Why do skin therapists talk so much about collagen?

What is collagen?
Collagen is a protein formed from amino acids. Almost 30% of all the protein in the body is collagen. Collagen is tough and strong in nature. Collagen is a part of the connective tissue in skin and is essential for the elasticity of the skin. It helps in maintaining firmness, suppleness and constant renewal of the skin cells.

What does collagen do?
Collagen gives strength and structure to the skin and prevents the absorption and spread of harmful substances such as toxins from the environment, micro-organisms such as bacteria or virus and even cancerous cells. Collagen functions like a binder to keep everything together. Collagen is a major component of nails and hair as well.

The strands of collagen are woven together into a framework which acts as the support for the growth of the new cells. Collagen and its filaments play an important role in building new tissue or repairing the damaged ones. Collagen has a rejuvenating effect on the skin because of the presence of essential amino acids in its matrix. The collagen present in the skin helps in preventing wrinkles.

What happens to collagen in aging skin?
With the progression of aging, collagen production slows down and the structure of the cell becomes weak. The skin thins down and becomes prone to damage, the skin sags, wrinkles appear, the elasticity of the tendons and ligaments decreases.

The natural aging process is a continuous process which slows down collagen and elastin production which makes the skin loose its elasticity. Added to this, there are external factors also which lead to collagen induced aging. Research studies have shown that with repeated exposure to the skin, the skin ultimately loses its ability to repair itself and the damage accumulates. Repetitive exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays not only breaks down the collagen but also impairs the synthesis of new collagen.

With aging, collagen fibers lose their moist texture and become rigid. The free radicals are also responsible for this damage causing the individual fibers to crosslink making them thicker and destroying their elasticity. Cross-linked collagen, in fact forms the basis of the formation of wrinkles and loss of the elasticity of the skin.

What do the non-invasive skin treatments do?
Different non-invasive face lifts are available to combat the effects of aging without surgery or painful procedures. The core purpose of most of the non-invasive, anti-aging procedures is to remodel the existing collagen and to form new collagen.

There are different non-invasive means to boost up the collagen in the body:

Collagen injection
The collagen filler injections help in alleviating the fine lines and wrinkles. The collagen injections which are dermal fillers are available to ‘plump up’ the different parts of your face which have lesser collagen. The collagen which is injected into the skin replenishes the loss of collagen due to the aging process.

The collagen filler injections help in alleviating the fine lines and wrinkles. The results are immediate and last for a few months. Collagen injections are either derived from animals or bioengineered. Re-introducing the collagen from outside can also help in stimulating the natural production of collagen by the body.

Collagen rejuvenation
Collagen rejuvenation refers to a non-invasive stimulation of the formation of collagen through completely natural therapies.

Modalities such as laser therapy or microdermabrasion help in stimulating the natural synthesis of collagen in the skin. Laser resurfacing is a noninvasive treatment which transmits pulses of light to your skin which triggers new collagen growth and alleviates the fine lines and wrinkles due to aging. Microdermabrasion uses crystals to bring about the anti-aging effect by stimulating the formation of new collagen.

The non-invasive and natural face lifts such as microcurrent, bio light, Cavi lipo, radiofrequency therapies help in gradually rebuilding the lost collagen. By this gradual process of rebuilding collagen, signs of aging will be reversed.  Microcurrent non-invasive therapy increases the thickness of collagen by almost 15% and the production of collagen and elastin by almost 45%.

An infrared facelift involves directing infrared waves in the skin which stimulates the production of collagen in the skin giving it a more plump appearance. Radiofrequency non-invasive face lift also works by creating internal heat and stimulating circulation and the formation of collagen. Thermage treatment uses laser to pulse the heat through the skin to tighten and tone it by enhancing the collagen production.

Topical rejuvenation of collagen
There are some topical products such as Vitamin C and AHA (alpha hydroxyl acid) which can also lead to the formation of collagen. The use of exfoliants also triggers the skin to produce new collagen. Some studies have even mentioned that if taken internally on a regular basis, collagen will help in supporting healthy skin. It can also have a positive effect on the growth of hair and nail, and also helps in increasing their strength.

Before going for any of these treatments to treat your skin, please consult a dermatologist or a skin aesthetician to find out which therapy is m

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