What Is Collagen?
When we discuss skincare, we’re often talking about collagen in heroic terms.
Collagen isn’t a mythical ingredient or something completely elusive. Collagen is something that gives skin its plumpness and ‘snap’. As we age, it naturally degrades in our skin. Our goal at all times is to keep our skin as healthy and happy as possible, and looking after our collagen is all part of that.
What is collagen?
Collagen is a protein. It is the most plentiful protein in the human body. We might think about collagen almost solely in association with our skin, but it does a lot of very important work in ‘glueing’ several of the different internal parts of your body together, like muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones, as well as being very important when it comes to helping your blood to clot correctly.
In skin, collagen helps to form a network of cells called fibroblasts, which helps new cells to grow. It also plays a role in replacing and restoring dead skin cells. As we age, the collagen in our skin degrades, so skin can lose its plumpness and snap as a result. The structure of the skin can weaken, and wrinkles can begin to form.
After the menopause in women, there is a significant decline in collagen. Post 25, production of collagen also begins to slow significantly. It’s not all bad news however. There’s plenty that we can do to protect the collagen in our skin!
Collagen in skincare
When choosing skincare, you can seek products which do their bit to preserve, protect, and prompt your collagen production.
In the Skingredients range, I was interested in my work with cosmetic scientists to create a range which investigated cutting edge technology in collagen stimulus.
That’s why we decided to work with Pro-Coll-One+, which is an ingredients which can help to decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and help0s to stimulate the skin’s production of collagen. Importantly, we have included it in both Skingredients Skin Veg and Skin Protein, because we see the process of collagen induction as something extremely important.
Retinol is a famous ingredient, lauded for its ability to prompt the generation of collagen in the skin.
Our choice might be the Neostrata Skin Active Retinol + NAG Complex which contains 0.5% pure, stabilised retinol (vitamin A derivative). Be sure to listen carefully to your skin as you use this product, and check in with your Nerd or Nerdette if you have questions. It’s best used at night and always used in conjunction with and SPF. It will not be suitable for use if you’re expecting a mini hooman!
Taking a collagen supplement can be very positive for overall health, but I would emphasise that collagen supplements are not the ‘fountain of youth’ that they might be touted as. Nothing can replace a healthy lifestyle and diet, but supplements can, as the name suggests, supplement this lifestyle.
Skin Collagen Support, Advanced Nutrition Programme is a supplement which contains vitamins A which contributes to the maintenance of normal healthy skin and vitamin C for its role in collagen formation. This daily supplement also contains added botanical extracts provide further antioxidant protection.
When it comes to collagen, we’re pretty serious, which is why we have the Skingredients Protein & Solgar Collagen Hyaluronic Acid Bundle. This combo of Skingredients Skin Protein and Solgar Collagen Hyaluronic Acid Complex is perfect for hoomans seeking to support their overall skin health, achieve a healthy, hydrated appearance, and diminish or delay the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Solgar Hyaluronic Acid Complex is an advanced formula that combines hyaluronic acid, chrondroitin sulphate, vitamin C and collagen (BioCell(R) Collagen II(R)) to help keep the skin soft, plump and supple and diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
This combo is suitable for all non-pregnant hoomans who might be seeking to focus on plumping and hydrating skin for a healthy appearance.
As you level up your Environ AVST products, the potency of the products increases. After your second bottle of AVST 3 has been completed and you have experienced zero irritation on the skin, you can being to home roll your skin. This can help the product that you apply afterwards to more directly penetrate your skin, and it can help to prompt collagen, but it’s worth bearing in mind that the needles on a home-rolling device are often too short to prompt collagen induction. These practises should be carried out by a professional aesthetician on their premises.
Microneedling is also known as ‘collagen induction therapy’, which means that it encourages the production of collagen. Microneedling uses super-fine needles to create hundreds of tiny, invisible punctures on the surface of the skin. This trauma to the surface of the skin stimulates the skin’s natural healing processes and can lead to both increased collagen and elastin production as a result of stimulation of the TGF beta1 (growth factor).
Professional microneedling devices can penetrate as deep as 1mm for the face and 2mm for the body, which can create amazing results when it comes to minimising the appearance of acne scarring, and improving the appearance of lines, wrinkles and pigmentation. Pore size may also be reduced as the skin’s elasticity can be improved.
The question of collagen is something bandied around skincare circles, but the fact is that it’s not a magic ingredient, or totally unattainable. It’s very possible to protect our collagen as we get older – the important thing is to find the skincare routine that works for you and addresses this concern. If you’d like more personalised advice on the subject of collagen and your skincare, you can book in for a consultation with the Nerd and Nerdette team. They will be more than happy to advise on how best to care for your skin and create the skincare routine of your nerdie dreams.