Why is Collagen so Important for Youthful-Looking Skin?

Collagen is sometimes called the glue that holds your skin together. And though that’s not an appealing description, it creates a vivid image of the value of collagen for beautiful skin.

You can take some steps to protect the collagen in your skin, but you can’t avoid the natural decline in collagen over the years. That’s why so many patients come to Health and Beauty Associates for advanced skin treatments that boost collagen and restore a more youthful appearance.

Here’s a look at the role of collagen in your skin and how declining collagen leads to wrinkles and loose, sagging skin.

Collagen strengthens and supports your skin

Collagen is an incredibly strong structural protein that builds many parts of your body, such as blood vessel walls, connective tissues, and bones. It also creates the matrix that supports and strengthens your skin.

Your skin has three primary layers. Collagen is found in the middle layer, the dermis, where it provides optimal support and durability to the outer layer, called the epidermis. The cells responsible for producing collagen also reside in the dermis. Throughout your lifetime, these cells continuously synthesize new collagen to repair damaged collagen and build new skin. 

Just how important is collagen for youthful-looking skin? Collagen makes up 75-80% of your skin. With that much collagen needed for firm, healthy skin, you can appreciate the impact when collagen levels decline.

How your skin loses collagen

Over the years, your skin’s collagen levels decline. Without the right amount of collagen, your skin’s structural integrity is damaged. Your skin becomes fragile, loses firmness, and starts to loosen. Your mild laugh lines turn into deeper wrinkles, and your skin starts to sag.

These are the top two reasons your skin loses collagen: 

Aging

Collagen production naturally slows down as you get older, but the process starts earlier than you may imagine. After you reach the age of 30, your skin produces 1% less collagen every year. Then the problem quickly accelerates after menopause, when skin loses 30% of its collagen in the first five years. 

Thankfully, the decline slows down after five years, but you’ll still lose an estimated 2% of collagen every year.

Exposure to sunlight

You may worry about exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light because it dehydrates your skin and causes brown spots, but it has another effect: UV light breaks down the skin’s existing collagen and puts the brakes on collagen production. 

The resulting damage leads to premature aging or photoaging. And that means you’ll develop wrinkles earlier than they would have appeared without UV light exposure.

The experts estimate that being exposed to UV light without an appropriate sunscreen may be responsible for up to 80% of visible skin aging. When you buy sunscreen, it’s important to get one with broad-spectrum protection. Most sunscreens protect against UVB rays that cause sunburn, but you’ll need a broad-spectrum sunscreen to block the UVA rays that damage collagen. 

Restore your youthful appearance by boosting collagen

One of the most important steps you can take to maintain vibrant, young-looking skin is to prevent UV damage with sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher. Don’t wait until you’re at the beach, either; get in the habit of applying it as part of your morning routine. 

Beyond preventing collagen damage, we offer exceptional skin rejuvenation with treatments that restore collagen production:  

CynoSure® Icon™ aesthetic system

The Icon system is one of today’s most cutting-edge laser treatments. It’s also one of our most requested skin treatments because it takes only 30 minutes, doesn’t require downtime, and the laser procedure is easily tolerated by most patients. 

During your Icon treatment, the laser passes safely through your outer skin, reaches the middle layer, and triggers cells to produce collagen. As collagen-rich skin replaces old skin at the surface, your new skin is tighter and better toned, wrinkles are diminished, and your youthful appearance is restored.

Dermal fillers

While dermal fillers containing hyaluronic acid can boost collagen production, we also offer another type of dermal filler called a collagen stimulator. These products are specially designed to trigger collagen production and can be used to hide laugh lines, plump up your lips, and diminish deep wrinkles and folds.

If you’d like more tips for preventing collagen damage, or you’d like to schedule an appointment, call us at Health and Beauty Associates, send us a message here on our website, or use the convenient online booking feature.

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