Collagen: Holding Everything Together
Is it a constant worry to get rid of age spots, wrinkles and dryness in your face? Are you convinced that, by using a face cream, you would look young? Well, you might! But, there are few underlying factors that cause aging. We could prevent aging to a great extent by understanding the reason and defeating it.
Collagen is the main structural protein that connects and holds the tissues in our body together. The higher the collagen level, the healthier the skin looks and feels.
Causes for Collagen depletion:
- Prolonged sun exposure: The pigmentation in the upper layer of the skin is caused by a substance called ‘melanin’. When we are exposed to sun, melanin is produced in higher quantities, creating a tan, and hence protecting the layers of skin underneath. Due to prolonged or frequent sun exposure, melanin production is concentrated in certain areas or the melanin might look clumped. This causes ‘age spots’.
- Smoking: Smoking not only depletes the collagen level, but also reduces the ability of the body to produce collagen.
Ways to boost Collagen levels:
- Avoid sun exposure: Research proves that about 80% of aging happens due to the effects of the sun. It is advised to use a sunscreen whenever we are out. Alternatively, protective clothing or a large brim hat can also be used. Frequent sun exposure not only causes aging, but also increases the risk of skin cancer. Tanning beds should also be avoided for the same reason.
- Massage: Massaging your skin helps to re-align the collagen fibers in the inner layers of the skin. This tightens the skin and gives it a younger look. The tightening obviously postpones skin wrinkles.
- Good intake of Nutrients: A diet rich in anti-oxidants, such as fruits and vegetables, helps boosting the collagen level. Anti-oxidants protect our skin against free radicals (dead skin cells), which attach itself to a healthy skin cell, affecting the healthy one too. The table below lists some important nutrients. Vitamin C – green leafy vegetables; Vitamin D – yogurt; Iron – eggs; Protein – lentils, beans; Omega 3 fatty acid – fish, sardines, olive oil.
- Water intake: Water is a natural detoxifier. It flushes out the impurities from our body. It keeps our skin moisturized from inside out.
- Exfoliate: Using a scrub to remove the dead skin cells on the outer layer of the skin, promotes a younger and glowing skin.
- Use of a topical antioxidant: Though it is always wiser to eat food rich in anti-oxidants, the use of a good topical anti-oxidant also help to reduce the effects of injury caused by the infiltration of some UV rays even through a sunscreen.
- Quit Smoking: Smoking creates an enzyme that disrupts the collagen structure. It reduces the collagen level and even stops our body from replenishing it.
- Other effective medication: Use of retinoids, botox, ultheraphy, radiofrequency treatment, fractional laser resurfacing, and TCA peels are few other proven methods to increase collagen levels.
Now that you know what makes your skin look dull and aged, start working towards a healthier skin, with just a few simple steps and you can see the difference very soon. You might be blushing in front of the mirror, you never know!