Think of a binding substance that holds the whole house, without which the bricks won’t stick together- Cement. Similarly, a substance holds the skin together but from the inside- “Collagen”. You might have heard about this term in advertisements, supplements, and skin care product claims. In simpler terms, Collagen is a protein that makes up most of our skin’s dry weight. Collagen is composed of different peptides or amino acids.
It is found in connective tissue, skin, tendons, bones, and cartilage. It provides structural mounting to tissues and plays a significant role in cellular repair, migration, and regeneration. Collagen also helps our joints move smoothly.
Collagen and Elastin:
Often mentioned together and confused to be each other’s synonyms, Collagen and Elastin are different from each other. Both are Proteins but Elastin makes our tissues bounce back or recoil after being stretched whereas collagen keeps our skin tight and plump.
Collagen is delivered by the body constantly (levels decrease with years) while the body produces elastin primarily during the fetal stage.
Essentially, collagen makes skin plump while elastin makes it flexible.
Benefits of Collagen for Skin:
As it is found in our tissues and plays a crucial role in cell regeneration it keeps our skin plump and healthy and helps in retaining moisture. It ensures our skin is tight and youthful. It prevents aging and sagginess. Collagen also encourages swifter wound repair.
A newborn’s cheeks are full and plump as they are filled with plenty of Collagen.
So if collagen is well present inside our skin why do people take its supplements and undergo skin and lip fillers?
As we age, Our body starts to lose its collagen levels. It leads to wrinkles, sagginess, loose skin, and tight joints. After turning 20, our body produces 1 percent less collagen every year.
Although we cannot do much about the age-related factor, we can surely avoid other elements that accelerate the loss of collagen.
Factors that accelerate collagen loss:
It is not only harmful to our lungs but our skin and lips too. Cigarette consumption speeds up collagen loss and makes our skin saggy way faster than not smoking. Similar can be said for Alcohol Consumption.
Having a poor diet with no nutrients and just junk can also lead to collagen loss. Minimizing sugar-rich and processed foods can help you stay fit as well as keep your skin youthful and glowing.
Certain medical conditions lead to collagen loss at a very young age. Although you cannot do much about the diseases, the earlier you are diagnosed the better. Your doctor will be able to provide better treatment if you seek early help.
Pollution and Free radical damage are also responsible for worn-off skin with wrinkles and sagginess. Ensure you are taking care of your skin by protecting yourself from pollution and other factors.
Excess sun exposure can burn your skin and lips. It can lead to pigmentation, dryness, and aging. Protect your skin from UV rays by applying sunscreen all over your body 15-30 before you go out in the sun.
What to look for in Skin Care Products?
Essentials that contain collagen are commonly loaded with marine collagen or hydrolyzed collagen, and they are thought to help minimize the look of wrinkles.
Products developed to help safeguard collagen often contain hyaluronic acid as well as vitamin C along with the gold star Retinol.
Retinol is the major active used in skin care essentials that prevent skin from getting aged and saggy. Retinol is a Vitamin-A Derivative, it goes deep beyond your skin’s epidermis to the dermis and repairs skin from within by stimulating collagen production and neutralizing free radicals at the cellular level.
In addition to Retinol, Hyaluronic Acid can also help your skin get plump and hydrated from within. It quenches the skin's thirst by going deep inside your skin and moisturizing it deeply. Look for products that contain this to take care of your skin.
It is an antioxidant that helps in lightening and brightening our skin. It contains anti-inflammatory properties that help Retinol to work effectively and efficiently. A combination of products with the right concentration can help your skin look youthful and plump when used with consistency.
Ceramides are exceptional at hydrating skin, enhancing skin elasticity, and toughening the moisture barrier. A dearth of ceramides means a weak or damaged barrier causing wrinkles, fine lines, dryness, irritation, redness, or hyperpigmentation. Look for products that are rich in Ceramides to boost collagen production!
Peptides, also comprehended as polypeptides are small chains of amino acids linked by peptide bonds. They are more specific to concerns like wrinkles and fine lines as they stimulate collagen production. Combine this with Ceramides for a miraculous result on the skin.
Collagen for Lips
Our Lips are the most sensitive and delicate parts of our body. Anything that affects our body and face impacts our lips 10x.
Loss of collagen leads to thin lips. It makes them devoid of moisture and leads to lip lines and wrinkles.
Are Lip Fillers a solution to Collagen loss?
Fillers can surely give you a fallacy of Plump and Healthy Lips but in reality, they are just a temporary solution to collagen loss. You have to get them every 6-8 months plus the maintenance cost can empty your pockets.
Although the age-related factor is majorly responsible for the same, these are a list of things that can save you from getting lip fillers and delay lip aging:
Sun Exposure is one of the major reasons for lip lines and wrinkles. It leads to lip dryness and makes lips devoid of moisture. The skin on your lips is very delicate and often goes unprotected. It causes premature aging- called photoaging.
Apply a lip SPF to ensure your lips are well-guarded from sun damage and other free radicals.
Often we use skin care products on our lips thinking they will work the same. It causes more harm than good. Skin and Face products contain chemicals that are harmful to our lips because lips are way more delicate and sensitive than the rest of our body.
Include Peptides like Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38 and Pracaxi Seed Oil in your Lip Care Regime to boost lip collagen. Hyaluronic Acid helps in plumping lips and provides a boost of hydration and nourishment. Wheatgerm Oil, Shea, and Cocoa Butter are also great at providing moisturization.
Smoking causes lip lines and wrinkles. Moreover, Nicotine and Tar are responsible for making your lips dark and hyperpigmented. Try to limit smoking and look for alternatives to control your addiction.
All your efforts will go waste if you continuously bite your lip or have a habit of licking them. Saliva dries out the lip skin and makes it dry and prone to wrinkles and darkness. Try to practice mindfulness and distract yourself from licking them by indulging in other activities.
Best Food Sources of Collagen:
Our body naturally produces collagen from amino acids. Include Protein-rich food in your diet to support collagen production- Such as Bone broth, eggs, Poultry, Bones, skin, and ligaments of animals, such as chicken. Types of seafood- fish skin and jellyfish. If you are vegetarian look for protein-rich pulses, vegetables, and supplements.
In addition to amino acids, your body needs Vitamin C for collagen production and maintenance. The human body cannot make vitamin C, so people need to get it from their diet. Food sources include Citrus fruits, greens, and berries. Make sure to have a balanced diet and drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated.
There are a variety of Collagen supplements available out there in powder, capsule, and liquid form. You can take it as a supplement or add it to potables and meals such as oatmeal, yogurt, and other creative recipes if any.
How does a Supplement work?
If your body is not able to attain the desired level of collagen through your diet, you can have collagen supplements to boost its level.
Hydrolyzed collagen is a typical sort of collagen utilized in supplements that are formed using a procedure called hydrolysis. This process breaks down the protein into smaller pieces, making it easier for the body to absorb.
A point is that collagen molecules are too enormous to be immersed into the bloodstream. Some businesses “shrink” the size of collagen, with the idea that it can get easily absorbed. But even if the collagen makes it past the gut into the bloodstream, you cannot restrain where it ends up (face or help your joints).
Do Collagen Supplements have side effects?
Although most collagen supplements are safe and not associated with side effects, Some supplements that have collagen may also include high doses of biotin, which could interrupt laboratory examinations for heart and thyroid function.
Things to Remember
- Please consult your doctor before taking any collagen or protein supplements.
- If you are pregnant make sure to check the ingredients list, if they are safe for an expecting mother or not.
- Use products that are cruelty-free and contain skin and lip-safe ingredients.
- When applying a topical cream with anti-aging benefits always make sure its actives go well along with your other products.
Collagen is a crucial protein found inside our body that keeps our skin youthful and glowing. As we age, we tend to lose collagen and our body slows down its production. It leads to loose, saggy, and wrinkle-ridden skin as well as thin, aged, and pigmented lips. With a proper diet and the right skin care, we can surely delay the aging process to keep our skin healthy and our lips plump. Just make sure to follow it with consistency and a little bit of patience and you are good to go.