In recent years, various companies have been coming up with more interesting ways to consume collagen—from gummies, coffee creamers to powders and easy-to-swallow capsules; however, most consumers aren’t aware of the role that collagen plays in boosting our skin health.
Without further ado, let’s dive right into the facts, shall we?
What is collagen?
Essentially, collagen is a protein containing many important amino acids (e.g. glycine, proline, alanine, glutamic acid) and are the basic building blocks that keep our tissues and bones together.
It is responsible for giving us healthy joints, supple skin and can be naturally found in our bones, muscles, digestive system and blood vessels. In fact, collagen makes up a whopping 70% of our skin!
Collagen is much more unique than other proteins as it contains higher levels of three important amino acids: glycine, proline and hydroxyproline—all of which play an important role in keeping our skin, hair, nails and joints healthy.
Acting as the “glue” that holds our body together, just imagine collagen as a rope that has three chains linking it together—the triple helix is the reason why collagen has enormous strength and tensile force. There are a total of 28 types of collagen sources that have been named to date, with type l accounting for 90% of the body’s collagen.
Unfortunately, our collagen resources are finite and we start losing them by the age of 25 at a rate of 1.5% per year. Once we hit 30, our collagen production slows down even further and we begin to lose 2% of our collagen stores yearly. Women also experience a dramatic reduction in collagen synthesis upon hitting menopause.
Combine that with other factors like an unhealthy diet, stress, environmental pollution and sun exposure, it’s likely that we are losing more collagen than we think at this very moment!
This is also the reason why we tend to get stiffer joints, less flexible ligaments and yes—skin that shows signs of ageing.
Given that collagen is a naturally occurring substance within our bodies and we can’t naturally regenerate it as and when we want, this has resulted in many of us turning to supplements.
What are the benefits of restoring collagen?
Remember the rope we mentioned earlier? As time goes by, it starts to fray at the ends and loses its tensile strength, which is essentially our collagen scaffolding losing its strength and stability.
This looks like increasingly thinner and drier skin, as well as fine lines and wrinkles. The good news is, restoring our collagen offers the following benefits:
- Boost our skin’s hydration levels
- Relieve osteoarthritis and joint pain
- Faster wound healing
- Healthier hair, skin and nails
- Increases bone mineral density
- Promotes a healthier gut
Collagen has also been shown to fight off inflammation which means it can also help with acne, and thus works as a great supplement for your acne treatment!
So, do collagen supplements actually work?
The key to understanding supplements is knowing their absorption rate, and your results varies based on the serving size, frequency of supplementation and type of collagen that you are taking.
Important to note is that collagen is a huge molecule that is unable to pass through our intestinal barrier and into our bloodstream. This is why companies have now introduced hydrolyzed collagen, or collagen peptides that is broken down to help aid the body in absorption.
Despite several studies showing that collagen peptides can help slow down the signs of ageing and improve hydration levels, there is still very little evidence to support the effectiveness of such supplements.
Supplements are also not rigorously regulated by the FDA and the source of ingredients and manufacturing processes are often kept unknown to consumers, which could result in varying results.
Topical treatments such as creams, lotions and serums that claim to contain collagen also often fail to reach the deeper layer of the skin (i.e. the dermis) to sustainably influence and intercept the skin’s natural ageing processes.
What treatments are good for stimulating collagen then?
There are a plethora of treatments that you can get with a professional aesthetic doctor that can better guarantee faster and better results than supplements and creams, some of which are:
Otherwise known as Collagen Induction Therapy, the treatment involves puncturing the skin’s surface to create micro-injuries. The skin’s natural healing process then takes over to kickstart new collagen production that helps thicken the skin.
One study showed that microneedling can increase skin density and thickness by 140 % while also increasing and thickening collagen bundles in the dermis!
At our clinic, we like to use INFINI RF, which is a radiofrequency microneedling treatment that is effective for treating acne scars and boosting overall skin rejuvenation.
What makes INFINI RF unique is its patented microneedle system that allows it to penetrate up to 3.5mm below the skin, making the treatment more efficient and effective than supplements. It also comes with minimal downtime and side effects.
- Laser treatments
Laser treatments like the fractional CO2 laser can be employed to stimulate collagen production and work as a “non-surgical face-lift”. It works similarly to microneedling in that it creates micro-injuries in an attempt to stimulate collagen production in the skin.
At our clinic, we offer a wide range of non-ablative lasers such as the Fraxel Dual laser, PICO + HEXA MLA laser, Q-switch and V-beam which all works to treat different skin conditions while providing the benefit of collagen stimulation.
Our doctors enjoy using the powerful Edge Fractional CO2 laser to induce and replenish collagen in the skin. Each session takes just roughly 10 minutes, during which our doctors will utilize precise laser beams to heat up the dermis. Only one treatment session is required to reveal smoother, more vibrant skin!
- Injectables like Rejuran
Rejuran healer is a type of injectable that contains PDRN (polydeoxyribonucleotide), a naturally-occurring building block in your DNA that when injected into the skin, helps to reverse the signs of ageing and scars through promoting collagen production and healing from within.
Our doctors like to use it to strengthen the skin’s barrier and its high safety profile and versatility means it can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, improve skin elasticity, help reduce that unsightly acne scar and boost your skin tone and texture!
All it takes is just 20 minutes each session completed over 3 to 4 sessions at 2-4 week intervals for best results.
Collagen Is A Powerful Tool For Long-Lasting Skin Health
At the end of the day, every treatment has its pros and cons, and it is highly recommended that you visit a dermatologist before starting any treatment.
While we can’t necessarily prevent our collagen resources from naturally depleting, we can; however, ensure that our production schedule is on track so that we minimize and slow down the signs of ageing as much as possible.
Of course, incorporating a diet packed with healthy and nutritious foods and avoiding bad habits such as smoking, alcohol and poor sleeping patterns will maximize your results. As the body needs other amino acids such as vitamin A and C, zinc and copper to support collagen production, it is vital that you have enough of these nutrients in your diet by eating more leafy green, citrus fruits, tomatoes, whole grains and nuts.
If you aren’t ready to do an aesthetic treatment, retinoids is a form of vitamin A that is proven to boost skin cell renewal and trigger collagen production. One study showed that a 4-week treatment with a 0.1% retinoid increased the levels of collagen in the skin and reduced wrinkles after 12 weeks.
It is our duty to ensure that you are well-informed before making a decision, and if there is anything that you are unsure about, book a consultation with us today!
Our doctors are highly-trained and certified professionals that have specially curated a diverse selection of products, technologies and treatments to help you regain your confidence and meet your goals.
All of our treatments are also backed by science, so you can rest assured that you are in good hands. Boasting over two decades of experience in aesthetic treatments, let our doctors tailor a treatment program that is safe, minimally-invasive and effective for you today!