No one is immune from aging and so much effort goes into staying looking young for as long as possible. For many people, one of their primary concerns as they start to move into middle and older age is the quality and appearance of their skin.
Skin health involves many different factors. Skin issues that can make you look older than your age include:
- Dull skin
- Poor skin texture
- Dry skin
- Oily skin
- Loss of skin elasticity
- Rough skin
- Dead skin cells
- Acne scars
- Wrinkles and fine lines
- Sun damage.
Any and all of these can be caused by a whole range of issues combined with the natural aging process including
- Underlying health issues
- Poor skincare routine
- Use of inappropriate skincare products
- Environmental conditions
Contributing majorly to skin health are free radical damage and collagen loss and reduced elastin production due to natural aging.
All these issues and causes can affect all skin types and all areas from body skin to facial skin.
What is Collagen and Why is it So Important?
There is so much focus on collagen because it is probably the single most important factor in skin health.
Collagen is a protein. It is the most abundant protein in the body. It is vital to skin health. Collagen helps to keep skin firm, smooth and soft. It also plays a vital role in cell regeneration and in the wound healing/repair process.
It is obvious therefore that a reduction in the volume and quality of collagen will result in reduced skin health. During the aging process, the collagen structure degrades and production depletes, affecting the integrity of the cellular bonds in the layers of the skin and the skin’s surface.
Treatments to Boost Collagen
There are plenty of options for topical and professional skin treatments available today that can help to improve skin cell production, skin hydration, and provide an overall more youthful appearance.
If you are looking for ways and treatment options to increase collagen production and improve blood flow to your skin, then you might want to consider some of these facial treatments that can help with facial wrinkles and every other aspect in a return to healthy skin.
Off the Shelf Treatments
There is a bewildering array of cosmetic preparations available on store shelves that will help to improve the look and feel of skin by boosting the production of collagen.
The beauty industry’s response to the need to boost or replace collagen is to use a number of key ingredients in creams, lotions, and serums.
The active ingredients to look for are:
- Hyaluronic acid
- Retinol (Vitamin A)
- Vitamin C
- Peptides (amino acids)
- Glycolic acid (hydroxy acids)
Key Ingredients – Hyaluronic Acid, Amino Acids, Niacinamide
Designed to revitalize skin and restore a youthful appearance by stimulating collagen and elastin production and providing protection against free radical damage.
Key Ingredient – Retinol
Boosted collagen synthesis and elastin production fill fine lines and wrinkles to deliver smoother, younger-looking skin.
Key Ingredient – Vitamin C
Powerful antioxidants deliver anti-aging benefits and sun damage protection and by boosting the production of collagen, rejuvenates the skin, producing a glowing complexion.
Collagen supplements are also available and you can also help your skin’s health by protecting it from the elements. The sun can do some serious damage to your skin so always wear sunscreen (even when it’s cloudy!) to prevent penetration by UVA and UVB radiation.
You can also eat more high-protein foods in a balanced diet. These contain amino acids and these will help with collagen synthesis. You might also limit how much coffee you drink as studies indicate it can inhibit collagen production, reducing natural collagen levels.
Although some people are happy with the results including collagen-boosting products in their daily skincare routine, it is difficult for the body to absorb introduced collagen. Cosmetic procedures are designed to stimulate collagen synthesis to compensate for loss of volume. Naturally produced collagen is far more effective than applied collagen.
Cosmetic and Surgical Treatments
If you want more intensive treatments than topical skin care products or collagen supplements to produce healthier, younger-looking skin, there are a number of non-invasive procedures available in facilities from salons, day spas and medical spas to cosmetic surgery clinics.
Facials and Chemical Peels
The most accessible of all cosmetic treatments, they are also potentially the least effective of all those discussed here because they treat the upper layers of skin. Collagen synthesis is more boosted by stimuli in the dermis.
There are many different types of facials and peels so it’s important to choose one that deals with your troublesome skin issue and enjoy the collagen-boosting results as a by-product.
Facials and peels work to stimulate collagen production by their physical action. The exfoliative effect encourages cell turnover with new collagen and epidermal growth. The application process also improves circulation in the skin’s blood vessels which helps to better distribute collagen and elastin.
Intense Pulsed Light
IPL therapy works by directing a beam of natural light onto the skin. It passes through the outer layers of skin leaving them unharmed but when it reaches the deeper layers, it vibrates causing the breakdown of collagen. This stimulates the body’s healing response and collagen renewal begins.
Light therapy treatment also boosts blood flow in the desired areas and so is effective in treating issues like sun damage, dark spots, brown spots and age spots.
You might see this treatment referred to as collagen induction therapy. Microneedling is a treatment in which tiny needles are used to intentionally create micro punctures in the top layers of your skin – essentially tiny wounds. This forces the skin’s fibroblasts into ‘repair mode’ which means an increase in collagen production (a process called neocollagenesis).
The great thing about microneedling is that it is minimally invasive. It also increases the dermis layer of the skin’s ability to absorb topical skincare products.
This works in exactly the same way as IPL therapy, except that radio waves are used instead of pulsed light.
The main purpose of this treatment is to tighten skin but its natural outcome of heating the dermis layer of skin is an increase in collagen production.
The dermis is heated to between 122 and 167°F for at least 3 minutes which causes the release of heat-shock proteins that stimulate the synthesis of new collagen fibers.
Genius RF (Fractional Resurfacing Treatment)
Generally considered to be a ‘level up’ from basic microneedling, this treatment combines microneedling with radiofrequency. There is a dual benefit. Collagen synthesis is stimulated both by the healing response of the fibroblasts to the needle pricks and the heat produced by the radio waves.
Fractional resurfacing is very successful in triggering collagen growth, stimulating fibroblasts and improving blood flow to the areas of skin that need rejuvenating. The increase in release of growth factors that occurs improves facial volume so can help to even out skin tone and texture producing a much more glowing, youthful appearance overall.
CO2 Lift is a cutting-edge carboxytherapy gel treatment. In this non-invasive transdermal treatment, CO2 (carbon dioxide) is delivered through the skin by the application of the gel in the form of a mask. It can be used on the face, neck and body.
It works by the gel trapping carbon dioxide against the skin which responds by rushing oxygen-rich blood to the skin causing cell regeneration and boosting natural collagen production in the dermis.
Clinical tests have proven that CO2 Lift increases skin hydration by more than 115% resulting in plumper, firmer and lifted skin.
The treatment is usually three masks, no less than a week apart.
Hyaluronic Acid Fillers
Dermal fillers are one of the most popular professional skin treatments and are an effective treatment for a range of skin issues including counteracting the loss of collagen due to aging.
There are various different types of fillers made from various beneficial ingredients, including, most commonly, hyaluronic acid.
Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the skin to help it stay fresh and young looking, but just like collagen, the natural process of production slows down. Hyaluronic acid attracts water to maintain skin hydration so when it is injected, there is an immediate and visible increase in facial volume.
Longer term, it encourages new collagen growth.
Injectable hyaluronic acid is available under various brand names including Juvederm, Restylane and Belotero.
Sculptra is another type of dermal filler designed to treat the underlying cause of aging skin. This injectable collagen stimulator is based on poly-L-lactic acid rather than hyaluronic acid.
Poly-L-Lactic acid is a volumizing filler that reinforces the skin structure. The fibroblasts in the deep layers of skin react to the introduction of the bio-stimulatory substance with one consequence being increased levels of collagen.
Sculptra has been shown to be more effective than other dermal fillers, having results that can last three to five years compared to six months to a year.
If your skin is beginning to show the effects of age, the Z Center for Cosmetic Health offers a number of different treatments that will boost collagen production and simultaneously address other common skin issues. Contact us for a professional consultation where we can guide you to the best treatment to produce the younger-looking skin you desire.
If you prefer topical products rather than treatments at a medical spa, the Zadeh MD skincare line is an effective range of skincare products for all issues including boosting collagen production.