Collagen is derived from the greek word kolla, meaning “glue.”
Collagen is the main structural protein found in animal tissue and holds the entire body together. It is found in bones, muscles, skin and tendons. Collagen makes up 70% of your dermis, the middle layer of skin. Vision tightly wound fibers, similar to a tight and bouncing rubberband ball, that create a foundation of strength and structure to support firm, plump skin. Along with elastic fibers and hyaluronic acid, collagen is central to the elasticity of the skin. Without a strong collagen structure in place, skin begins to loosen, sag and form wrinkles. Once broken down or damaged, collagen is challenging for the body to rebuild.
Continue reading below for my top 3 tips to support collagen health.
I. Sunlight UVA rays damage collagen fibers in the skin causing it to breakdown at a faster rate. UVA rays activate receptors that produce matrix metalloproteinases, which are enzymes that have one job and they do it beautifully, breaking down collagen. Even without sunburn, any parts of your skin that are exposed to the sun will age faster. Studies have also shown the total collagen content of sun-damaged skin was 20 percent less than skin which had not been damaged by the sun. A broad spectrum and mineral based SPF is a MUST on the quest to preserve our collagen.
II. Retinols. Retinols are cell communicators and work by prompting surface skin cells to turn over and die rapidly, making way for new cell growth underneath, which in turn creates new collagen and prevents the breakdown of existing collagen. Retinols are a gentle and effective form of vitamin A, kinder to skin types than a prescription Retin-A. Gradual conversion of retinol to retinoic acid makes this form of vitamin A less irritating and overwhelming to the skin, preventing the redness, flaky and inflamed skin that can occur with prescription use while still yielding results. Use all Vitamin A formulas only at night and with daily SPF, no exceptions.
III. Read here about MicroNeedling | Collagen Induction Therapy
What about topical collagen creams? Collagen is a large molecule and cannot penetrate the skin effectively. Save your money and opt for the above choices.