Mankind has always been in search of a remedy to stop or reverse aging. While we still do not have the magic bullet, there are some who believe that collagen may be the molecule to help us look young. What is collagen you may ask?
Well, collagen is natural substance in our body and is vital for maintaining support and integrity of the tissues. Collagen also plays an important role in wound healing. If collagen is absent, wound healing can never occur. Further collagen is vital for bleeding to stop after a cut on the skin. The collagen molecule is also a good absorbent of water and maintains hydration.
When collagen levels decrease for whatever reason, the underlying tissues will shrink, the skin will sag, fine lines and wrinkles will develop. Collagen does disappear with age but why collagen levels shrink prematurely in some individuals is not known. Smoking is known to cause a premature decrease in collagen levels and this results in the appearance of wrinkles much early in life. So how does one increase the levels of collagen in the body?
There are many collagen creams and lotions available today which contain collagen. These collagen based creams are said to be effective moisturizers and supposed to reverse aging. Anecdotal reports indicate these collagen containing creams – antiaging creams can erase stretch marks, smoothen out the fine lines and help the skin recover after an injury. The internet is inundated with website that make exorbitant claims about such collagen containing creams and helping you fight the signs of an aged skin. The big question remain how effective are these collagen creams? One has to remember that aging is not only dependent on levels of collagen but there are many other substances like hyaluronic acid, glycosaminoglycans, elastin, copper, vitamin C and so on. The other problem is that not all the collagen in the creams can penetrate the skin and enter the deep layers. Most experimental work reveals that collagen containing creams have little effect in reversing signs of an aged skin. Further, these collagen creams are relatively expensive, the majority have never ever been tested and there is no clinical evidence to back up the claims made by the dealers of these antiaging creams.
So what is the other option?
For about 3 decades, collagen injections have been used as dermal fillers to erase wrinkles, lines and even plump up the lips. The injections of collagen do work but of course, they are much more expensive than the creams. There are many types of collagen injectables available today. Because of the possibility of an allergic reaction, all individuals have to undergo allergy testing before the injections can be done. This takes about 4 weeks and the injections are only done if there are no signs of an allergic response. The collagen injections lips are done with a very fine needle and can help make you look young and have sexy luscious lips.
The majority of individuals who undergo collagen injections lips procedures are in their middle ages and would like to erase the wrinkles, fine lines and frown lines. The injections are done in a spa or a clinic and have some downtime. All individuals get some degree bruising and swelling which subside in 4-9 days. Most individuals get a decent result but there are many who do not. The collagen injections lips process are not entirely pain free and they are expensive. And finally, collagen injections do not maintain the cosmetic changes forever. Most of the cosmetic benefits of collagen injections disappear anywhere from 3-6 months. Collagen, today, is not a commonly used dermal filler as there much better and safer fillers available.
So is there a way to stimulate collage synthesis in the body?
Yes, there are some ingredients that can promote synthesis of collagen. The most commonly used agents include the following:
Vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen. In the old days, deficiency of vitamin C was known to cause severe depletion in collagen, bleeding gums and sagging skin. Augmentation of the diet with vitamin C in these individuals rapidly led to reversal of these skin ailments. Thus, if you are going to buy any skincare product to increase your collagen, make sure it has vitamin C.
The other key ingredients which are also important in the synthesis of collagen is
Copper. In the past decade, there has been a lot of data indicating that copper peptides can stimulate the synthesis of collagen and erase some of the signs of aging. Formulations containing copper peptides are available but they are also expensive.
There is a lot of hype about collagen supplements and their role in treating aging and many other medical disorders. Today supplements containing collagen such as collagen pills, antiaging creams – collagen creams are widely sold in many spas and health stores. When it comes to skin care, there is a lot of controversy about collagen supplements. The vast majority of collagen taken as a supplement is immediately broken down in the stomach and very little is absorbed in the body. Plus, no scientific data has ever shown that taking supplements of collagen can reverse aging. The majority of supplements containing collagen sold in spas do only one thing- clean your pocket.
For those of you who are looking for something to fight nature, just remember that collagen is only component among the myriad molecules which are involved in aging. All the collagen pills, collagen creams – antiaging creams ,lotions, potions and injections have one thing in common- they cost money and a lot of it.
If you plan to look young and remain beautiful, this involves a more comprehensive multistep approach. Besides taking vitamin C and eating a healthy diet, stop smoking and walk or do antiaging exercise regularly. Adopting this simple cost free method of skin care will keep you young and beautiful, and of course, praying a little every now and then would not be a bad idea. God may listen, but whether he/she will make you look young is another story.
Doesn't she look happy and healthy in this photograph?