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What is Collagen, and Why is it So Important?

Posted Dec 19 2013 5:27am

Collagen is one of the most frequently listed components in high-end skincare products. You may have discovered that the epidermis need it, but do you know why? What is collagen … and what makes it essential for your epidermis?

Collagen: More Than Epidermis Deep

Created inside the bodies of animals (including humans), collagen is a collection of proteins. It’s found in your skin, but it’s also needed to create and keep healthy connective tissue throughout the entire body.

Whenever collagen is collected into fibers, known as fibrils, it is present in your skin, ligaments and tendons, corneas, cartilage and bone, blood vessels as well as the belly. It also constitutes 1-2% of your muscle. Amazingly, collagen makes up nearly 35% of your overall body’s protein content!

Collagen and Your Skin’s Health

Of course, what we’re really interested in here's what collagen does to keep the skin’s integrity. Along with keratin, a protein usually associated with hair and epidermis, and elastin, collagen keeps elasticity and strength. It also “plumps out” your skin, making lines appear more shallow.

Whenever collagen creation is reduced for any reason, the result can be weaker epidermis, breaks in the protein fibers, and finally, the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

When Collagen Production is Down

Unfortunately, as we age, collagen production - along with the creation of other proteins as well as metabolic processes - tends to slow. With this collapse occurs at less frequent cell turnover rate, which means that “new,” fresh-looking epidermis is slower to appear. It also means that there is less elasticity to the epidermis, enabling lines and lines and wrinkles to take shape.

Collagen creation can also slow during times of illness or even stress, giving an “ashy,” dry and less firm look to the epidermis.

Kids Have All the Luck!

Collagen production will wax as well as wane during different times in one’s life. Various aspects, both environmental and internal, may mean slower collagen regeneration at different times.

When you’re young, collagen increases back up rapidly following stress or even illness, giving resiliency to the epidermis. It literally “bounces back.” When you age, however, the indications of stress - rough epidermis, dry skin, and lines - tend to remain where they are, partly because there isn’t sufficient collagen to fight the stress.

The epidermis Around Your Eyes is Most Susceptible

We tend to display aging 1st around our eyes, and there’s an excellent reason. The epidermis beneath the eyes is very thin compared to the epidermis on other parts of your body. There are also comparatively few oil glands underneath the eyes, minimizing lubrication to the area.

Apart from these aspects, we tend to squint and rub our eyes rather frequently. Eyes are easily irritated, especially as regards environmental pollutants. Make-up can be irritating, too. The thin, sensitive epidermis around the eyes tears very easily beneath these conditions - and the older we get, the less rapidly it repairs.

So what do You Do About It?

Don’t worry - it’s not all bad news! Newer-generation skin care components are made to fight problems associated with collagen loss, as well as to enhance or even replace collagen completely (though on a short-term basis). Here are various kinds you may find in eye creams.

1. Alpha and beta hydroxy acidsslough off the epidermis to reveal fresh, more active epidermis cells underneath. Look for a gentle, non-irritating formula.

2. Amino acids(especially glycine and proline) are also critical in collagen synthesis. Cosmetic grade amino acids often end in the suffix “-in” - search for those in the skin or even eye care cream.

3. Polypeptidesare actually better and are easier identifiable in cosmetic preparations, as they’re usually known as exactly that. These are chains of greater than 1 amino acid.

4. Don’t stress- literally. Stress stimulates the production of the hormone cortisol, which usually degrades (breaks down) collagen bonds. Discover time every day to meditate or just to sit quietly. Reduce caffeine. Follow a positive attitude wherever possible. These small changes truly will make a change in how collagen works in the body.

5. Protect the skin. Environmental toxins assault your skin daily. Use a protective foundation on your face and be sure to contain SPF in the equation to reduce the effects of sun damage.

6. Wear non-sensitizing make-up. Hypoallergenic make-up will give the skin 1 less action to worry about (the sensitization itself) and will allow for more time to regenerate.

7. Exercise. Because the collagen metabolic process will be interconnected with other metabolic processes in your body, “getting things flowing” can enhance its production. Get Half an hour of gentle to moderate exercise each day.

8. Procollagenis actually a pre-peptide component. It increases the formation of collagen.

9. Animal or even Synthetic Collagenis put into various skin care products to restore elasticity to the epidermis.

10. Vitamin C, that is involved in collagen synthesis, is a great ingredient to assist enhance the synthesis of collagen in the epidermis.

11. Whatever you do - keep smiling.Yes, “laugh lines” and ’crows feet are a main category to fight for many men and women. But this does not mean you should stop smiling. Using the tips above, the skin will “bounce back” from facial expressions, squinting and yes, even smiling, faster if you’re gentle with it…and if you are using the best components.


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