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Skincare 101: Collagen & Elastin
Collagen & Elastin, The Skin’s Most Important Proteins For Youthful, Glowing Skin
If only we could preserve that perfectly plump, glowing skin we’re born with this topic wouldn’t even be necessary. But alas, over time, the collagen and elastin, which are the primary structural component proteins that make up our dermis (skin), diminish as we age starting from day one after birth.
Bummer, right? But not all is lost, no need to throw in the towel. There are many cosmetic procedures and facial treatments such as the vampire facial that produces new collagen and fresh new skin cells. Let’s explore the science of how and why, and then discover how you can help promote healthy collagen and elastin for glowing, beautiful skin.
Collagen and Elastin Breakdown
Both your collagen and elastin proteins are vital for the renewal and regeneration of our skin. While they are plentiful in young skin, the bad news is that they start to break down with natural aging, as well as exposure to the sun and other environmental factors.
From birth, elastin starts to diminish in production and by middle age, replenishment is minimal. Collagen is similar. As you age, your body produces less collagen and the older you get, the quality and quantity of collagen begins to evaporate, sometimes it feels like it happens overnight.
You can also thank the natural aging process for the shift and diminishing volume (known as atrophy) in the fat pads in your face which makes your skin look thinner and less smooth. This loss of firmness or plumpness is natural and part of the aging process.
That said, while natural aging is unavoidable, the other major factor that affects the loss of collagen and elastin in the skin is something you can exhibit some control over - the sun.
This is not news to you, but the effects of the sun on the skin on real, and severe.
As explained by the New England Journal of Medicine, this 69-year-old man was a truck driver who experienced “gradual, asymptomatic thickening and wrinkling of the skin” due to the UVA rays that were transmitted through his truck window penetrating his “epidermis and upper layers of the skin” to give us all a very visual and severe example of how harmful the sun can be.
How to Support Healthy Collagen and Elastin Production
Luckily, with the research and technology we have today, supporting healthy collagen and elastin while aging, isn’t impossible.
1. Skin-Rejuvenating Procedures
One great step you can take is to consult your healthcare provider about the best skin rejuvenating procedures that can help you remove damaged skin, and promote healthy collagen and elastin. Many popular treatments like laser resurfacing, microneedling, and chemical peels have proven to be effective ways to help combat signs of skin aging.
2. Skincare Products for Collagen & Elastin Production
ALASTIN Skincare®’s patented Tri-Hex Technology® is specifically engineered to work with the skin to clear out old collagen and elastin proteins that have been damaged by sun exposure and aging. This blend of active peptides and botanicals then supports the skin’s natural ability to produce new collagen and elastin. With daily use, TriHex Technology will help to maintain healthy skin and a more youthful appearance, as well as strengthen the skin's barrier to protect against any future damage.
One of the most popular anti-aging skincare products known to help support healthy collagen and elastin production is the ALASTIN Skincare Restorative Skin Complex with TriHex Technology®. This top-rated anti-aging skincare can be used every day to help strengthen skin and combat the appearance of visible signs of aging on the face.
Another popular product is the Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer with TriHex Technology®. This moisturizer is oil-free and won't clog pores making it a great choice for those with oily or acne-prone skin.
Linda C. Chung Honet, M.D., F.A.A.D says, "it contains fatty acids, phospholipids, triglycerides, dimethicone, various plant extracts like bisabolol, and their proprietary TriHex peptides to boost collagen and elastin synthesis."
Adding retinol to your nightly skincare regimen can help smooth skin texture, improve skin tone and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The ALASTIN Skincare Renewal Retinols, available in .25 and .5 strengths, are particularly popular with doctors and dermatologists because the active retinol is encapsulated in a solid lipid which makes this formula great for even sensitive skin and also offers potent hydrators to protect against skin dehydration - common issues with most of other retinol formulas.
The face isn't the only area where collagen and elastin loss can be noticed - but have no fear. Adding a daily body skincare to your regimen like the TransFORM Body Treatment with TriHex Technology® helps to enhance the appearance of skin laxity, texture, and crepiness. This powerful formula supports the skin’s natural ability to produce new elastin and collagen for firmer, smoother skin.
Lastly, when it comes to skincare for sun damage, prevention is key. As you would predict, our number one recommendation here is to use an SPF 30 or higher sunscreen every single day, rain or shine - and even if you think you’re protected by your car’s windows on your commute to the office! Here’s a great multitasking broad-spectrum sunscreen with a nice tint called HydraTint Pro Mineral Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 36 that both customers and doctors love!
3. Food Choices for Skin Health
Aside from skincare, paying close attention to what you eat and drink can also play a role in supporting your skin's reproduction of collagen and elastin. Certain nutrients may support tissue health and help your body build back your structural proteins. Vitamin C, found in many fruits and vegetables, is used by our bodies to grow and repair tissue. It is one of the most important nutrients for building collagen and elastin. A diet heavy in protein also helps support and maintain healthy skin. Good sources of protein, particularly, with the amino acids proline and lysine, can be found in many plant-based foods as well as meat and dairy products.
Essential fatty acids are also extremely beneficial to maintaining collagen and elastin production. Choosing food rich in fatty acids like omega-3 fatty acids found in different fish, or healthy fats found in avocados if you prefer a plant-based diet, keep the skin strong and moisturized while reducing inflammation.
So have no fear! Though natural aging is inevitable, achieving healthy, glowing skin is totally possible with a healthy diet, regular visits to your doctor, and scientifically-proven skincare!