Should We Care About Collagen?
Is collagen just a feature our female counterparts possess? Of course not, but it would certainly seem that way with all of the commercials touting collagen-boosting skin care products geared towards women. Not to mention the ads for collagen injections.
Well we have collagen too and maintaining it matters for us just as much.
The Collagen Breakdown
By definition collagen is the main component of connective tissue and most abundant protein in mammals. It forms in very fine fibers that are found in our tendons, cartilage, bones, blood vessels, and skin, among other areas.
It’s also what keeps our skin from getting wrinkled, lined and loose. Over time, however, the production of collagen starts to decline. The result? An aged appearance.
So how do you keep your collagen production going strong? It’s a combination of healthy lifestyle habits (avoiding environmental assaults) and the support of certain ingredients that can help stimulate its production.
Damaging elements like the sun, pollution, stress, smoking, and free radicals continually work to slowly wear down these proteins. Fibroblast cells step in to repair damaged collagen fibers by generating new ones, but this process can decline as we age. When the process fails to complete, wrinkles and lines may appear and skin may begin to sag.
How do we prevent this or turn it around if it has already started to happen? First, as I mentioned, look at your lifestyle habits. Good sleep, stress control and a healthy diet all help support collagen production. Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants help offset environmental damages and boost the skin’s defenses against collagen breakdown. Always be sure to wear an SPF 30. After all, the sun is responsible for 90 percent of our skin’s aging.
Just like those commercials I mentioned earlier, there are some collagen-promoting ingredients we can use to help the effort too. These include peptides, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and growth factors. Specifically, look for soybean protein (glycine soja), L-superoxide dismutase (an antioxidant enzyme), magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (vitamin C), and dipeptide, among others.