What Exactly is Collagen, Anyway?Collagen is the most plentiful protein not only in the skin, but in the body as a whole. It plays an essential role in providing structure for the skin and is one of the primary building blocks for healthy bones, muscles, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. It can also be found in the eyes, teeth, and blood vessels. In a way, collagen is like the glue that holds the different parts of the body together. In fact, the word collagen is derived from the Greek word “kólla” which translates to glue. You can think of your body as a house and collagen as the beams that hold up the ceiling and the walls. Collagen is often described as a complex protein because it contains 19 different amino acids, both essential and nonessential. The human body produces some collagen on its own, but production slows over time and the existing collagen in your skin starts to break down more quickly.
How Does Aging Affect Collagen?Collagen makes up around 30% to 40% of the protein in your body and roughly 75% to 80% of the protein in your skin. It is one of three primary components of skin, working with elastin and glycosaminoglycans to provide the structure, support, strength, and stretch in your skin that keeps you looking younger longer. As you get older, your skin changes in numerous ways. It becomes thinner, dryer, and more prone to sagging and wrinkles. What is actually happening beneath surface is the breakdown of collagen. As collagen fibers break down, your skin loses some of its elasticity and, because the body produces less collagen over time, the skin doesn’t recover as quickly. The result is fine lines that turn into wrinkles, and sagging skin. Aging isn’t the only thing that affects collagen breakdown. Exposure to UV radiation (via the sun’s rays) deteriorates both collagen and elastin and smoking accelerates the aging process in your skin as well. Excess sugar consumption and dietary deficiencies in vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and proline are also causes of increased collagen breakdown and slowed production.
Tips for Boosting Collagen ProductionYou can’t stop the progression of time, but you can reduce its effects on your skin. There are also simple things you can do to boost collagen production and slow its breakdown. Here are some simple things you can do to boost collagen production in the skin:
- Massage your facial muscles to boost circulation and collagen production
- Stop smoking and using tobacco products
- Reduce your intake of added sugar and refined carbohydrates
- Drink plenty of water to keep your skin and body hydrated
- Consider taking a collagen protein supplement
- Regularly apply skincare creams to “re-plump” the skin
Skincare Products That Boost Collagen ProductionThere are more than 28 types of collagen in the body, though most of it is one of four main types. Type 1 collagen makes up 90% of the body’s collagen while types 2, 3, and 4 are found in the cartilage, muscles, organs, and joints. Collagen 1 and 3 are the most abundant in skin. As mentioned above, as your skin matures, the body produces less collagen as a whole and the collagen it does produce is of lower quality. Some of the top skincare ingredients you’ll find in Yon-Ka’s collagen-supporting products are:
- Peptides – Peptides are short chains of amino acids and are building blocks of proteins, like collagen. In skincare products, peptides can fulfill a similar role, stimulating the skin to produce more collagen, and conserving it.
- Vitamin C – This is an antioxidant essential for natural collagen production in the body, so its inclusion in skincare products helps improve the skin’s ability to produce collagen.
- Vitamin B – Also known as niacinamide, Vitamin B3 improves the overall appearance of skin while also increasing collagen production.
- Hyaluronic Acid – This ingredient helps hydrate the skin for a firmer, more youthful appearance.
- Glycolic Acid – This ingredient is multi-faceted in that it exfoliates and hydrates the skin while stimulating collagen production for brighter, firmer skin.
- Advanced Optimizer Crème – This rich cream moisturizer visibly firms and smooths skin, preserving the skin’s architecture and redefining facial contours. It features white lupin peptides to conserve collagen, wild rose, and marine collagen as well as hydrating ingredients like shea butter and hyaluronic acid.
- Advanced Optimizer Gel Lift – A smoothing tensor for the neck, décolleté, and bust, this luxurious gel treatment smooths and restores firmness to the delicate skin in these areas. Key ingredients include hibiscus peptides to stimulate collagen production, and horsetail, a firmness booster.
- Advanced Optimizer Serum – Best used in combination with the Advanced Optimizer Crème, this serum absorbs quickly to reactivate the skin to create a firmer, smoother appearance. It features hibiscus peptides to stimulate collagen production, marine collagen, horsetail, and wild rose.