Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It plays a crucial role in maintaining the health and youthful appearance of our skin, but the problem is, as we age, not only do we naturally produce less collagen, but the collagen we do have degrades. This leads to the development of fine lines and wrinkles, your skin loses it’s elasticity and thins. The result…lax, crepey, sagging skin.
It’s not all bad news!
There are a number of things you can do to not only hold on to the collagen you already have but also increase it. This has been coined COLLAGEN BANKING.
Collagen banking is a concept that has gained popularity among dermatologists, skin experts and skinthusiasts over the last few years.
Keep reading to find out about some scientifically tried and tested collagen banking strategies.
What is Collagen Banking?
Collagen banking is a proactive skincare strategy aimed at preserving and protecting the body's collagen reservoir. The basic idea behind this concept is that by boosting collagen production and preventing its degradation earlier in life, you can maintain and enhance the amount of collagen in your skin to slow down the ageing process and enjoy more youthful skin for longer.
Who can bank collagen?
The great thing about collagen banking is that it’s a safe and beneficial approach for most people, especially those in their mid-20s and beyond.
However, it's important to consult with a skincare professional before embarking on any collagen-boosting regimen, as many of the products and treatments can be pretty potent. They can assess your specific needs, recommend the best products and treatments, and help you create a personalised plan tailored to your skin type and concerns.
How can I collagen bank?
There are various methods to boost collagen production naturally. From what you eat, to what you apply to your skin and in-clinic treatments you can have…here’s a comprehensive guide to collagen banking.
Eating a collagen-rich diet:
Consuming foods like bone broth, fish, lean meats, and collagen-boosting supplements can provide the body with essential nutrients for collagen synthesis.
This is thought to be important when you’re engaging in skincare practices that actively stimulate your body to create collagen…it essentially supplies your skin with the raw materials it needs to make collagen.
This essential vitamin is a crucial player in collagen production. Not only does it increase the number of fibroblasts (the cells in the skin that create collagen), it also regulates the production of collagen AND is a potent antioxidant - helping to prevent UV-induced damage.
Ensure your diet includes vitamin C-rich foods such as citrus fruits, berries, and leafy greens. If you struggle with this, take a high-quality vitamin C supplement.
Your skincare routine should include topical vitamin C (ideally 10-20% concentration) applied after cleansing, prior to your SPF, each morning.
UVA and UVB rays from the sun can accelerate collagen degradation. This happens with ANY exposure to UV…not just on sunny days.
UV creates “free radicals” in the skin that damage your existing collagen and elastin, leading to the degradation of the integrity of your skin (which means lines, wrinkles and laxity).
Engaging in sun-avoidance, wearing protective clothing and using sunscreen (SPF 30+) daily is possibly the easiest and best collagen banking trick.
Retinoids are clinically proven to reduce the process of skin ageing. They do this in a whole range of ways from increasing skin cell turnover and reducing TEWL (transepidermal water loss) to protecting your existing collagen from degradation and reducing pigmentation.
Go low and slow when starting out with retinoids, applying them at night every 3rd night initially. Increasing frequency and strength as and when your skin can tolerate it.
Most in-clinic treatments work by inflicting targeted, controlled damage to the skin. Sounds counterintuitive, right?
Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT) triggers a skin healing response, where fibroblasts within the skin produce loads of fresh collagen, capillaries and elastin - helping to repair and rejuvenate the skin from within.
Here are some treatments that do a great job of kick-starting collagen production:
Microneedling: Using tiny sterile needles to inflict controlled skin damage.
RF microneedling: Using tiny sterile needles, plus radiofrequency for additional, deeper injury.
HIFU facial: High intensity focussed ultrasound creates heat deep within the dermis, thus damaging the dermis.
Chemical peels: Regular chemical peels help increase cell turnover, with the exfoliating actions stimulating new epidermal growth and collagen production.
Laser resurfacing: The controlled damage to the skin which occurs during laser resurfacing triggers a significant wound healing response, which creates lots of lovely, fresh collagen.
Other injectable treatments like skin boosters and polynucleotides, and procedures like threadlifts, have “biostimulatory” or “bio-remodelling” effects. When injected into your skin, they kick start collagenesis within the skin.
So, is collagen banking all it’s cracked up to be?
Collagen banking is a proactive strategy to maintain youthful, radiant skin for as long as possible. By consistently having collagen-boosting in-clinic treatments, making lifestyle choices that actively protect and maintain your collagen and using skincare products that stimulate collagen production, you can ensure your future skin is in tip top condition!
While it’s not a magic elixir of youth, collagen banking can help you maintain healthier, smoother, more even toned and plumper skin as you age.
Not sure where to start? Book a consultation with a Glowday skincare pro to create a personalised plan and get started on your collagen banking journey. Your future skin will thank you for it!
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