If you are a bit of an ingredient sleuth or you have been doing your research into anti-ageing skincare, then you may have come across the term collagen. You’ll be pleased to know that collagen isn’t just another buzzword that’s thrown around to sell products. Collagen is actually a vital ingredient in a skin care routine and today, we’re going to find out all about it!
What is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein found in the human body and it is primarily found in our skin, tendons, bones, and muscles. It can be found in the dermis, the middle layer of the skin that lies below the epidermis and provides strength and elasticity to the skin, while also encouraging the renewal of cells.
Protein actually makes up around 20% of our total body mass and collagen makes up around 30% of that protein. So, unlike many other ingredients we search high and low for in our beauty routines, collagen is actually already in our skin!
How Are Collagen and Ageing Skin Connected?
From around the age of 20, we roughly lose 1% of our collagen every year. As the collagen starts to deplete, signs of ageing will start to appear such as fine lines and wrinkles.
It’s not just celebrating a birthday each year that reduces the production of collagen, factors such as smoking, eating lots of sugary foods and sunlight can all contribute to a drop in collagen levels.
Can Lost Collagen be Replaced?
While ageing of the skin is inevitable (boo!) there are a few things you can do to slow down the process and also to help build back up the collagen in the skin (yay!). For example, as sunlight can be a big factor in ageing skin always wear an SPF. Yes, every single day. Also, take a look at your diet and introduce more foods which contain natural antioxidants such as vitamin C and Beta carotene which help stimulate your skin’s own collagen synthesis.
Collagen Boosting Skin Care
So, you’ve topped up your daily dose of SPF and started eating more carrots, what else can you do to boost your collagen production to reduce fine lines and wrinkles? Take a look at your skin care products, of course!
Applying topical collagen skin care products will keep your skin highly moisturised and even help it appear plumper and more hydrated; however, as the molecules in collagen are really big they struggle to penetrate the top layer of your skin therefore they won’t be effective in tackling other anti-ageing skin concerns such as wrinkles. To help rebuild collagen and really tackle the signs of ageing, there are a few ingredients you should look out for.
As one of the most potent antioxidants around, skin care packed with vitamin C is a super effective way to fight against ageing skin. Using it topically can help boost collagen production and elastin in your skin, leading to reduced fine lines and wrinkles over time. As well as being an anti-ageing superhero, it can also protect your skin from free radicals and keep it looking radiant too!
As we start to understand the benefits of retinoids for the skin, the more we wished we’d discovered them years ago! Retinol is one of many different types of retinoids (the term used for all vitamin A derivatives) that can help you in your quest for a more youthful looking complexion! Retinol sinks deep into your skin and helps speed up cell turnover and with this it increases collagen and elastin production. Leading to, you guessed it, smoother, brighter, firmer looking skin!
There’s a few do’s and don’t when it comes to using retinoids, and you can get clued up on them here: What is retinol?
And Then There’s Supplements
Upping your skin care game isn’t the only way you can increase your collagen levels. Regular consumption of collagen supplements can help increase its production while helping you maintain gorgeous, youthful looking skin.
In conclusion, it’s really clear that collagen plays a big part in how our skin looks and feels as we get older. With our natural levels depleting from our 20s, if you want a more youthful looking complexion, then adding vitamin C and retinol infused products to your routine can help boost collagen production.