Collagen is a hard, fibrous protein that makes up one third of the protein in our bodies. It is found in the bones, muscles, skin, and tendons. There are approximately 16 different types of collagen.
It is the 'glue' that holds the body together. The molecules within the collagens are packed tightly together to provide scaffolding and support. It is this structure that gives the skin strength and elasticity.
Collagen the facts:
1. It the most abundant protein in the body.
2. Some types of collagen are gram-for-gram, stronger than steel.
3. Collagen production declines with age and exposure to smoking and UV light.
4. Collagen molecules are too large to be absorbed through the skin, therefore applying it topically won't increase collagen levels.
5. Some collagens act as protective coverings for delicate organs in the body, such as the kidneys.
HOW TO INCREASE COLLAGEN:
Reduce exposure to Ultraviolet and infrared light. Be sun safe (hat, glasses, shade) and apply SPF factor 40 daily.
Stop smoking'reduce alcohol consumption and limit your exposure to secondhand smoke.
Overhaul your skincare. Make sure your products are backed by science and can change the function of the skin rather than just sitting on top of it.
Apply medical grade topical vitamin C and vitamin A (retinol) daily as these are absorbed through the skin and synthesise collagen production.
Eat collagen rich foods such as egg whites, meat, cheese, cabbage. Everyday eat food containing vitamin C and A i.e. Blueberries, cherries, oranges, carrots, broccoli.
Take hydrolysed collagen supplements daily.
Independent Nurse Prescriber Laura Barnes BSc