Combating Collagen Collapse
It's the glue that holds your body together,
which is why it's a rather important topic to talk about. It is responsible for healing wounds and keeping your skin looking plump, tight and healthy.
Imagine what we'd look like if we didn't have the glue. Maybe our skin would look a little more like this saggy wrinkle monster.
What is it actually?
Collagen is an insoluble fibrous protein that is responsible for the underlying structure of your skin. Combined with keratin, it helps support an internal matrix that maintains the skins firmness, texture and elasticity and it accounts for 70% of the protein in our skin. Some studies show that of the 16 types of collagen known, type 1 collagen is stronger than steel (gram for gram).
How is it made?
Our bodies take a combination of vitamins A, C B1, and E - along with minerals such as zinc, copper, and iron - then take a healthy sprinkle of amino acids (which are only obtained through diet) - mix it all together and you've got collagen.
Collagen levels decrease, but at what rate?
For the average woman, collagen production begins to decline by approximately 50% from the ages of 30-50 years old. This gradual decrease is responsible for us waking up one morning wondering who we see in the mirror. We recognize this as the appearance of thinner skin, wrinkles, fine lines and achy joints in the morning. But here's the deal:
you can slow the effects of collagen loss, and you can also take
steps to restore collagen production.
There are a ton of products out there any of us can slather on to fix this, however, though topical products and supplements are good tools against collagen loss, the best practice is to prevent the loss of collagen in the first place. Basics:
Say 'NO' to smoking, sun, poor diet, refined sugar.
Say 'YES' to antioxidants, peptides, diet rich in fatty acids, fruits/veggies, soy (if your body responds to it well) and recommended amounts of copper
Rebuilding Collagen Internally:
One way to boost collagen internally is to ingest collagen so it can begin to build from the inside out. Collagen is naturally found in high-quality broth and can be made into powders that are mixed into shakes, juices or soups. When ingesting powder forms it is said that you may experience healthier hair, skin, nails, and joints. Better skin elasticity and improved digestion are also noted.
Collagen also comes in a pill form and can be found at most retail or health food stores. Vegans make note that most collagen is based on animal parts so a vegan-friendly form a collagen may require extra research.
(The image below is a product I am, admittedly, inconsistent with ... I do not sell it and am not being paid to talk about it. However, I will say that when I'm on a streak and mix 2 tablespoons with my protein shake in the morning, and I keep this going strong for a week solid - I really can see a difference in my skin and overall I do feel healthier.)
Supplemental powders and pills aside, simply adding one extra serving of collagen boosting food choice into your daily diet can ignite your body's internal production mechanism. Foods such as red bell pepper, tomato, garlic, salmon, sweet potato, turkey, eggs and sunflower seeds are a starting point. Most collagen producing food is very similar to a Mediterranean diet which, by some, is known as the diet of longevity.
How do we combat this externally?
Retinol is an essential ingredient to help collagen depleted skin and with the addition of CBD and Vitamin C, this is a winning combination that has numerous benefits.
Bioelements has three products that fit this, that I use, love and stand by. Age-Activist Clinical Youth Serum and Sleepwear. Both contain retinol and a ton of vitamins that improve moisture, tone, lines, and wrinkles. I use the Age-Activist serum in the morning prior to putting on any makeup. Before I go to bed each night, I apply the Sleepwear overnight cream (seriously, I love what this has done to my skin). The last is a Collagen Rehab mask that you can leave on for 10 minutes or you can even sleep in it overnight (yay for busy ladies!). It's jam-packed with amino acids that your skin can absorb easily to help collagen receptors start producing more.
Crave Skincare (see the previous blog about benefits of CBD oil) has two products, one called Virgin Skin Serum, and the other, Radical-C Antioxidant Armor that firm, tone, brighten and fight free radicals in the skin. Whereas Radical-C acts as most as a skin brightener and shield to the environment; Virgin skin is your firming and youth renewal serum. Both are infused with hemp derived CBD and a plethora of skin healing vitamins and sea minerals.
How can a facial service help?
There are several ways different facials can help to tell your body to start producing more collagen on its' own.
- Chemical peels (a combination of multiple exfoliating acids like glycolic, lactic, and fruit acids that will tighten the skin, unclog pores, improve lines, and leave skin with a velvet-like texture)
- Microcurrent (low-level electrical current to trigger the body's natural skin enhancement chemicals at a cellular level)
- Masks & Serums (collagen masks and serums are highly concentrated products formulated with a small molecular level to penetrate and perform better than other products in your regimen)
- LED therapy (a painless, relaxing, non-invasive skin-care treatment that plumps up aging skin by boosting collagen production and treats mild to moderate acne by using an array of bright light-emitting diodes that send low-level light energy into the deeper layers of the skin)
Who needs a soap box moment?!
Many of you have heard me gently remind you during your consultation of the importance of a well-rounded lifestyle. What I preach doesn't always fit the social norm of our area. I also realize there are days, as a human, I need to listen to my own speech and follow my own advice. Rest and sleep keep a haggard appearance at bay for all mammals. Practicing wellness rituals such as 15 minutes of quiet reflection before your day becomes hectic or pouring a warm Epsom salt bath to soak in or losing yourself in a magical novel to decompress from your day. Finding a massage therapist that kneads your knots in a way that leaves you feeling whole again. Or immerse yourself in a yoga class that brings clarity and calm back to your soul. These are simply a few things that can be done to lower your cortisol/stress hormone to slow the aging process, to begin with. If we all start here, we won't need as many fancy products to fill our gaps.
Oh, and water. Half of your body weight in ounces every day keeps those wrinkles at bay!
So to sum all of this up because I tend to get long winded even though I try to bullet point these out as much as possible:) Always begin within. Get your diet, mind, and body right before you rush out the door to get your hands on the next best promise in a bottle. Once you feel good about where you're at, seek out a quality line that delivers what they say they will. And of course, it goes without saying that regular visits to your esthetician every 6-8 weeks, incorporating any of the modalities listed above, will leave you radiant and aging gracefully.
Here are some links to the lines I mention above if you are interested in learning more about the products AND at the very bottom is a link to my updated website schedule and menu!