Collagen is one of those ingredients that you read about alot and appears in a lot of product overviews, but does it make sense as an anti-aging treatment? We dive in to what it means to boost collagen and if our conventional methods are just a waste of time.
What does collagen do?
Collagen is a protein that makes up the connective tissue that provides structure and connectivity within your body. It coats your bones and joints so that they don’t grind on one another. In the context of your skin, it provides the structure and elasticity that comes along with youthful skin. It provides shape to your face, and creates suppleness in your skin.
Why do we need more of it over time?
Overtime collagen products does not keep up with collagen degradation and that when common issues like arthritis come into play. It is also when we see loosening of the skin and less elasticity. The top two layers of the skin are called the epidermis and the dermis. That latter region is where you’ll find collagen mingling with blood vessels, hair follicles and sweat glands. As collagen declines with age that layer becomes fragmented giving way to wrinkles and fine lines. You can think of it as your insta-worthy reading nook giving way to toddlers with the latest crayola rollout-- you don’t know how things will shake out.
The reigning idea in longevity products that focus on collagen production is that by either replacing lost collagen or by inspiring your body to increase its own production of the protein, you can create a more youthful appearance. Only some of that seems to actually work.
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How to increase collagen production (supposedly)
There are two major methods that over the counter products work to increase collagen levels. The first involves using topical application likes creams or serums to boost the body’s rate of collagen production.
There is seldom an aging cream out there that doesn’t directly or indirectly hope to target collagen production. They do this by adding growth factors that will increase collagen production once they penetrate into the skin. Ironically many of these factors are too large to pass through the layers of the skin in order to be effective. It turns out sweat glands and hair follicles would be the best way for some of these ingredients to penetrate and be effective.
Eating collagen doesn’t translate to building up more collagen in the body. Your body simply breaks down the collagen you eat into its elementary components which are amino acids. Those are the building blocks for so many components of the body including collagen. There isn’t a way to tell your body to turn the collagen you eat into more collagen (yet).
Dermal injections literally inject collagen into the skin to plump and firm areas that may have succumbed to the beauty of more rotations around the sun. These simply fill in those empty spots left behind by degraded collagen or the disorganization of the dermis that comes with aging. Porcine collagen, originating from pigs, hyaluronic acid and PMMA-collagen gel are all forms of dermal fillers that can produce results similar to collagen rich skin (talk to your skin professional before exploring this option).
Taking care of your skin is a luxury and a necessity. Here are our picks for spicing up your wellness routine this week, making the process more intentional. If you indulge in #LeLeisure, share on Instagram with that hashtag and tag us so we can share!
1. Affirmation: I feed my spirit. I train my body. I focus my mind. It’s my time.
2. It's Cuddle Season: Have you heard of weighted blankets? Get your beauty rest with a premium-grade, therapeutic weighted blanket engineered to be around 10% of your body weight. They have been shown to help people fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply.
3. Ice Your Face: Move on jade rollers; it's time for the ice roller. This roller can help with puffiness, migraines, and applying skincare products. Make sure to dry it after use!
Photo by Belleza Skin Care Institute