It’s in your food, your skincare, your protein shakes & even your water! Everyone is talking about collagen and it’s one of the hottest ingredients for hydrating and plumping that leads to a youthful looking face. Even if you’re not a skincare junkie, you’ve likely heard of collagen, as it has recently been dubbed the “fountain of youth” by some of the top influencers and media outlets.
What exactly is collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. Its fiber-like structure is used to make connective tissue – which is a type of tissue that connects other tissues. It is a major component of bone, skin, muscles, tendons, and cartilage. It is also a vital part of the anti-aging journey.
How does collagen work aesthetically?
As one of the main proteins in our skin, collagen is an integral part of skin health. Collagen is often referred to as the “scaffolding” of the skin because it supports the functions of elastin and hyaluronic acid (HA), which helps maintain the skin’s shape, while keeping it smooth and hydrated. Aesthetically, it is very important in keeping the face and facial structure and skin looking young and fresh. It makes sense that a healthy supply of collagen makes for a more youthful-looking complexion.
How is collagen produced?
The body is a powerhouse collagen maker and naturally made collagen is a powerhouse ingredient in youthful looking faces. However, as we age our collagen production drastically decreases. In fact, the maximum collagen production years are between 20 and 30 years old and we produce less and less as we age. It makes sense then that by the time we are in our 40’s and 50’s our collagen production is close to zero.
How does less collagen impact facial aging?
Facial collagen loss results in thinning of the skin, dullness, dryness of the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Summing it up – less collagen equals an older looking face!
How can we increase collagen in our body?
There are a number of treatments on the market that aim to boost collagen, but it’s important to note that not all anti-aging treatments are the same. Collagen creams can moisturize and temporarily improve the skin’s appearance, but these topical treatments don’t fully penetrate deep into the skin. Collagen supplements are broken down into collagen proteins when ingested, but their effectiveness remains inconclusive.
It makes sense that if the problem is that you are no longer making collagen it would be more important to invest in treatments that stimulate the body to make its OWN collagen. For a substantial boost in collagen, opt for an in-office procedure that stimulates collagen from deep within the skin.
What procedures stimulate the body to make its own collagen?
- Sculptra® Aesthetic. Sculptra is the first and only FDA-approved PLLA facial injectable treatment that helps stimulate the skin’s own collagen production to smooth facial wrinkles, such as smile lines. It works gradually to rebuild collagen and help restore the skin’s inner structure from the inside out for a more youthful-looking appearance.
- Microneedling with STEM cells. Microneedling is a technique that involves using multiple tiny, sterile needles to puncture the skin and cause physical trauma. This trauma prompts the deeper layers of the skin to rebuild and produce collagen. Adding STEM cells to microneedling increases collagen production by up to 300%.
If you are looking for ways to boost your own collagen production aesthetically, consider either of these two treatments.
Mary Dealy, is a board certified Nurse Practitioner with over 25 years of clinical expertise from some of Massachusetts most prestigious hospitals. She launched BeautoxEtc, a cosmetic dermatology practice located in Medfield, Massachusetts.
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