Why is collagen so important in anti-ageing?
When it comes to having a fresh, youthful appearance, there is once substance produced by the body which is the bedrock of so many anti-ageing treatments.
It’s collagen, your skin’s foundation.
Collagen makes up a third of the body’s proteins and it acts as the support for many of the body’s structures, including the skin.
Its molecules form long fibrils which are the anchors for other cells. In other words, this is what gives your skin its elasticity and strength.
What is collagen and what does it do?
It’s a remarkable protein secreted mainly by connective tissue cells which is also critical to the functioning of the cardiovascular system, our muscles, and our skeletal systems.
One researcher based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found that collagen’s building blocks are between five and ten times stronger than steel when it comes to taking tensile strain. You can read more about that research here. In the middle layer of the skin, the dermis, collagen helps to form a network of cells upon which new cells grow. These are called fibroblasts and they play a key role in replacing dead skin cells.
What happens as we age?
As we mature, our bodies produce less collagen. This means that wrinkles and lines form as the amount of collagen in our dermis layer falls.
Women often notice this during the menopause, as the level of collagen in the skin is affected by the process. If skin is sun-damaged, that can affect the skin too as the number of collagen-degrading enzymes in it is increased by UV rays.
However, there is some good news. Collagen is re-absorbable to the body.
That means collagen can be re-introduced to the skin and it will be broken down and used to improve the skin’s appearance.
How do Ellanse collagen injections work?
Collagen can be injected into fine lines and wrinkles to soften them and give you a more youthful appearance and can also help contour the face. Although there are many creams containing collagen on the market, collagen molecules are too large to pass through the skin. So, injections are the most effective way of ensuring that collagen boost.
Is there anything else we can do to prevent collagen loss?
If we eat a healthy diet and avoid smoking, that can help to prevent collagen loss. Chemicals released into the body by smoking cause damage to collagen and the skin’s elastin, and nicotine reduces the delivery of oxygen to the skin which hits cell renewal. A high sugar consumption can also make collagen weak, dry, and brittle. We’ve already seen that UV rays can damage collagen, so staying out of sunlight without UV protection is important. Foods which can help the collagen in the skin include proteins like meat, soya, cheese, and eggs, vitamin C-rich foods such as oranges and peppers, foods rich in vitamin A, such as fish and carrots, and berries which are rich in anti-oxidant plant pigments called anthocyanidins, such as blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries.