You see the word “collagen” on all the top skin care products, so you know it must be good for you. But if you don't do a bit of research and gain an understanding of what collagen is and what it does, you may fall into the manufacturers’ marketing trap.
Collagen is essential for your skin’s health, but how you get it, make it, and use it matters.
Our master aestheticians at Gago Wellness in Brighton, Michigan, are experts in collagen and have compiled this brief guide to explain collagen’s role in skin health, so you can make informed decisions about the products you buy and the treatments you use.
Your body contains numerous proteins, but none are more abundant than collagen — it makes up about 25% to 35% of all your body’s proteins. Under a microscope, collagen cells are long, ropey fibers, which explains how they lend strength and structure to various body parts. Collagen is a key component in your muscles, heart, organs, bones, cartilage, eyes, blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, and digestive tract.
And collagen is the primary structural component of your skin. It lives in the connective tissues of your dermis, the middle layer of your skin, providing elasticity and resilience.
Kids and teens have an ongoing supply of new collagen that keeps their skin plump and healthy. But once you hit your 20s, you begin to lose collagen at the rate of 1% yearly, resulting in skin thinning. Each layer — the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis — loses collagen, plumpness, and protection.
Thinner skin means more lines, wrinkles, and sags that make you look older.
How to boost collagen
Now that you know what collagen is and what happens to it as you age, you may be tempted to head to your local drugstore and stock up on creams and serums that contain this vital ingredient. But before you do, consider the facts.
Do OTC products increase collagen?
Remember how we described the collagen structure — it’s a long, ropey chain of amino acids. These strands stack upon one another and form a complex and quite large molecule that can’t penetrate your skin from the outside in. Although creams containing collagen may moisturize your skin, they won’t amp up your collagen supply. Topical treatments containing vitamin C and vitamin A, on the other hand, may reduce the inflammation that damages your natural supply of collagen.
Oral supplements are another popular choice, but unfortunately, your stomach acid breaks down most of what you ingest, and not much gets into your bloodstream.
Better collagen boosters
You can protect the collagen you have by limiting exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun and tanning beds, not smoking, and eating foods containing antioxidants, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. But if your collagen supply is low, there are ways to restore it.
Innovative skin treatments can stimulate your body to increase collagen production, and we offer them here at Gago Wellness.
- Morpheus8: fractionated radiofrequency (RF) energy that rebuilds collagen
- Broadband Light™ (BBL): intense pulsed light (IPL) energy that triggers collagen production
- Fractora®: fractional ablation using RF energy to restore lost collagen
To find out which collagen-stimulating treatment is right for you, contact us online or by phone and schedule a consultation with one of our expert aestheticians.