Collagen - Here’s What You Need To Know
Collagen. It’s responsible for our major #skingoals - a firm, plump, healthy looking complexion.
But what do you really know about this incredible protein (yes, it’s a protein) and why it’s so important for your skin? If your answer is “Actually, not much!” read on to get the scoop on collagen.
What is collagen’s role in your skin?
Collagen is a protein that serves as one of the essential ‘building blocks’ for your skin - along with elastin. It’s found deep in the dermis throughout the skin, giving you a bouncy, healthy-looking complexion.
Your body naturally produces collagen but as you age, collagen production drops off, and the collagen you already have begins to break down.
Starting around your mid 20’s the amount of collagen in your skin begins to drop and many women experience a sharp decrease during menopause.
Skin that was once plump and firm thanks to plenty of healthy collagen begins to show fine lines and wrinkles - it doesn’t snap back as quickly as it may once have.
What else damages collagen?
It’s not just the increasing number of candles on your birthday cake that leads to a slow decline in collagen. There are things we do to our skin or environmental factors we’re exposed to that cause collagen to break down more quickly than in the normal ageing process.
The sun is the number one cause of premature ageing.
In fact, studies estimate 90% of the visible signs of ageing - wrinkles, fine lines, sun spots - is due to UV exposure!
Too much time in the sun without protection also causes uneven thickening and thinning of the skin - known as solar elastosis - which leads to yellowed discoloration and deep wrinkles.
Staying out of or protecting skin from the sun with a quality broad-spectrum sunscreen is the single most powerful way to preserve healthy collagen.
Prolonged stress has an incredible impact on the skin - and not in a good way.
When your stress levels rise, your body produces a hormone called cortisol which is an enemy of collagen.
A rise in cortisol can inhibit the healthy function of collagen and rapidly speed up signs of skin ageing like lines and wrinkles, age spots, and skin dullness.
There is nothing good about smoking - for your skin or health in general. Many of the more than 4,000 chemicals (yikes!) in tobacco smoke damage collagen and elastin.
Bottom line on smoking? Just don’t.
Is where you live wreaking havoc with your skin?
Pollution in cities - especially traffic pollution - can trigger excessive free radical activity in skin leading to the destruction of healthy collagen.
The role of skincare in supporting healthy collagen
Taking care of your collagen requires a holistic approach.
Lifestyle changes - like managing stress, eating well, exercise, keeping out of the sun, etc - teamed with the right skincare routine can provide collagen-nurturing solutions.
You’ll want your skincare to include active ingredients that support the skin’s ability to produce collagen. A few of the big hitters when it comes to encouraging collagen production include:
When applied topically, Vitamin C triggers the skin to heal itself by stimulating the production of collagen and elastin in the skin.
In turn, this slows down the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Vitamin C is also revered for its brightening and smoothing properties which also give the skin a healthy, even glow.
Simply Matcha: Glow Skin Elixir Oil contains Kakadu Plum extract which has the highest known natural Vitamin C concentration of any single natural food source in the world.
Vitamin A is essential for a healthy complexion as it’s involved in the creation of fresh, new skin cells. It does a stellar job at boosting levels of collagen levels in the skin and also increases the life of existing collagen.
Punicic acid (A bioactive compound of pomegranate seed oil)
Found in pomegranate seed oil, punicic acid supports collagen production and plumps skin. Ideal for fighting the signs of skin ageing.
Simple Reborn: Prickly Pear Seed Healing Face Oil contains pomegranate seed oil and the benefits of this highly concentrated serum include improved elasticity, reduced wrinkles, and help for sunburned and damaged skin.
Peptides play a very interesting role in the process of collagen production.
When collagen begins to break down it triggers a reaction in the body which creates peptides.
The presence of peptides sends a signal to your body that more collagen needs to be produced to compensate. Using peptides in skincare can ‘trick’ the body into this process and help minimise fine lines, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and increase the skin's elasticity.
An active anti-aging and firming ingredient, Collageneer® is derived from white Lupin seeds that stimulate the synthesis of a high-quality collagen to increase elasticity and firmness in the skin.
Simply Stronger: Kakadu Plum Face and Eye Cream Vitamin C / Moisture Surge is a highly concentrated face and eye cream containing Collageneer® and and wild harvested native Australian extracts Kakadu Plum extract and Waratah Flower extract