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What Is Collagen?

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Short Answer: A fibrous protein found in skin, bone, cartilage, tendon, and other connective tissues.

The main structural component of the lower layer of the skin (Dermis) is a protein called collagen. Bundles of collagen molecules pack together throughout the dermis, accounting for three-fourths of the dry weight of skin. Collagen is also responsible for the skin's strength. Collagen is produced by cells called fibroblasts, which are found scattered throughout the dermis.

Collagen is a connective tissue and is the cement that holds everything together-the primary mortar between the bricks of all of our smooth muscle tissues such as blood vessels, digestive tract, heart, gallbladder, kidneys and bladder, to mention just a few. Collagen, along with elastin, is a key structural component of bones, cartilage, tendons, the skin, lung tissue and blood vessels. Collagen provides structure and firmness to body tissues, while elastin provides flexibility to those same tissues.

As aging occurs, cellular proteins hook together or change shape. These changes keep the proteins from doing their jobs properly resulting in a loss of collagen and less firmness to body tissues. This process eventually leads to wrinkles. Thus, one important target of wrinkle prevention and elimination regimen is to reduce collagen breakdown and increase its supply. This task is achievable but you have to go about it in the right way.

Stimulating skin cells to produce collagen can partly reverse this process. Stimulating collagen synthesis in aged skin was shown to reduce wrinkles and improve skin texture.

First, vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen , a key structural protein of the skin. Adding vitamin C to a culture of skin cells (fibroblasts) dramatically increases the synthesis of collagen. Secondly, vitamin C is an antioxidant and can help reduce skin damage caused by free radicals. So, when vitamin C is properly delivered to skin cells, there is a good chance to reduce wrinkles and improve skin texture.

Please keep in mind that taking large amounts of vitamin C orally is of little benefit for reducing wrinkles because you cannot orally obtain high enough concentration of vitamin C in the skin to notably increase collagen production.

 
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Thanks for bumping this, Kim! One thing to remember is that collagen is a HUGE molecule and cannot enter the skin topically. So all those lotions and potions you have that contain collagen are not really delivering it to your skin, though there may be other good ingredients in the product that are beneficial. That's why there are collagen injections. Supposedly, Hydroderm (no, I'm not assoc w/them) is the only current product that is able to deliver collagen to the skin topically by using a smaller marine (plant) collagen in some sort of "special infusion system" (why can't they ever say things in English?). Has anyone here tried that product for a long enough time?

This article is from the Mayo Clinic on topical application of collagen. Mayo Clinic also has an article on wrinkle treatments, which includes collagen injections, peels, and other treatments. There are many ingredients, such as Cu peptides, on the market today that assist the body in creating its own collagen. Microdermabrasion and peels induce collagen production by removing the old top layer and kicking the underlying layer into gear.

Interest in collagen comes from not only wrinkle reduction, but having and maintaining healthy skin, regardless of age.

 
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Originally Posted by Naturally I tried Hydroderm Kathy ..for a couple of weeks ..and I broke out ..which is rare that I break out! I have whatever is left if you are interested in trying it! I'd love to, Kim, thanks! I'm PM you. I'm fortunate in that I haven't found anything that I'm allergic to - yet.
I hear ya on the injections! My blood pressure skyrockets at the thought of a needle, so I doubt I'd ever get desperate enough to try them - esp, as you noted, you have to keep doing it. Isn't that called masochism? LOL

I too would rather go the most natural and painless route and agree with you on the microdermabrasion, SCRP's (which better get here soon), along with other ingredients that help the body create its own collagen.

PS notice I got the hyperlink thingy down? lol

 
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Cool informative article! Good stuff Kim!


I'm always learning so much from you!


 

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