Collagen, a fibrillar protein, is one of the main components of the dermis – the layer of our skin responsible for its strength, elasticity, and ability to stretch. What effect does the lack of collagen have on the skin? What can we do to minimize the loss of collagen and restore it? Are topical collagen products effective for collagen synthesis? Find out in this post.
What happens to our skin with collagen reduction?
Collagen, a fibrillar protein, is one of the main components of the body’s connective tissue, including the dermis – the layer of skin between the epidermis and fatty tissue. The dermis is responsible for the strength and elasticity of the skin, as well as its ability to stretch. With age, the volume of collagen synthesis decreases, which leads to thinning of the skin. It becomes less elastic and smooth, more flabby and loose, wrinkles appear, and generally, its vulnerability to external stimuli increases significantly.
Reduced collagen production leads to inhibition of the skin cell regeneration process. As a result, the epidermis becomes thinner, more transparent, and exposed to injuries. The lack of collagen also weakens the blood vessels, making their walls brittle, which leads to their rupture and the visibility of capillary networks. Low collagen levels affect the loss of fatty tissue, making the skin dry, irritated, and prone to sagging.
What can we do to slow down the loss of collagen and restore it?
The first thing you need to do is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Set a regular sleep schedule and ensure you have seven-eight hours of quality rest each night. Take some physical activity, and spend time in the fresh air daily. Try to reduce stressful factors and avoid unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking alcohol.
Develop a balanced meal plan. For collagen production, our body uses the amino acids received from food (fish and seafood, turkey, chicken, beef, eggs, beans, etc.). Vitamin C, copper, and zinc are also required for collagen synthesis.
Ensure that your skin gets good UV protection. UVA rays penetrate deep into the dermis damaging the collagen fibers. Excessive exposure to the sun causes photoaging; the skin loses its elasticity and becomes wrinkled. Applying sunscreen when outside is crucial.
In terms of cosmetics, the use of plant-derived antioxidants, and the ones contained in vitamins A, E, and C, can reduce the breakdown and enhance the production of collagen.
Do topical collagen products work to boost collagen synthesis?
In cosmetics, the main role of collagen is moisturizing. It reduces transepidermal water loss. Collagen is hygroscopic; it can attract and retain moisture. If a cosmetic product contains collagen in significant amounts, with regular use, it can visually appear that sagging skin and wrinkles improved.
Among cosmetic ingredients shown to promote collagen production within the skin the first place goes to peptides.