone, resistance and elasticity of sagging skin. Such treatments immediately improving the skin’s smoothness, while strengthening its structure over time.
By understanding, the invaluable role played by collagen in your skin, hopefully you’ll be more aware of what’s needed to keep healthy, more youthful skin for a longer time.
Here at Aesthetics Julie Edwards, we offer the latest Aesthetics and Advanced Beauty Treatments to help you stay younger for longer. Get In Touch if you’d like more information about what we can do for you.