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Collagen: why is it important?

Collagen is a protein found in the body that gives our skin its strength and elasticity (Manturovo et al, 2018). The human skin consists predominantly of Type I and Type III collagen (Manturovo et al, 2018). Starting at age 35 our epidermis thins, the skin loses its elasticity, the layer of collagen and elastin found in the dermis (the second layer of our skin located under the visible portion of skin), begins to thin, wrinkles start to form, and our skin begins to droop (Manturovo et al, 2018). Our collagen decreases with age (Reilly & Lozano, 2021). Over time, collagen fibers accumulate damage, reduce in number along with a decreased amount of elastin and hyaluronic acid (Reilly & Lozano, 2021). Not only does collagen decrease over time, it also becomes increasingly brittle and fragile (Reilly & Lozano, 2021).

To fight aging, it is crucial to try to preserve our collagen supply (Reilly & Lozano, 2021). Fibroblasts are cells found in the dermis and these cells create collagen and elastin (Reilly & Lozano, 2021). Elastin is another protein found in the dermal layer of skin, which gives skin its flexibility and ability to “snap back” (Reilly & Lozano, 2021). Increasing/maintaining a healthy supply of elastin and collagen is crucial in fighting the effects of aging

The use of topical creams can fight the effects of aging. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can effectively fight the damaging effects of the sun, decrease the amount of uneven pigment while also aiding in collagen creation (Rattanawiwatpong et al, 2020). With exposure to UV sun, the creation of collagen is negatively affected causing decreased levels of collagen and elastin and decreased skin hydration (Rattanawiwatpong et al, 2020). By applying a Vitamin C serum after cleansing the skin in the morning, collagen creation increased leading to better skin elasticity (Rattanawiwatpong et al, 2020).

Another topical we encourage our patients to use is topical Retinol/Tretinoin. Tretinoin is the purest form of Retinol which is a topically applied Vitamin A. Retinol/Tretinoin should be applied in the evening to clean, dry skin. Through use of retinoids, the epidermis is renewed, photodamage is decreased and collagen production is increased (Bagatin et al, 2018). The use of topical Tretinoin induces dryness and flaking which can be decreased when used with an appropriate moisturizer. At Vega Vitality, we encourage our patients to apply Retinol to clean, dry skin in the evening (after washing) followed by a hyaluronic acid serum and Aquaphor to retain skin moisture.

Another critical product that can be used to fight aging, is sunscreen. Sunscreen fights the harmful effects of UV sun exposure, decreasing the incidence of skin cancer and aiding in the prevention of aging and uneven pigment (Shanbhag et al, 2019). At Vega Vitality, we prefer physical sunscreens due to their ability to act as physical filters on the skin, scattering UV light (Shanbhag et al, 2019). Physical sunscreens are sunscreens that contain zinc oxide, titanium dioxide or iron oxide (Shanbhag et al, 2019.

There are many different treatment options offered at Vega Vitality that can increase collagen and elastin production. Our favorite options include microneedling, laser, hyper diluted Radiesse and/or Sculptra. We also carry our highly recommended skincare products including Vitamin C, Retinol, Tretinoin, and SPF options. Stay tuned to learn more!

Bagatin, E., Gonçalves, H.d.S., Sato, M. et al. Comparable efficacy of adapalene 0.3% gel and tretinoin 0.05% cream as treatment for cutaneous photoaging. Eur J Dermatol 28, 343–350 (2018).
Manturova, N. E., Smirnova, G. O., Stupin, V. A., & Silina, E. V. (2018). The ratio of collagen types I/III as a marker of skin aging and prognosis of aesthetic facial surgery results. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research10(10), 2543-2546.
Rattanawiwatpong, P, Wanitphakdeedecha, R, Bumrungpert, A, Maiprasert, M. Anti-aging and brightening effects of a topical treatment containing vitamin C, vitamin E, and raspberry leaf cell culture extract: A split-face, randomized controlled trial. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2020; 19: 671– 676.
Reilly, D. & Lozaono, J. (2021). Skin collagen through the life stages: importance for skin health and beauty. Plastic and Aesthetic Research, 8(2). https://doi://
Shanbhag, S., Nayak, A., Narayan, R., & Nayak, U. Y. (2019). Anti-aging and Sunscreens: Paradigm Shift in Cosmetics. Advanced pharmaceutical bulletin9(3), 348–359.