Healthy, luminous skin is the core goal for most of us, whatever our age but we know that it takes more than good genes and a face cream. When it comes to skin health, much of what we see on the outside is a reflection of the inside meaning that what we put into our bodies is just as vital as the products we apply topically.
Ingestible powders, supplements, skincare products and treatments all promising boosted collagen are now widely available but, what exactly is Collagen? And how does it relate to skin?
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Collagen is a tough, abundant protein found muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels, the digestive system and tendons making up a third of the protein in our human composition. Essentially, it is the "glue" that provides strength and structure within the body making it an essential component that plays a crucial role in holding our bodies' cells together and is also responsible for maintaining elasticity.
As we age, we naturally lose Collagen and the elastin-fibers that creates flexibility in skin become weaker and thinner, contributing to skin aging. Over time, we begin to see creases and wrinkles and a less smooth, "bouncy" appearance. There's varying information on exactly when collagen starts to deplete but it is thought to be around age 30.
Fortunately for us, our skin is renewable and we're actually able to boost collagen. Whilst we can't prevent the loss, we can support the production of new collagen in the dermis.
It's important to understand the complexity of our bodies' natural systems and to know that adding collagen powder to your smoothies or applying topically doesn't directly translate to a surge in collagen production within the skin.
Our body's ability to absorb and translate collagen, restoring weakened elastin fibers is a process that requires more than just collagen or collagen peptides. Our advice is to thoroughly research the collagen products on your radar to make sure what you're getting provides the necessary vitamins and minerals to aid in the process and make a difference in the long-run.
Retinol is the collagen-boosting powerhouse ingredient to consider if it's not already in rotation.
Retinols have over 40 years of scientific studies displaying their efficacy and the benefits are plenty but for now, we'll concentrate on how it affects collagen production.
Retinol induces cellular renewal, meaning that new and healthy skin cells are able to thrive. They increase the production of natural chemicals (such as hyaluronic acid) in your skin that keep it plump and moist whilst stimulating collagen production.
When applied to the skin Retionl is converted into Retinoic acid which allows several messages to be sent to the fibroblast receivers, the messages signal the process' of sebum regulation, collagen production and the growth of healthy skin cell population to start (amongst other things).
Because of the complex process, results (particularly in diminishing wrinkles) can take time. Retinol isn't a quick fix but remember that "slow and steady wins the race"!
The results of Retinol typically begin to show after around 3 months of use (depending on the potency of the formula and how consistently it's used) although that's not to say that you won't start to see changes after the first couple of uses.
Many people hinder their progress with Retinol by not giving it enough time. Sometimes, and again this is dependant on the potency of the product, users can experience dryness, flakiness and maybe even a slight purge in the first couple of weeks of use. As off-putting as these can be, they are all actually signs that the Retinol is working and should only last for the first few weeks!
Keep your skin protected with SPF and use barrier-strengthening products alongside the retinol to help you through this stage.
Once over this hurdle, it's plain sailing!
You want to make the things you ingest can actually be absorbed and used properly in the body so look out for additions like Vitamin C which is actually necessary in the absorption of collagen in the body.
We source all of our Collagen offerings here at the shoppe from Canadian brands that show scientifically-backed studies and results.
Supplementing can be great but don't forget the importance of a balanced diet that focus' on whole foods, dark leafy greens, citrus, parsley, nuts and seeds and bone broth which are all helpful in supporting collagen production.
*Please note that the advice in this post isn't intended as medical or professional nutritional advice. Consult your health practitioner, a nutritionist or dermatologist to discuss the treatment of concerns specific to you*