What is collagen?
27th July 2015
With hundreds of products on the market claiming to boost collagen and fight signs of anti-aging, maybe it's time we took a look at what collagen actually is, and what it does for your skin.
What is collagen?
Collagen is the main structural protein of connective tissue. It makes up between 25% and 35% of all proteins found in a mammalian body (that includes humans). Collagen - along with elastin and keratin - helps to keep skin tight and elastic, and collagen is also responsible for the replacement of dead skin cells.
What happens to it?
Sadly, as we get older our body produces less collagen, causing skin to sag. The body produces 1% less collagen every year, starting from when you're born. This means that by the time you hit 50, you've already lost half the collagen produced by your body. This loss of collagen can cause not only cosmetic issues - such as skin sagging - but is increasingly being linked to a number of health problems.
This decline of collagen is also affected by several other factors, such as sunlight, smoking, and a high sugar diet. Trying to reduce these factors can help you later in life.
So how do I get more collagen?
There are many collagen boosting products on the market at the minute, including lotions and cleansers, as well as an increasing trend in liquid collagen shots. These are all over-the-counter treatments, which are not classified as drugs, so they are not required to undergo scientific research in order to back up their claims.
Like all other proteins found in the body, collagen is made up of nine amino acids. These nine amino acids are largely acquired from eating animal products, such as cheese, milk, fish, eggs and poultry.
Sadly, current medical opinion is that all these collagen products are actually unlikely to increase collagen levels, as the collagen molecules are too large to be absorbed. However, collagen production has been shown to be stimulated through the use of laser therapy.
Sk:n clinics offers a wide range of laser-based treatments, as well as anti-aging injections to smooth out those wrinkles.