We hear about it all the time. It comes in pills and supplements, in creams and lotions–and even smoothies! But, what’s all the hype about collagen?
In this blog post, we explore:
- What is collagen?
- Why is collagen important as we age?
- How can we restore collagen?
What is collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. In fact, it makes up three quarters of what scientists call the “dry weight” of your skin. It’s a major component in skin structure and in strong bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles, as well as healthy hair and nails.
Why is collagen important as we age?
Collagen gets a serious downgrade as we age. Some studies have shown that when we’re as young as 25, it’s on the decline in the body.
This isn’t great news for any part of our body that relies on collagen, but most of us notice the initial signs of collagen depletion on our faces. This is because collagen is responsible for plumping, smoothing and keeping skin moisturized.
How do I get collagen back?
While the jury is still out on collagen supplements for the body, there are multiple studies touting the benefit of adding retinols and retinoids like tretinoin into a daily skincare routine for maximum collagen benefit. Not only that: Vitamin A derivatives protect, nourish and moisturize your skin and build back elasticity bigtime. Topical treatments are scientifically proven to promote dermal cell rejuvenation and this means, you guessed it, collagen production.
Tretinoin cream, only available with a prescription, can reboot collagen deficiency on an even deeper level. Applied topically, it penetrates beneath the epidermis (top) layer of skin into the dermis (lower, 2nd layer of skin), and is easily absorbed and metabolized in the body.
DMAE cream is also showing huge promise in clinical trials as another skin saver that instantly boosts collagen production.
Pro tip: Pair your retinol or tretinoin with a Vitamin C-rich serum for max benefit. This has been shown to bring down skin inflammation and help restore the skin barrier…all of which aid in supporting collagen growth and renewal.
Finally, don’t fall for the hype and buy collagen creams. Experts agree, retinols, retinoids, tretinoin and antioxidant-rich lotions and serums have waaay more scientific backing in this department. Collagen might feel nice when you slather it on, but it’s probably just a surface-level illusion. These creams and lotions are likely less impactful (and not worth the money) until more research is done.