The most abundant protein in the human body, collagen is the building block of beauty – as well as of bone, joints, and blood vessels in the body. Deriving its name from the Greek word kólla (which translates to glue), it makes up approximately 75 percent of human skin, and is a crucial component to maintaining its structure and elasticity.After we reach the age of 20, the collagen content in our body begins its gradual decline – with about 1.5 percent falling by the wayside each year.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have probably seen or heard ads promoting creams and potions containing collagen, many of which allude to finding the “fountain of youth.” Before you buy in, consider the facts. It’s highly unlikely that this type of topical cream will penetrate the epidermis to supplement a dwindling supply of collagen in the dermis layers. It is more likely that it adds moisture, fostering a plumper, suppler look to the skin.
When it comes to skincare, sometimes the tried-and-true classics are better than cutting-edge newcomers. Retinol and retinoic acid – found in products such as Retin-A, are longtime fan favorites in the cosmetic field for a reason: they penetrate and awaken the cells associated with collagen production. If you use retinol in moderation, it is estimated that you should notice benefits after around 12 weeks.
Another craze right now in the beauty and wellness market is edible, collagen-enriched or fortified products – such as powders, bars, and even broths. Touted by editors, bloggers, and social media influencers, these products aren’t harmful, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll result in radiant-looking skin. In most cases, the body would simply break down these products the same way it would regular protein (like eggs or chicken).
Did you know that environmental factors exacerbate the loss of collagen? If you live in a heavily polluted urban environment, such as downtown Los Angeles or New York City, environmental stressors (dirt, smog, and dust particles) can be taxing on your skin. Sun worshippers should also be weary.Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30.
On the other hand, topical antioxidants such as vitamin C serums are beneficial for neutralizing free radicals while stimulating collagen. Search for a serum that marries vitamin E and ferulic acid with vitamin C – it’s a terrific trifecta of skin care treatment.
The most viable way to increase the body’s collagen content is by generating the buildup of new collagen. There are several proven techniques to do this that are available in the marketplace.
One promising procedure utilized by the experts at Iorio Plastic Surgery is microneedling – also known as collagen induction therapy. If you have a phobia of needles, don’t fret. This minimally invasive technique involves the use of miniscule, sterile needles and a clever tool known as a “dermaroller.” Your physician will create hundreds of miniature (and invisible) wounds on the outer layer of your skin, which acts as a catalyst for the body’s natural healing process. Performed in four to six sessions with around one month in between, this process is highly effective for promoting both cell turnover and collagen production.
Similarly, Fraxel fractional lasers are used to make tiny, controlled “injuries” that stimulate new collagen production. Injectable hyaluronic acid fillers, like Juvéderm and Restylane, are other options for teaching the skin collagen-making skills. These fillers plump up wrinkles and stimulate the amount of collagen present in the skin.
Don’t fall for fleeting fads; rather than investing in fly-by-night products or services, speak to a professional who knows what will work best for your specific skin type.
Iorio Plastic Surgery & Medspa offers a host of services to boost collagen, leaving their clients with glowing, youthful-looking skin. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call 732-780-9191 for Colts Neck, New Jersey, or 732-458-7400 for the Brick, New Jersey, location.