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 dry skin and lack of skin hydration, the 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 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 so many products these days claiming 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?
What Exactly Is Collagen?
Collagen is one of the human body’s most abundant proteins and is made from important amino acids that are synthesized by vitamin C, zinc and copper. It's present in all of your body organs and connective tissues such bones, muscles, tendons, tissues, arteries, cartilage and skin.
It quite literally holds your body together. It also provides strength, structure, and flexibility to your body’s form with its scaffolding-like (matrix) abilities.
To date, over types of collagen have been discovered. In general, we focus on five (5) types. Type 1 is the most common in your body and heavily concentrated in the skin. The type found in the skin is called Type I and is the most abundant.
The production of collagen in your body declines naturally with age.
As a matter of fact, new collagen production will usually start to slow down in your 30’s, with a dramatic reduction occurring in women during and after menopause.
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 that occur naturally with age result in a lessening of the skin’s basic molecular structure.
What happens is the fibers that hold the dermis layer together become weaker and poorly formed which leads to the epidermis skin layer showing visible signs of aging in the form of wrinkles, 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 collagen peptide.
Collagen peptides are the result of hydrolyzing collagen protein (meaning using water) to break down the molecular bond in the collagen protein.
These smaller parts (peptides and amino acids) can then be absorbed by your body more easily, although the jury is still out on whether they can be absorbed and put into effect when applied directly on your face.
Most skincare professionals tend to lean towards ingesting collagen, but collagen in high-quality skincare products is valuable for more than the collagen.
Cosmetic Uses for Collagen Peptides
The supplements work on the premise that the presence of these peptides helps to stimulate the production of collagen by giving it all of the building blocks it needs.
Early research has shown positive results in improving skin health, as well as joint, and muscle health.
What does collagen do for faces, you ask?
Essentially, it’s the presence of enough 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 levels of collagen that your face 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 and help to fight the signs of aging by smoothing out those lines and wrinkles that are creeping into your reflection.