Quick, what’s the key to healthy looking skin? If you said, “collagen”, you are right. Collagen is the most abundant protein making up 25% of the protein in the body. More importantly collagen makes up 80% of our skin. If you want great looking skin, protect your collagen from damage. Anti aging and collagen go hand in hand.
Tissues get their strength from collagen, a structural protein. Another protein called elastin makes up 4% of the skin and gives tissues their elasticity, or ability to stretch. Strength and stretch; our bodies need both abilities. Collagen is the glue that keeps us together.
Skin rejuvenation is the art and science of maintaining, building, and replacing collagen. Why? Collagen can be damaged by smoking, and excessive sun and pollution exposure. As our hormone levels decline, especially sex hormones, collagen production also declines. Damaged collagen leads to wrinkles and sagging skin and requires more than just an anti-aging skin cream. Damaged collagen requires skin rejuvenation techniques.
Skin Rejuvenation Techniques
The many skin rejuvenation techniques build, maintain, or replace collagen. These techniques are used to treat:
1. Fine lines.
2. Deep wrinkles.
3. Crow’s feet.
4. Frown lines.
5. Smokers’ lines
Dermal fillers include collagen injections and hyaluronic acid injections each achieving a different goal. Collagen injections replace collagen while hyaluronic acid injections stimulate collagen production.
Injectable collagen include human and bovine products. Bovine products can cause allergic reactions and include ZydermTM and ZyplastTM. Allergy testing is recommended before trying these products, which are not used as often today as they once were since the human collagen injections now exist. CosmoDermTM and CosmoPlastTM are highly purified forms of human collagen and allergy skin testing is not necessary.
Collagen injections, whether bovine or human, typically provide good results for 2 to 3 months. Thus, they need to be repeated to maintain results.
Hyaluronic acid attracts and holds water improving skin hydration. Hyaluronic acid also stimulates collagen production. There are several products containing hyaluronic acid and include Restaylane (www.restylanusa.com), Juvederm (www.juvederm.com), and PerlaneTM. Radiesse is a synthetic substance containing microspheres of calcium hydroxyapatite suspended in hyaluronic acid gel. Results from hyaluronic acid injections can last between 3 to 9 months and like collagen injections need to be repeated for long-term results.
Juvaderm Voluma is the newest filler on the market. It is hyarluronic acid that is cross-linked increasing its durability. Juvaderm Voluma is used to add instant volume to the mid face and can last up to 2 years giving it an advantage over the other fillers. Though now just being used in the United States it has been used in Europe since 2005. It also contains lidocaine which is a local anesthetic making the injection procedure more comfortable.
Lasers and Radio-frequency
Lasers and radio-frequency stimulate collagen production. By penetrating into the dermal layer of the skin collagen production is stimulated with these treatments. The epidermis, or outer surface of the skin, is largely untouched by these techniques. Contraction or tightening of the skin occurs with radio-frequency creating a more youthful appearance (poor man’s face lift).
Lasers have other applications and are helpful in treating other dermatological problems such as age spots, spider veins, large pores, and other skin imperfections.
So if you desire great looking skin you may need to go beyond the anti aging creams and look into anti aging collagen and skin rejuvenation treatments.
Related articles include “Anti Aging Skin Treatment“, “Anti Ageing Creams“, “Stem Cell Extracts and Skin Care”, “3 Ways to Tell if Your Anti Aging Wrinkle Cream Really Works”, and “What to Look for in an Anti Ageing Cream”.