Separating fact from fiction more important than ever

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body, found in bones, muscles, tendons and skin.  It’s what gives our skin its structure.  Unfortunately, like many things over time, Collagen production declines and the collagen we do have breaks down and is depleted.  In fact, we lose approximately 1% of our collagen per year, every year, after the age of 25.  This means the average 50-year-old could experience up to 25% of collagen loss.

Time is not the only enemy, exposure to UV light and smoking increases collagen loss as well.  Sun exposure delivers a double negative to our skin, damaging cells in the epidermal layer as well as increasing the enzymes that denigrate collagen – they are called Metalloproteinases (MMP).  If that were not enough, skin that is sun damaged produces less ‘new’ collagen to replace damaged collagen compared to ‘sun protected’ skin

This is the reason collagen has become a buzzword in so many skin care products and over the counter health supplements in the past few years.  It’s also the reason why separating fact from fiction is more important than ever.

Regardless of your age, the most effective way to safeguard your skin’s structure and appearance is to commit to a good skin care and maintenance program.

Thankfully, there is some plasticity to the aging process. To proactively prevent collagen loss, and reverse past collagen loss; commit to eating a balanced diet, getting plenty of exercise, stop smoking and avoid the sun.  It has been demonstrated that Retinoic Acid (Vitamin A) stimulates collagen production in aged skin.  Topical retinoid improves the appearance of aged and photo damaged skin so it’s worth adding Vitamin A or Retinol to your skin care regimen.

However, if you are looking for other ways to turn back the collagen clock, it is important to know the difference between fact and fiction.

-Collagen skin care products do not add collagen to the skin.  The molecules in these products are too large to penetrate the skin and cannot be absorbed.
-Eating collagen will NOT build collagen.  It is simply just a protein that will be broken down in your stomach and will do nothing for the appearance of your skin.

There are treatment processes referred to as ‘collagen induction therapy’ (CIT).  Essentially these treatments involve creating microinjuries to the skin/dermis whereby the healing process stimulates production of collagen. These include laser resurfacing, microneedling, and radiofrequency.

Fillers such as Radiesse and Scultptra also stimulate collagen growth.

Learn more about collagen treatments available through Kamloops Skin Solutions. Book your consultation today!