Written By: Dr. Alexandra Mayer
Did you know that collagen is a key component in your skin’s structure and integrity? Collagen acts as a building block for strong, healthy skin. As we age, however, we produce less collagen and begin breaking down our collagen at a faster rate. This process can begin as early as our mid-20’s and rapidly increases during menopausal years due to declining estrogen and testosterone.
Less collagen leads to a decreased integrity of the skin and an increase in fine lines and wrinkles. The good news is there are things we can do to decrease collagen breakdown and even encourage the body to build new collagen.
Check out the following treatments and ingredients below that can boost your collagen production!
The way we build new collagen is with controlled injury to the skin. When our skin is injured, it starts that process of building collagen to heal the wound. The key is creating just enough injury to jump-start the healing process, but not enough to scar.
That’s where microneedling comes in! Microneedling is the process of using a specialized device to create controlled injury to the skin at a certain depth (depth in this case really does matter).
Studies show that micro-injections into the skin caused a 46% increase in collagen production on biopsy. When researchers added Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) to the micro-injections it increased collagen production to 89.5%, that’s huge!
Looking for more skin tightening? This is where adding the benefit of radio-frequency energy takes the cake! RF Microneedling has all of the benefits of microneedling, but features the added effect of controlled heat delivered down into the dermis. Why is this important?
Controlled heat = more injury = more collagen production and skin tightening. The heat also allows for a very effective treatment with no social downtime! Needless to say, this treatment is a game-changer for aging skin.
This antioxidant is a go-to among dermatologists. Research on retinol proves its ability to increase collagen levels in the skin over time. It’s also a potent topical for skin-cell-turnover, meaning that it has the ability to brighten the skin and even the texture. When paired with in-office treatments, retinol can completely transform your skin.
Vitamin C is another potent antioxidant necessary for collagen production. However, not all vitamin C is created equal. Vitamin C is notoriously difficult to formulate, and is naturally un-stable and hard to absorb. This is one product where the price point and science really matters! If you go cheap with vitamin C it is unlikely that you will actually get any benefit from it.
Keeping the Collagen You Have
The best way to keep the collagen you have is to protect your skin from photoaging. UVA rays are the rays highly associated with aging. Unlike UVB rays however, they don’t cause redness or burning of the skin, so it’s harder to tell if you are getting too much exposure. Also, UVA exposure happens all the time. Sitting close to a window? Unfortunately, you are aging your skin. So, protection all day every day matters! The ingredient that has been shown to BEST protect against UVA is zinc oxide.
We are a bit biased but we’re pretty sure our HA Mineral Defense sunscreen is the best sunscreen on the face of the earth (BTW, our patients who have used it think so too!). It is a physical blocker only – so there’s no hormone disrupting compounds here – AND it goes on like magic. It’s a sunscreen you will WANT to wear daily.
The Bottom Line: We know that the breakdown of collagen is inevitable. But there are highly effective treatments and skincare products we offer here that can help to turn back time and minimize the overall appearance of fine lines and wrinkles! For more information, check out our page on what RF Microneedling can do for you.