What Is Collagen? Breaking Down the Beauty Benefits of Collagen

“Collagen” is a common word that’s been floating around in the anti-aging realm for a while now. It’s easy to believe that it’s just another beauty industry buzzword, but collagen has an important role to play in your physical biology as well as your aesthetics. What is collagen and what is its role in anti-aging?

What Is Collagen?

Accounting for approximately 33% of all protein in the human body—making it the most abundant protein—collagen contributes to skeletal, joint, muscular, tendon, dental, hair, and skin health. Its prime role is to fasten together cells and tissues to support the shape and integrity of various cellular structures in the body. In simpler terms, collagen acts as a sort of flexible glue that keeps the body looking and functioning at its best.

Collagen’s Beauty Benefits

In terms of anti-aging beauty benefits, collagen is often associated with healthy, smooth skin. Found in the middle layer of the skin, or dermis, collagen proteins connect to create fibroblasts. These fibroblasts promote the growth of new cells to replace dead skin cells and encourage healthy cell turnover. In basic terms, higher collagen levels contribute to a rejuvenated appearance, including greater skin elasticity, plumpness, and smoothness. Collagen also contributes to hair health, with higher collagen levels being linked to stronger tresses, delayed graying, and even potential increased hair growth.

What Causes the Body to Produce Less Collagen?

Age is a definite factor in decreased collagen levels. With time, collagen production naturally slows: after age 20, our bodies produce roughly 1% less collagen in the skin per year. But there are also common lifestyle factors that can negatively impact collagen levels over time.

  • Smoking — the chemicals found in tobacco smoke damage collagen and elastin in the skin, while reducing the amount of oxygen delivered to skin cells, slowing cell turnover.
  • High blood sugar — A high-sugar diet causes sugar in the blood to bond to more proteins, creating AGEs, which are molecules known to destroy collagen proteins.
  • A diet low in vitamin C — The body requires vitamin C to naturally produce collagen, so a diet lacking adequate sources of vitamin C leads to collagen degradation.
  • Prolonged exposure to pollution — Environmental pollution can create free radicals that affect skin by excelling protein oxidation and the depletion of collagen.
  • Sun exposure — The sun’s UV rays damage collagen deep in the dermis, resulting in wrinkles, a loss of elasticity, and pigmentation.

How to Boost Collagen Production

While collagen powders and supplements are making the rounds on social media, their effectiveness is still being studied. The question is whether these supplements really work to promote collagen production in the body, since collagen does not enter and remain in the body as a whole protein when ingested. Essentially, when any collagen supplement or dietary source (such as bone broth) is consumed, the body breaks this collagen down into its basic building blocks: amino acids. The body then uses these amino acids where they’re needed to maintain optimal health. If the body is lacking in collagen, it may reproduce collagen from the broken down amino acids—but that’s only if it needs collagen. If collagen is sufficient, those amino acids will be used elsewhere in the body. This means that the efficacy of these supplements in boosting collagen levels remains up for debate.

As for anti-aging collagen creams, they won’t significantly boost collagen levels in skin. Collagen proteins are much too large to be absorbed deep into the dermis of the skin where collagen is needed to maintain skin’s structural integrity. However, they may be absorbed by skin that is still healing. For this reason, collagen creams may be more effective following treatments that create micro-dermal wounds in the skin. In most other cases, though, skin care products containing peptides are much more effective in penetrating to the middle layer of the skin and kick starting targeted collagen production in the skin.

Likewise, anti-aging multi-polar radio frequency treatments can offer an effective means to promote skin’s natural collagen production. Using technology that’s safe for all skin tones, these non-surgical treatments utilize radio frequency to deliver targeted energy deep below the skin’s surface, creating heat within the dermis of the skin. This heat kick starts skin’s natural collagen production cycle, boosting overall collagen levels for plumper, smoother-looking skin and an overall younger-looking appearance.

To learn more about non-surgical radio frequency anti-aging treatments and how they could boost your skin’s collagen levels, contact a certified treatment provider near you.

Your Guide to Beauty All Year Round

Beauty trends may come and go with the seasons, but these beauty tips are tried and true. Discover a year-round beauty regimen that goes the distance, by taking a holistic approach instead of viewing beauty as a 10-step fix-it-and-forget-it routine.

30 Minutes of Up and at ‘Em

Getting regular exercise is the easiest way to boost your skin’s health and keep the body strong, lean, and better prepared to take on the stresses of everyday life. Just a half-hour of mid-level exercise each day—think a walk around the block, a quick yoga session, or swimming a few laps—can reduce stress by releasing healthy endorphins, undercutting the otherwise negative effects that stress has on our appearance. Anything that gets the heart pumping increases blood circulation, delivering a healthy amount of oxygen-rich blood to skin cells to support collagen and elastin production for firmer, younger-looking skin, while transporting away free radicals and other waste before the damage is done. Think of exercise as just as necessary a part of any daily beauty routine as an anti-aging moisturizer.

Is SPF in Your Beauty ABCs?

We’re big proponents of sunscreen. Whether you’re a fan of chemical sunblocks or those of the mineral-based variety, sun protection is always essential. Everyone needs to be sure to apply sunscreen each and every day to any skin that may be exposed to the sun, including ears, hands, the neck, and areas only covered by sheer fabrics (think swimsuit coverups), as ultraviolet (UV) rays can easily penetrate through these fabrics. For those wary of adding thick, pore-clogging creams to the face, there are plenty of mineral-based sunscreen options on the market that blend in well without the white residue, and tinted options that blend better for all skin tones, so there’s no excuse to skip sun protection. Talk to a dermatologist to find an effective formula that works best for skin’s specific needs.

Mani Maintenance

Hands are the oft-neglected “third face,” according to beauty gurus, with the neck and decollete being the first two. Skin on the hands may seem to be less sensitive than skin on the face, but it is just as susceptible to premature signs of aging. Regular manicures with a moisturizing paraben treatment can fend off wrinkles and brown spots, strengthen nails, and offer a stress-reducing ritual to any beauty routine. As for giving nails a break from polish, it’s a common misconception that nails need time to breath. Nails get all the oxygen and nutrients they need through blood circulation, so no need for nude nails for those who prefer color.

8 Solid Hours

Getting a complete eight hours of uninterrupted Zzzs may be a task in itself, particularly for those with kids, a busy lifestyle, or demanding careers. Add in the changes brought on by daylight saving time twice a year, and we’ve got an even bigger challenge on our hands. Regardless of the time of year, we all need our beauty sleep. The nighttime hours are when skin begins to recuperate from the day, yet 60% of us are sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation can lead to increased levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, which is responsible for collagen degradation. It also lowers the skin’s ability to produce human growth hormones (HGH), which are essential to cell turnover. The result: dehydrated, dull, older-looking skin. To work in some quality beauty sleep on the daily, consider sleeping aids, relaxing baths, or reintroducing a set bedtime.

What’s for Supper?

This is particularly true when it comes to sugar and hydration-depriving foods and drinks, like those high in grease, sodium, or caffeine. For sugar, the issue is glycation, a process in which sugar binds to proteins in the blood to create advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs), which stunt collagen production and wreak havoc on the skin’s hydration levels. To reverse the effects of a previously sugar-rich diet, try adding collagen-promoting foods like sweet potatoes, fish, lean turkey, eggs, or tomatoes to each meal alongside antioxidant-rich dietary sources like avocados, spinach, almonds, and berries. Together, these delicious nutritional beauty superfoods promise shinier hair, glowing skin, and stronger nails. Consume at least one beauty-boosting meal each day and cut out sugar for an easy way to add a powerful punch to any beauty routine.

Forget Old-Fashioned Hair Removal

For those of us who consider razor burn, bikini line bumps, or awkward periods of hair regrowth to be a standard part of our beauty routines, it’s time to update our views on hair removal. Hair removal is a task we could all do away with, right? Well, that is exactly what our last tip is all about. Why make our beauty routine any more complicated and time-consuming than it needs to be? Cut out shaving, waxing, and messy depilatory creams from your already long list of beauty steps, and consider simplifying your routine year-round with intense pulsed light (IPL) or laser hair removal treatments. Utilizing advanced technology, these treatments target the hair follicles and stunt hair growth right at the root for permanent hair reduction.

To learn more about IPL or laser hair removal treatments, or to discover which may be the right option for you, contact a certified treatment provider today.

Real Housewives Get Real Results with Venus Treatments

For a crew of hardworking entrepreneurs and glamorous go-getters like the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, there’s no reason to get anything but the best. On a recent episode, when it came time to take a day away from the drama of life in Beverly Hills, the ladies of RHOBH enjoyed a luxurious spa day featuring some dreamy Venus Treatments.

Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave gave her fellow Real Housewives a treat last week, courtesy of Venus-certified beauty boutique SkinLab. Their Glam Circle featured Venus Versa™ and Venus Legacy™ for skin tightening and body shaping treatments. These treatments use gentle radio frequency energy to boost collagen production and shrinks fat cells underneath the skin, rejuvenating the appearance of skin — all while feeling like a relaxing massage.

The Skin Lab team came prepared with a full set of Venus Skin™ products enriched with collagen-boosting stem cell technology, specially formulated to enhance the incredibly rejuvenating effects of Venus Versa™ and Venus Legacy™ treatments.

Venus Treatments are designed to offer the best results without the stress of surgery. With some of the most advanced technology and lowest downtimes in the industry, Venus Treatments give you that perfectly glamorous experience without the drama, every time.

Book a treatment today by finding a certified provider near you.

3 Ways to Reduce Pre-Wedding Stress

 

Wedding season can be just as stressful as it is joyful, whether you’re in the bridal party or you’re just there to party. A wedding doesn’t happen overnight, and the preparations can be enough to pull your hair out (at the risk of ruining the photos).

If you’re in the grips of pre-wedding stress, then take a deep breath and get ready for some good news. We’ve got three essential tips to help you cut out the unnecessary nerves and celebrate that special day the way you want to.

Dress the Body You Have

One of the main sources of pre-wedding stress comes from dressing the body you want, vs. the body you have. There’s a lot of pressure to conform to certain standards, to buy a tighter dress or a smaller tux, and to spend the weeks and months leading up to the wedding trying to fit into it in time for the wedding day.

This approach can only give you trouble. There’s far too much involved in getting ready for a wedding, that you can’t afford to waste time and money trying to wear something that doesn’t do your body justice. Weddings are times to celebrate love, so celebrate the body you have by ensuring you look great in a dress or a tux that fits you, not the other way around.

If you have the chance, invest in a good tailor who can make sure whatever you wear hits you at all the right spots. But if you’re still worried about making a good impression, radio frequency body shaping treatments can be a great technique for targeting and shrinking challenging bulges, and setting your mind at ease.

Don’t Let Stress Screw Up Your Skin

Everyone wants to look their best in wedding photos. And for many people, looking your best means smoother, younger-looking skin. The problem is, pre-wedding stress can do a number on your skin.

That’s because of cortisol, the primary hormone that affects how your body responds to stress. Cortisol is known to break down the collagen in your skin; over time, stress compounds and contributes to the formation of lines and wrinkles.

Don’t fret over your skin! Instead, give yourself a leg-up with comfortable wrinkle reduction treatments. These treatments use a combination of energies to produce heat under the surface of the skin, and they’re designed to boost collagen production and rejuvenate your skin’s appearance by fading fine lines and wrinkles.

Get a Flawless Finish, Faster

If all eyes are going to be on you, give them something great to look at. In preparation for the special day, make sure you have your makeup sorted out and your skin looking flawless. As fun as it is to get dolled up before a big event, the day-of shouldn’t be the first time you try out a glamorous look. Make yourself familiar with how different products sit on your skin, and how the colors complement each other. If you’re prone to textural problems, discoloration or redness, or if you’re trying to cover up scars, you should know what works best ahead of time.

Even better, try looking into a skin resurfacing treatment plan that you can start a few months (or even weeks) before the wedding date. These treatments use a specialized array of pins, charged with radio frequency energy, to refresh your skin’s collagen and elastin production and smoothen out a wide range of textural conditions. That way, you can achieve that full-coverage look even before you start getting glammed up.

Get ahead of the game this wedding season! Find a certified treatment provider near you to learn more about these treatments.