If elastin gives elasticity to the skin, collagen gives elasticity. As we age, our bodies make less of these two proteins, leading to dry skin and more wrinkles. Dr Sophie Shotter, dermatology and esthetician and founder of Illuminate Skin Clinic, explains: “We all have a finite amount of collagen and it starts to decline from the age of 25 onwards. The more collagen we add, the longer our skin ages.” There are many collagen supplements on the market, such as collagen lotions. But collagen supplementation is more than simply applying a collagen cream every day, it’s not really that simple.
Are collagen supplements and skin care effective?
Today’s skin care products are very high in collagen, but it’s important to note that collagen is a large molecule. It is incapable of being absorbed through the epidermis and cannot travel down to the dermis. Skin care with collagen can increase skin moisture but it will not create new collagen in the body.
So, if applying collagen cream does not help the body create new collagen, what will oral collagen look like? Sophie Rose of Holland & Barrett revealed: “Collagen supplements are one of the strongest growth areas, with sales increasing 63% over the past 12 months. From pills and gum to creamers to coffee, there are countless options that we should try.”
Nutritionist Clarissa Lenherr told Bazaar, “A randomized study found that after eight weeks of taking collagen, skin moisture levels increased and after 12 weeks collagen breakdown was reduced.” But as she points out, supplements come with many factors that influence study results, including nutrient bioavailability, method of delivery, absorption, and individual use. .
If you want to try a collagen supplement, you should choose one that contains hydrolyzed collagen, a form that is easier to digest and absorb into the bloodstream. However, what Dr. Dondos feels is more important is what not to use that depletes collagen levels. “Avoid sugar and high GI foods,” she advises. The process of glycation makes collagen fibers rigid and difficult for the body to regenerate or replace. To prevent this, know that significantly reducing the amount of sugar in your diet for 4 months has been shown to reduce glycated collagen formation by 25%.
Besides following a healthy diet, there are other proven methods to boost collagen production: specific skin care ingredients that work on the upper layers of the skin and treatments. Professionals work on a deeper level by stimulating a healing response.
“In my opinion, the best results always come from a multimodal approach that uses a combination of products and treatments. It’s great to combine skin care with regular exercise.” “At-home skin care is essential,” she asserts. Here, skin experts explain the professional products and treatments they recommend to stimulate collagen production.”
The best skin care ingredients to stimulate collagen
When it comes to choosing at-home skin care, Dr Khorana confirms that these 3 ingredients can support collagen production:
Vitamin A derivatives (retinoids)
There is ample evidence that retinoids regulate genes and cells involved in the production of collagen and elastin fibers, and inhibit collagenase synthesis (the enzyme that breaks down collagen). Tretinoin is the most researched and prescribed synthetic derivative that has been shown to help improve the appearance of affected skin by stimulating the production of new collagen in the dermis of the skin.
Topical vitamin C in the form of L-ascorbic acid in concentrations of 5-15% has been shown to have anti-aging effects by creating enzymes important for collagen production.
Niacinamide (vitamin B3) is commonly used in 5% concentrations as an anti-aging agent. Studies show that niacinamide increases collagen production in the skin and slows down the binding of glucose and proteins in the skin leading to cross-linking molecules such as cross-linking collagen. While collagen itself gives skin elasticity, cross-linked collagen molecules stiffen and thus reduce skin elasticity.
In short, look for a product that combines vitamin C with niacinamide for the day, and a retinoid with niacinamide for the evening. Also, find the best retinoid, vitamin C and niacinamide products for effective skin care and collagen boosting.
The best professional treatments to stimulate collagen production
Dr. Shotter adds that there are a number of treatments used in clinics to stimulate collagen. Here are suggestions for methods:
Uses red and infrared LED light to stimulate fibroblast cells in the skin. It has absolutely no side effects and is a very relaxing treatment.
Microneedling and radio frequencies
Deep RF is a powerful collagen-stimulating treatment that combines microwaves and radio frequencies. It shoots fine needles into the skin to transmit radio frequencies, which heat the tissues, stimulating optimal denaturation of the skin’s proteins. The result is a doubling of collagen, a 5-fold increase in elastin and an increase in hyaluronic acid levels.
Lasers can also be used to stimulate collagen. In general, the best results will come from laser resurfacing when looking to boost collagen production to treat acne scars.
Profhilo is a treatment with hyaluronic acid injected into the skin. We apply it at designated points, from where it spreads through the skin and stimulates collagen and elastin production. We do two or more treatments, spaced four to six weeks apart.
Using hyaluronic acid stimulates collagen production, which, although to a lesser extent, stimulates collagen proliferation. Products like these include Radiesse and Elanse, which contain ingredients like calcium hydroxyapatite or polycapronolactone that help stimulate monthly collagen production.