What is Collagen?
Collagen is one one of those terms that is easily tossed around in the skin care world. “You must Increase your collagen-production,” our estheticians confidently tell us. “What is collagen?” we ask.” Stumped, they mutter out a few words that they learned in beauty school. “It keeps your skin firm!” That should keep us happy for a while! But, what is collagen and why is it so important in skin care?
The word “collagen” has its roots in its latin cousin “kola,” which means glue ~ that which holds substances firmly together. It makes up about 30% of all protein in our body and is the main component of connective tissue. This tissue includes teeth, ligaments, skin, muscles, bones, tendons, and much more. With the right amount, our skin looks supple, firm and youthful. As our collagen levels decrease, our skin begins to look thinner and crepier in a way that an extra layer of moisturizer can’t quite address.
Collagen contains 18 different amino acids. Proline (25%) and glycine (20%) are the most abundant. These amino acids help create more collagen. However, the body’s ability to create collagen reduces as we age, resulting in less “glue” to keep our skin firm and supple. Replenishing our supply is difficult. For this reason, skin care products which contain collagen is essential for maintaining a youthful appearance.
6 Health Benefits Collagen
Collagen and Aging
Collagen has been receiving a lot of attention in the skin care industry. Collagen-induction therapy (aka micro-needling), skin-boosting products and other collagen inducing therapies are increasingly being demanded in the anti-aging community. As it turns out, utilizing these therapies are quite effective in slowing (or turning around) the aging process.
A major study showed that older women improved their skin moisture and elasticity with the use of collagen. This double-blind, placebo-controlled study also found no side effects. The study’s results suggest collagen for skin tightening and anti-aging works wonders.
This finding is not shocking. We understand that older women experience lower collagen production. Naturally, this leads to loose skin and the formation of wrinkles. But, what are the most effective remedies for our inevitable decrease in collagen production?
Dermatologist Dr. Amy Wechsler confirmed our findings. “Collagen gives our skin its plumpness,” she claims. “We start to lose collagen probably around age 18, actually—it starts to slowly diminish.” Ouch ~ this confirms that most of us are 10 years past our own #PeakCollagen. Human agency plays a part though, as well. “There are things we do to our skin or that we’re exposed to that break down collagen more quickly than in the normal aging process,” Dr. Weschsler claims. “Not Sleeping enough, smoking or secondhand smoke, not wearing sunscreen—a good broad spectrum one and reapplying it— and high stress level—or cortisol— all increase our loss of collagen.” Essentially exercise, sleep, and sex keeps you young!
In addition to lifestyle choices, feeding your skin collagen-boosting products helps keep your skin supple. Biodorga MD’s Anti-Age line is a high-performance product whose collagen “peptide power” is optimized through phytostimulants. This product contains highly effective tripeptides that promote the skin’s collagen synthesis and combats collagen breakdown. It minimizes lines and wrinkles and plumps up the skin from the inside, optimizing the skin’s ability to retain moisture. Biodroga MD’s Anti-Age day, night and eye care are an important part of supplying the skin the collagen it needs to stay young.
A 2004 study found that topical collagen can reduce the presence of wrinkles, cellulite and stretch marks, acne scars and other skin issues for women. Did you know that we can blame almost 90% of acne scars on collagen loss and degradation of collagen fibers? Restoring collagen production speeds up the healing process and removes chronic skin conditions faster. Its anti-aging properties regenerate skin cells, which will replace damaged cells.
Micro-needling is another term for “collagen-induction therapy.” Micro-needling, a non-invasive treatment, can be used for multiple purposes ~ to stimulate collagen production, minimize acne scars, reduce fine lines and wrinkles and improve the appearance of hyper-pigmentation. This type of collagen-induction utilizes a device with fine needles to create wells inside the epidermis, jump starting the skin to stimulate its own anti-aging process and facilitating a deeper penetration of products.
There are a number of impressive studies that show that this treatment, which uses small needles to prick the skin and stimulate the body’s natural healing process, is an easy and efficient way to overcome a number of problematic skin conditions.
For optimal effect, micro-needling should be combined with highly effective serums, ampoulses, concentrates and/or peels – such as those offered in the Biodroga MD line.