The human body is naturally programmed to synthesize numerous compounds that play an active role in maintaining the optimal health of the body. Collagen is at the top of the list of these naturally produced compounds in the body. When it comes to keeping the skin looking and feeling healthy, collagen does the job of supporting and improving the tone and texture of the skin.
Unfortunately, collagen production in the body drops due to certain internal and external elements. For this reason, plenty of skincare products in the market are formulated with collagen to supply the skin with a continuous supply of this essential component that preserves a youthful, glowing, smooth, and even-toned complexion. This article will shed light on why this compound has taken the skincare world by storm and how you can increase collagen production in the skin. Let’s get started!
What is Collagen?
As mentioned earlier, it’s a compound produced naturally by the body. The word comes from the Greek word “Kolla”, which means glue. So this translation indicates its role in the body. Collagen is a type of protein that functions to uphold the structure of all organs in the body. From muscles and bones to blood vessels and ligaments, it’s present in every part of the body. It makes up the building blocks of the skin. The primary function of collagen in the skin is to accelerate cell repair and regeneration, helping to heal the tissues and organs of the body.
How Collagen Helps the Skin?
Collagen is the structural protein and the key component of the skin that maintains the skin’s strength, firmness, and shape. The purpose of collagen molecules in the skin is to stimulate elastic and supple skin that can withstand tearing and stretching without causing cell damage. They also trigger the restoration or healing of damaged cells in the skin. When your skin has high levels of collagen, it looks and feels smoother, firmer, and softer. Some of the benefits of collagen for the skin include:
- Repair Cells- This collagen function gives it the unique and powerful healing feature that makes it the superhero of the skincare realm. Collagen stimulates the skin's natural healing process, speeding up the recovery of damaged skin.
- Anti-aging Action- Collagen is most widely known for its ability to repair and renew skin cells that are damaged due to oxidative stress, aging, or intrinsic factors. These factors can lead to the early emergence of fine lines and wrinkles on the skin, making the skin appear loose and dull.
- Preserves Hydration- Collagen strengthens the skin’s outer lipid barrier, aiding in sustaining the level of hydration in the skin. A stronger barrier prevents dehydration and keeps the moisture locked in the skin, adding to its freshness and suppleness.
- Protective Compound- Collagen helps shield the skin against the harmful effects of bacteria, UV rays, free radicals and other toxins in our surroundings. Collagen heals and restores cells that get damaged due to damaging external elements.
Types of Collagen
Although there are various types of collagen, some common types found in the body are types I, II, and III. Type I collagen is present in the blood vessels, skin, bones, and cornea. Type II makes up the cartilaginous tissues, while type III is involved in the body's structure of blood vessels, skin, internal organs, and ligaments. In addition to the level of collagen, its quality also affects the skin's condition and appearance. That’s why it’s essential to use topical skincare products and supplements with high-quality collagen to reap maximum benefits from the compound.
As we age, the synthesis of certain types of collagen in our bodies becomes lesser, and the quality of collagen also reduces in the body, leading to fine lines and wrinkles, discoloration, and other skin problems.
What Causes Breakdown of Collagen?
Collagen starts to break down due to numerous internal and external underlying forces that lead to the formation of premature fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, dehydration, inflammation, and dullness. Some of the common harmful factors that cause the breakdown of collagen are:
- Sun damage
- Hormonal imbalance¹
- Improper diet
Ways to Boost Collagen in the Skin
Luckily, an unlimited range of skincare products, like facial serums and creams, are available on the market that can help boost the production of collagen in the skin. Some of the ingredients used in these collagen-bolstering skincare products include:
Vitamin C - One of the most prominent vitamin c benefits that give it anti-aging properties is its ability to encourage collagen production in the skin. This is why vitamin c is extensively added to anti-aging formulas to target and treat fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin c benefits in combating signs of aging because it stimulates the production of amino acids required for binding the molecules of collagen together. Vitamin C facial serum is the best way to feed the skin with a high concentration of potent vitamin c.
Niacinamide - This stable form of vitamin B3 is praised for its wide array of skin benefits when applied topically. One of its primary functions is to improve the production of elastin and collagen in the skin, helping to enhance the skin’s healing ability. Unfortunately, just like vitamin c, our bodies can’t synthesize niacinamide. Hence, you’ll have to use facial serums, lotions, toners, and creams, with niacinamide to take advantage of its collagen-stimulating effect. It also promotes the synthesis of ceramides, which keep the skin hydrated and protected.
Peptides - Skincare products packed with peptides are also effective in stimulating collagen and elastin production in the skin. These collagen-enhancing compounds are short-chained amino acids that make up the building blocks of proteins. These gentle skincare ingredients are safe and effective for most types of skin. Various skincare manufacturers add peptides to their anti-aging formulations to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Peptides act by improving the production of fibroblasts and stem cells in the skin, which results in a higher formulation of collagen.²
Hyaluronic Acid - This incredible skincare compound is well-known for its hydrating and antioxidant attributes. Besides maintaining the skin’s hydration level, it also works as a gentle collagen stimulator. This compound is the basic unit or building block of a large part of the connective tissue and assists in the synthesis of collagen in them.
Another way hyaluronic acid keeps the level of collagen high in the skin is by fortifying the skin’s protective lipid barrier, preventing collagen breakdown. Several studies have supported the healing and collagen-boosting effects of hyaluronic acid. In addition to increasing the amount of collagen, it also enhances the quality of collagen. Adding a facial serum to your daily skincare routine can help to keep fine lines and wrinkles at bay.
A facial serum we love to use is Sundree’s RYSE+SHYNE facial serum! This hydrating facial serum is packed with skin-loving ingredients, hyaluronic acid, vitamin c, niacinamide, and CBD to help brighten and firm skin while improving the skin’s texture and enhancing collagen production. Just a few drops daily will lead to happy skin.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids - Most of you might know alpha hydroxy acids as a chemical exfoliating agent that helps draw out dead, dull skin and reveal fresher, smoother, and brighter skin underneath. This group of natural acids is also used to promote collagen synthesis in the skin. Facial serums, lotions, creams, and toners with alpha hydroxyl acids trigger the renewal and regeneration of cells, leading to a higher level of collagen in the skin. Some commonly used AHAs in skincare products include glycolic acid, mandelic acid, citric acid, lactic acid, and malic acid. Go for an AHA product that suits your skin.
Light Therapy - Although various in-clinic cosmetic procedures are recommended for accelerating the production of collagen in the skin, light therapy is among the top players known to amp up the level of this protein. “Red light therapy is a specific form of LED light technology, which stimulated collagen production in your own skin cells which diminish fine lines and wrinkles,” explains board-certified dermatologist Dennis Gross, MD.³
Red and other types of light therapy produce a collagen-bolstering effect on the skin. Research supports red light therapy as a safe and fast procedure to augment collagen synthesis, suggesting that it can aid in preventing fine lines and wrinkles by enhancing the skin’s elasticity. Light therapy can be done in-office by a dermatologist or at home using at-home devices.
Collagen is an integral part of all the organs of the human body, including our skin. The optimum level of collagen in the skin is responsible for keeping the skin supple, radiant, and soft. Unfortunately, the synthesis of this natural compound can reduce due to various internal and external agents, such as hormonal fluctuations, UV damage, inflammation, stress, natural aging of the skin, and inadequate nutrition.
The breakdown of collagen molecules because of these factors leads to a lower level of this compound in the skin, which paves the way to pesky skin problems, particularly fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, dehydration, and dullness. Therefore, it’s important to add skincare products containing collagen-boosting ingredients to make up for the decrease in the natural production of collagen in the skin.
- Migala, Jessica. (2020). ‘Can ‘Resetting’ Your Hormones Improve Your Skin?’, Everyday Health, Accessed December 6, 2022. Available at: https://www.everydayhealth.com/skin-beauty/can-resetting-your-hormones-improve-your-skin/
- Mandal, Ananya, MD. (2022). ‘What are Fibroblasts’, News Medical Life Sciences’, Accessed December 6, 2022. Available at: https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-are-Fibroblasts.aspx
- Weiner, Zoe. (2020). ‘The Collagen-Boosting, Acne-Fighting Red Light Therapy Benefits Are Beyond Belief’, Well+Good, Accessed December 6, 2022. Available at: https://www.wellandgood.com/red-light-therapy-benefits/