When it comes to anti-ageing treatments, two very scientific sounding words are always thrown around: collagen and elastin. These are both substances that play an important role in the appearance of the skin, and the structure of your face. The two work together, cohesively, but each substance requires different types of treatment to replace and replenish. But why do you need to replenish collagen? And why is collagen so important? Well, here at the Skin and Wellbeing Clinic, we know how confusing these different terms can be, and as Preston’s leading aesthetics practitioner, we have produced this guide to everything you should know about collagen.
What is collagen?
So, first of all, what exactly is collagen? Well, collagen is a protein that naturally occurs in our body as part of the connective tissue. This is the tissue that is intended to hold cells together. And in the skin, collagen combines with elastin to achieve this outcome.
So, why is collagen so important?
The role of collagen is to provide strength and structure to cells, without allowing them to move very far apart from one another at all. On the face, this helps create volume, shape and definition. Collagen molecules are very strong, and in fact, when tested gram for gram, collagen was proven to be stronger than steel!
Collagen is a vital part of our body, which is essential for connecting all of our tissue together. But it is also necessary as part of the healing process. Collagen plays an important role in replacing dead skin cells, which is crucial for healing wounds and allowing the skin to regenerate.
Collagen and ageing
As part of the natural ageing process, collagen production slows down, and declines a lot. This can have a negative effect on the shape and structure of the face, especially for the facial fat pads, which will begin to sag, pulling the skin out of position. This can leave hollow patches, and create heavier areas on your face.
What else can damage collagen production?
It’s not just ageing that can slow down the production of collagen. There are other lifestyle factors that can also have a negative effect, including:
Smoking – smoking damages collagen, and the nicotine restricts the blood supply to the skin tissue, which can also damage other skin cells
UV exposure – being exposed to large amounts of sun, without wearing a good quality UV protection cream can cause collagen in your skin to break down more quickly.
Sugar – Too much sugar can increase the rate of glycation, and this can seriously damage and weaken collagen.
Collagen and dermal fillers
If you want to prevent the loss of collagen from your facial skin, or you want to repair any damage that might have already occurred, you could consider dermal fillers. These involve injecting the skin with hyaluronic acid, which then nourishes your skin tissue, replacing lost nutrients, and triggering the production of more collagen. At the same time, fillers can increase the volume of the skin, in the injected area. This can help to replace any lost collagen, and help to keep the structure of your face balanced. Dermal fillers last for around 6 months, before you will need to reapply them.
For more information, professional advice, or to book a treatment, get in touch with the experts today, here at the Skin and Wellbeing Clinic.