What about Collagen Anti-Ageing Face Creams

We are sure many of you have seen various skin care brands on the market offering collagen enriched creams and wondering if these work. There is a temptation to go for whatever is fashionable but are those products effective. Let’s first take a look at what collagen is.

What is collagen ?

Collagen is a protein that is naturally occurring in our bodies. It represents roughly 30% of all the protein in our bodies. It’s main functions are to provide support and structure to your bones, muscles, blood vessels, digestive system and tendons. Collagen is basically what holds our body together. When it comes to skin, collagen provides elasticity and strength. However starting in our early 20’s it is estimated that we begin to lose collagen at a rate of approximately 1%  per year. 

What are Collagen Precursors?

There is a thought amongst scientists that we could slow down the process of ageing (and collagen loss) by limiting our exposure to environmental pollutants such as UV sun rays, smoking etc. and also by eating a diet rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients, fatty acids and easily absorbed protein preferably from plant origin, all of which naturally encourage the body to make collagen; these are known as collagen precursors. 

In addition to obtaining protein from your diet you can also take a protein supplement if you wish (there are many protein shakes and bars on the market) although there is no scientific evidence that our bodies need those, even people who lead a very active lifestyle, because we need approximate 0.8 times our weight in kg each day, for someone weighing 60 kg this comes to around 48g of protein for the day, not difficult at all. As long as you consume close to this amount daily your body will have enough to keep going, maintain, repair and build muscle mass depending on your levels of physical activity and has some left over to keep your skin youthful too.

What about Collagen in Creams?

Exposing yourself to collage precursors and eating a healthy diet and leading a healthy lifestyle would be most helpful to maintain your youthful skin. There isn’t enough scientific evidence that replacement collagen in the shape of topical creams can actually replenish what we are losing as we age. There are so many creams on the market containing collagen which will make you believe you are going to do just that, replenish your collagen levels to reveal a more youthful complexion, as well as reduced wrinkles and sagging. There is one big problem with that, and that is the collagen molecule is too big to penetrate the outer layer of skin, so it has no way to get in there and plump you up! 

Recently I have spotted a few brands talking about utilising a new type of highly processed collagen that may actually be able to penetrate the skin but the jury is still out on that. My personal issue with an ingredient like that would be it’s source and the long term affects on the skin from using an ingredient so highly processed that the human body might not even be able to recognise it! And let's face it, if anti-aging effect was easily achieved through skin care alone, there would be no market for botox and other expensive cosmetic procedures and surgeries.

In other words, look after yourself, keep hydrated, active, get your 8 hours sleep, avoid stress as much as you can and consume a varied healthy plant rich diet and your skin will love you back :) !!

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