Collagen is a very important part of the human aging process. It is a protein molecule that makes up between 25 and 35% of the body’s protein. Collagen connects and supports the body’s other tissues such as the skin, cartilage, and connective tissue like bones and tendons. There are over 25 types of collagen in the human body.
Collagen and keratin are what provide the skin with resilience, strength and flexibility. When people age, these proteins start to break down, and production of them slows. This results in a loss of firmness and flexibility of the skin, causing wrinkles and other signs of aging.
Even though it may seem like it, the visible signs of aging do not occur overnight. With UV photography cosmetologist and dermatologists are actually able to see the damage years before it is visible to the naked eye. Many people are surprised by how damaged their skin is, without their knowing it.
Repeated and prolonged exposure to the sun causes photo aging, which breaks down existing collagen in the skin and also damages future collagen production. People who live in very sunny areas may see symptoms of this as early as their 20’s. Photo aging causes loose, saggy skin and a blotchy complexion, as well as an increased risk of skin cancer.
Prevention of Collagen Skin Breakdown
There are things you can do to slow the effects of collagen breakdown. These include wearing sunblock and avoiding too much sun exposure by wearing sunblock year-round. Also, quit smoking and wear sunglasses to protect your face. Though the sun does a great amount of damage to the skin, smoking is actually more harmful.
Smoking cigarettes causes biochemical changes that speed up the aging process. This is especially true for those who smoke more than 10 cigarettes per day. So quitting smoking is the single most important thing you can do for your skin.
Collagen Supplements for Treatment
There are new treatments and remedies that try to slow and even reduce the process of aging such as a collagen supplement, collagen capsules, collagen drink and collagen injections.
Vitamin C is also essential for slowing the aging process. It greatly increases the production of collagen and it is also an antioxidant which helps reverse and reduce damage to the skin. Vitamin C must be used topically to be effective in this way, though.
Collagen is a very important part of skin, bones, muscles and other connective tissue. When collagen starts to break down, the skin starts to age. By doing things like quitting smoking, and protecting your skin from the sun, as well as using some simple skin care products, you can minimize wrinkles and other signs of aging.
If you have advanced signs of aging, there are dermatological procedures, such as collagen injections, that you can do. There is no reason to age without fighting it.