What Does Collagen Do for Faces: Anti-Aging Myths and Miracles
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The moment your reflection in the mirror looks like an older version of you, a small (or large) twinge of panic is quite natural.
Although a lack of skin hydration, creepy 'crepey' skin and thinning hair are signs of aging, there is a way to lessen the effects of aging rudely staring back at you.
The first place you are likely to observe signs of skin aging or sun damage are on your face through fine lines and wrinkles. Along with this, less skin elasticity causes sagging skin to make an appearance.
Unfortunately, the way a person’s face looks is often how they are judged about their age. Hence, many people wish for more youthful appearances.
With products like a collagen cream or collagen serum claim to have seemingly miracle, anti-aging benefits, we decided to take a closer look at why collagen has become popular.
What does collagen do for your body? What does collagen do for faces?
Confused about retinol vs collagen vs hyaluronic acid? Check out our article where we break it all down
What Exactly Is Collagen?
Collagen is the human body’s most abundant protein and is made from important amino acids that are synthesized by vitamin C, zinc and copper.
Not only is collagen protein concentrated in your skin, but it's also present in all of your body organs and connective tissue such as bones, muscles, tendons, tissues, arteries, cartilage and skin.
It quite literally holds your body together and collagen in Greek language is 'glue'.
This miracle protein also provides strength, structure and flexibility to your body’s form with its scaffolding-like (matrix) abilities.
Type of Collagen
To date, over 28 types of collagen have been discovered.
In general, the market focuses on five (5) types that are the most prevalent. Type 1 is the most common in your body and is heavily concentrated in the skin.
Unfortunately, collagen production in your body started to slow down in your late 20s and continues to slow to the tune of about 1 percent each year.
Not only that, during and after menopause, you lose collagen protein even faster as your body declines naturally with age.
Because of less collagen, you also experience less hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid helps bind water to collagen to provide plumper, dewier, and more hydrated-looking skin.
Finally, collagen deficits can get bigger by external influences such as free radicals, too much sun exposure, smoking, stress, lack of sleep and a poor diet.
What Does Collagen Do for Faces?
Your skin, including the facial skin, has three layers called the epidermis (outer layer), dermis (middle layer), and hypodermis.
In the dermis layer, collagen helps to form fibroblasts which are a matrix of fibers that support new cell growth and improve the skin.
These fibroblasts also help to replace and regenerate new skin cells, keeping your skin firm, supple, and youthful-looking.
Collagen and Aging
As mentioned, depleting levels of collagen occur naturally with age with collagen loss and there is a lessening of the skin’s basic molecular structure.
In addition, lifestyle choices like too much sun, stress, a poor diet, too much sugar and smoking can also cause a collagen breakdown.
What happens is the collagen fibers that hold the dermis layer together become weaker and poorly formed.
That breakdown leads to the epidermis skin layer showing visible signs of aging in the form of wrinkles, fine lines, and deep furrows.
Common places for wrinkles to occur include around the eyes and mouth, lips and across the forehead.
Unfortunately, boosting collagen in your facial skin is not as simple as it sounds. That is because the collagen molecule is too large to be absorbed into your skin.
Fortunately, there is such a thing called a topical collagen peptide. A topical collagen peptide is able to penetrate deeper into the skin's layers.
What are Collagen Peptides
Collagen peptides are the result of taking collagen protein that is extracted from the unused parts from bovine sources (cows/cattle), fish and chicken and breaking down the exiting molecular bond into smaller pieces called peptides.
This process is called hydrolyzation and is effective in making the animal protein more bio-available.
The result is the hydrolyzed collagen is broken into smaller parts (peptides and amino acids) and can be more easily absorbed by your body.
Although the jury is still out on whether they can be absorbed and put into effect when applied directly on your face.
Most skin care professionals tend to lean towards ingesting collagen (especially marine collagen) to create beauty and youthful skin from within.
However, collagen peptides in high-quality skin care products are valuable for more than the collagen.
Cosmetic Uses for Collagen Peptides
As collagen has often been referred to as the 'fountain of youth' many have been looking for, the cosmetic uses and products available have expanded as well.
Here are ways that collagen peptides are used for cosmetic purposes:
The collagen supplements work on the premise that the peptides provide the raw components to help your body create new collagen protein.
You'll also see products contain vitamin C since it is required to synthesize new collagen protein.
HINT: Include more vitamin C in your diet if you want to help your aging skin!
There are many research studies that show the positive results of using collagen peptides topically or orally to improve skin health and appearance.
What does collagen do for faces, you ask?
Essentially, it’s the presence of collagen in the skin that your face looks smooth, plump, and youthful.
Unfortunately, with each passing decade, the collagen production in your body naturally decreases.
Without the same level of collagen you had when you were 20 years old, your face is likely to start showing signs of aging starting in your 30’s.
Furthermore, during and after menopause is when collagen production drops like a rock.
Giving yourself an injection of collagen (either literally or via dietary supplements) can help your skin to produce and/or retain collagen.
That extra collagen can help you too fight the signs of aging by smoothing out those unwanted lines and wrinkles that made you look older.