Collagen: how this plentiful protein helps to maintain your skin
As one of the most plentiful proteins in the human body, collagen does an awful lot for us. It is found all over: in our muscles, skin and tendons. Not only does collagen help to bring together our tissues, it also helps maintain the overall appearance of our skin.
We could go on forever about the fantastic benefits of collagen, but for now, let’s discuss the ways in which it can maintain your skin from within.
Maintaining the youthful plumpness of our skin from within
As a natural part of the ageing process, the skin on our face and body starts to lose moisture. It is this moisture that skincare looks to replenish, helping to maintain our skin tone with a soft, smooth and plump texture.
Whilst there are a varying number of reasons for this loss of hydration, chiefly it is the depletion of the collagen levels. Collagen itself helps to lock the moisture into our skin, ensuring a youthful, plump and hydrated appearance.
The chart below demonstrates how levels of collagen deplete within our bodies as we age. Once we have reached the age of 25, collagen density begins to drop by around 1.5 per cent each year. By our 45th birthday, up to 30% of our collagen may have been lost through the normal ageing process.
Maintaining skin elasticity from within
Keeping skin strong and healthy is the primary goal of collagen. As demonstrated above, it is this gradual loss of collagen that can be responsible for wrinkles and changes to skin tone that accompany the normal ageing process.
One way in which more mature customers can target these common signs of ageing is by looking out for specific ingredients within their chosen skincare products. For example, our Perfectil Platinum Collagen drinks contain Peptan® marine collagen peptides. Scientific research specifically looking at Peptan peptides has revealed that they could help increase skin’s collagen density and hydration levels, both of which can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Peptides are made of amino acids, which help to form new collagen within the body. Quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, these amino acids are essentially the building blocks of brand-new collagen!
Should skin vitamins be ingested or applied topically? Which is more effective for skin maintenance?
We lose 50 million skin cells each and every day, which is why an effective skincare regime is essential to the health of our skin.
Here at Vitabiotics, we recommend a combination of high-quality skincare and a supplement, tailored to complement a range of lifestyles, skin types and age ranges.
We advocate this two-front approach based on research which suggests that the way in which vitamins are taken or applied to the skin can alter the way in which the body processes them. For example, when B-complex vitamins are applied to the skin, they stay near the surface and help to maintain skin hydration. This is due to their chemical properties, which help them attract and hold onto moisture. Conversely, when they are absorbed into the bloodstream via a vitamin B supplement, they act via their biological properties. Examples include:
- Riboflavin helps in the production of red blood cells, which carry vital oxygen to the skin.
- Pantothenic acid helps to maintain normal energy release from food, ensuring that the body has sufficient energy on hand to keep skin looking vibrant and healthy (helping to replace those 50 million lost skin cells each day!).
There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. For instance, vitamin A helps to boost the production of collagen and could reduce the effects of ageing both when applied topically and when ingested. This is because it’s a fat soluble vitamin that absorbs more deeply when applied topically, rather than lying near the surface.
(Caution: Excessive vitamin A (retinol) is harmful to unborn babies. If you're pregnant or thinking about having a baby, avoid liver products such as pâté, as these are very high in vitamin A. Also avoid taking vitamin A supplements. Speak to your GP or midwife for more information.)