Collagen is a structural protein found in various connective tissues throughout the body. It is the most abundant protein in the human body and in the skin. Collagen exists in fibre like strands that bundle together in the lower layer of the skin (the dermis), and it provides form, structure and support.
There are 28 different types of collagen, but the dermis primarily consists of collagen type I and collagen type III. Collagen is produced by a cell called the fibroblast. Physical tension and injury to collagen fibres prompt fibroblast activity.
Production of collagen can also be stimulated by certain skincare ingredients. Peptides, anti-oxidants, retinoids, fatty acids, hydroxy acids and various botanicals have all indicated the ability to either directly or indirectly prompt collagen renewal
From early adulthood collagen production declines (0.5-1.5% each year). External factors, particularly sun exposure and smoking accelerate this by triggering a free radical cascade within the skin. Skin has natural defences against free radical activity, however ageing lessens these mechanisms. Subsequently the hallmark signs of ageing become more apparent.
Through a complex chain of biochemical events, free radicals increase the presence and activity of collagen degrading enzymes which causes collagen loss. Over time this manifests as fine lines, wrinkles and laxity.
All in all, there are both internal and external causes of collagen loss. To keep the skin looking and functioning its best, some assistance may be required.
Collagen stimulating skincare and treatments aim to improve the integrity and appearance of the skin.
Stay tuned over the next few weeks as we explore various ingredients and treatments aimed at stimulating collagen renewal.
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