Collagen is an essential protein that keeps our skin, hair, nails, and joints strong. Collagen supplements are widely available on the market and collagen-stimulating treatments are becoming more and more popular in salons. In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about the benefits of collagen!
So what is collagen?
Collagen is a protein that is one of the major building blocks for the body. Collagen can be found in the skin, bones, muscles, and tendons. There are 4 main types of collagen that the body produces
- Type I. This type accounts for 90% of your body’s collagen and is made of densely packed fibers. It provides structure to skin, bones, tendons, fibrous cartilage, connective tissue, and teeth.
- Type II. This type is made of more loosely packed fibers and is found in elastic cartilage, which cushions your joints.
- Type III. This type supports the structure of muscles, organs, and arteries.
- Type IV. This type helps with filtration and is found in the layers of your skin.
How is collagen made?
Fibroblasts are cells in the skin that produce collagen. These little cells have a huge job as they are responsible for the body’s collagen production which helps maintain the entire structure of our bodies! Collagen production begins when cells called fibroblasts are stimulated into producing new strands of amino acids which form together into long chains that create a mesh-like structure to support other proteins and molecules within the body.
Collagen’s most important function lies in giving support for these structures so they do not tear apart under pressure or strain upon movement. When we're young, it's easy for fibroblasts to keep up with a fast metabolism and high activity levels - but as we grow older or lead sedentary lifestyles our fibroblasts can start to slack off! Our body starts to produce less and lower quality collagen which is why we start to see (and feel!) the effects of aging such as wrinkles, sagging, enlarged pores, joint pain, hair thinning, and more.
How does it affect the aging process?
With the depletion of collagen in the skin, the tissues start to soften which is where we see the signs of aging such as wrinkles, enlarged pores, fine lines, and sagging - which makes us look older than we really are! External factors such as sun damage and lifestyle can affect this too which is why there is such a demand for products and treatments to help reverse this damage!
How can I slow down collagen loss?
The human body has two types of aging: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic is the normal, natural process that is pre-decided for us through our genetic makeup (thanks Mum and Dad!) while extrinsic deals with external factors such as pollution, UV exposure, and lifestyle. Extrinsic aging is where we have control - eating a balanced diet, regular exercise, getting enough sleep, avoiding cigarette smoke, and drinking in moderation really help our bodies to function well, which in turn - helps us produce more healthy collagen!
There are different ways you can help your body to produce more collagen - internally, topically, or by stimulating the cells responsible for collagen production through treatments!
Internally - How can supplements help?
Collagen supplements are a great way to increase the collagen in your body, which gives you stronger skin, nails, and joints. It is also said that taking collagen supplements may have other health benefits like improving mental clarity, increase energy levels and improve digestion! Research has shown that marine sourced collagen is the most compatible collagen for human collagen production because they contain the correct type of collagen for our body to be able to use it! Taking supplements of Vitamin C and vitamin D also increases the body’s ability to get the full effect of collagen supplements and the benefits of collagen.
Vitamin C - Vitamin C is an antioxidant that has been shown to have collagen-stimulating effects while also playing a vital role in the body’s ability to absorb collagen.
Vitamin D - This vitamin is a powerful anti-aging powerhouse that stimulates collagen production and helps our body to absorb calcium.
Bovine collagen supplements are the second most compatible collagen type for human collagen production but are absorbed much better by the skin which brings us to our next topic.
Topically - What products can help produce and support collagen?
Collagen products that contain bovine collagen are very easily recognized by the skin and absorbed more efficiently than products containing marine collagen. That being said there are other very important ingredients that play a role in helping your skin function well to produce collagen.
Vitamin A - more commonly known as Retinol, Vitamin A speeds up cell turnover, stimulates collagen production, and helps to repair skin damage. It also helps the skin to rebalance oil production which helps to keep the skin healthy and hydrated.
Vitamin B - Also known as Niacinamide - it's a powerful skin healer that stimulates collagen production. It also works as an anti-inflammatory, which is key for collagen production and your skin's health.
Vitamin C - has collagen-stimulating effects that help us produce more collagen both topically and internally, as well as being an important antioxidant for collagen production. Vitamin C is a powerful anti-aging ingredient!
Antioxidants - Antioxidants help to fight off free radical damage which can lead to collagen breakdown.
Collagen Peptides - Specific collagen peptides help skin cells regenerate more quickly, keeping collagen levels high!
Sun Protection Factor (SPF) - While SPF doesn't actually play a role in the production of collagen it plays a huge role in protecting it - especially protecting new baby collagen which is much more susceptible to sun damage! Skipping the SPF each day could have a lot to do with premature loss of collagen.
Stimulating; What are the best treatments that we offer for collagen production?
Micro-needling - Micro-needling treatments are one way you can improve or maintain healthy-looking, youthful skin without having surgery or going through major invasive procedures such as injections. Micro-needling also boosts the natural production of collagen by triggering our own cells called Fibroblast into producing more; this helps with improving wrinkles and fine lines while maintaining moisture levels within our skin’s surface layer. In addition, it renews damaged tissue under the epidermis layers (the outermost protective covering) giving us younger healthier-looking, fresh glowing skin!
LED Light Therapy - Red and infrared light penetrate through the epidermis to the deepest layer of the skin increasing collagen and elastin production while also decreasing inflammation for a youthful glow!
Chemical peels - Chemical peels are a great way to stimulate collagen production as it exfoliates dead skin cells away revealing fresh plump cells while infusing collagen-stimulating ingredients deep into the skin.
Collagen is the key to good skin, hair, and nails. It's no wonder that it has become a staple for many people looking to maintain their youthful appearance! So if you're considering taking collagen supplements or incorporating them into your diet, just remember how important they are for keeping us all feeling beautiful on the inside and out! Click here for more information on our products, supplements, and treatments!