As of late, I’ve really been focusing on sheet masks that are FILLED with all sorts of ‘collagen-like’ goodness to help me plump my skin right up! I don’t know about you, but as I get beautifully wiser, I am noticing more lines and wrinkles that I just don’t feel like looking at. And hey, if you’re down for some smile lines, I totally LOVE that about you, but if you’re not, there are some things you can do to improve how your skin ages. (And side note too, if you’re down for all SORTS of fine lines and wrinkles, you’ve earned them with your awesomeness, so celebrate those too!)
So collagen is what is produced by cells in your bod called fibroblasts. It’s part of a large group of proteins that apparently represents up to 70% of all the proteins within our body. It’s found in the form of fibers in many parts of the body, including: vital organs, muscles, bones, tendons, SKIN (whoop, whoop), blood vessels, etc. Collagen is responsible to resist damage to the tissues and protect and stabilize skin and cartilage. It also works alongside elastin fibers & proteins to support tissues in the skin – i.e. the reason why your skin is firm and the face has defined contours. Pretty neat right?
Shortcut: ‘The purpose of collagen is to make your skin firm, stretch and bend. As collagen breaks down or becomes destroyed, wrinkles begin to appear. Elastin provides your skin with elasticity, making it pliable. Without collagen and elastin, your skin could not stretch or bend.’ – Livestrong.com
So while this amazing collagen helps us be the beauties that we are, our bodies also produce less and less of it as we get older or experience more and more external (& some internal) factors, so it’s crucial to understand how & why we lose it, and what we can do to get it back.
External Damages –
- UV rays
- Free radicals/irritants
So these guys all make sense right? You’ve got tobacco damaging your cells, UV rays damaging your cells, pollution & free radicals damaging your cells – it’s definitely really obvious why our bodies don’t prefer these harmful factors.
Internal Damages –
- General ‘getting wiser’ process
From the age of 20 onward, collagen synthesis diminishes progressively & the process in which your cells develop and produce becomes less and less effective. They are no longer able to work hard enough to keep up! So what happens is the fibers produced by your body are now becoming fragile and the rate at which they renew slows down rapidly.
- Free radicals – i.e. processed foods, alcohol, etc.
So for stress, if you’re making a shit ton of cortisol (which is the hormone produced by stress), then that is breaking down your body’s collagen! So for me for instance, when 4 docs tell you you have the highest cortisol levels they’ve ever seen, you do something about it! Cause pretty soon I’ll be 40 and I’ll look 75 years old at this rate 😉 Which of course 75 is GORGEOUS, just not when you’re actually 40. You get what I’m saying.
So as you can see, these factors that cause our collagen to break down are easy to understand, but not all that avoidable. So we’re bound to get older…that’s just how life works. And we’re also bound to run into free radicals in the outside world & we’ll probably be processing plenty of crappy foods & too many vodka tonics (me personally!) internally, so it’s really hard to avoid these factors all together. Some people are better than others, but I’m also not your TOTAL package of health by any means, so I certainly need some products, treatments and lifestyle changes to follow to help keep me on track!
What can you do to restore your skin’s collagen?
- Chemical peels
- Opt for a filler injection treatment
- Radio frequency therapy
- Laser treatments
- Retinol creams
- Supplements designated towards helping you restore your collagen
- Vitamin E
- Copper peptide creams
- Collagen powders
- Peptide-filled creams
- Anti-pollution skincare
- Antioxidant dietary supplement
- Topical collagen creams – so these guys aren’t really smart enough to penetrate deeply, but you can see short-term results
- Hyaluronic acids
#CheekyConfidential 80% of people surveyed agreed that it took about 4 months for them to notice a change in their skin when taking collagen orally.
- Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day
- Eat foods high in vitamin C
- Consume antioxidant-rich foods
- Eat dark leafy greens (I thought I could avoid kale forever….)
- Consume antioxidant rich teas, like Matcha green tea