It feels like everyone is talking about collagen these days! Found in skin, bones and connective tissues, collagen is a fibrous protein and is what holds the body together. Collagen is the most abundant protein found in your body, however from the age of 24 you’ll start to lose 2% of your collagen production every year with age and exposure to factors such as UV light, smoking or high sugar consumption - and that’s when we start to notice wrinkles and sagging.
So what does collagen do to your skin? Simply put, it is what is responsible for keeping your complexion looking firm and giving your skin elasticity. Collagen protein makes up for 70% of the total protein in your skin, and with a lack of collagen comes the dreaded signs of ageing; an increase in wrinkles, loose skin and less elasticity. In order to keep skin looking plump and healthy, it’s important to incorporate a regular skin care routine that helps to repair and boost these levels of collagen when they won’t naturally appear.
Lifestyle and environmental factors that affect collagen production
Some lifestyle and environmental choices can damage collagen in your skin. These factors are within your control and can be easily managed, they include:
△ Smoking - Smoking not only constricts oxygen to lungs but it does the same thing to your skin. By depriving the skin of oxygen, the aging process is accelerated and vitamins are depleted from the body (which are crucial for the body to heal itself).
△ Too much sun exposure - Your collagen's worst nightmare is UVA rays. These rays are linked to long-term skin damage such as wrinkles, but they are also thought to play a role in some skin cancers. Most tanning beds give off large amounts of UVA, which has been found to increase skin cancer risk.
△ A diet of sugar and refined carbs - The skin saboteurs! Eating sugar and refined carbs tend to raise blood glucose levels quickly, and as a result sugar molecules permanently bond to proteins, including the collagen in the skin (known as glycation). Glycation is a biomarker for diabetes and is implicated in some diseases and in ageing.
△ Pollution - Air pollution contains a combination of toxins and micro-particles that are sized between 2.5 and 10 micrometres - much smaller than our pore size. These tiny airborne particles are significantly smaller than the size of our pores which means they can penetrate and clog our pores. When they enter the skin, they act as free radicals and start to damage the skin’s natural protective barrier, leading to hyperpigmentation and blotchy skin, dull skin, rosacea, sensitive skin and irritations such as acne, eczema and psoriasis, and premature ageing.
We recommend avoiding these collagen destroying behaviours and factors where possible, and instead engage in some of these healthy skin habits:
△ Wear sunscreen - The best ever beauty tip is applying sunscreen throughout the day. Just once in the morning is not good enough and will not protect the skin from the harmful UVAs and UVBs that decrease the skin’s collagen content, leading to premature aging. Even on cloudy days apply and re-apply sunscreen. The sun is public enemy number one when it comes to our skin so make sure sunscreen is applied every two hours on the face and body. Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to protect the skin from harmful UV radiation.
△ Eat your collagen - The body produces collagen by combining amino acids and certain nutrients, so the best food sources are protein-rich animal foods (or go for a bowl of bone broth for a concentrated dose of collagen) and plants such as beans and legumes. Nutrients like zinc, copper and Vitamin C also play an important role in collagen production so definitely include fresh fruit and vegetables and whole grains into your diet.
How to boost collagen production
To avoid the unwanted effects of collagen depletion, and to keep your skin looking youthful and plump, you should be thinking about incorporating collagen-boosting supplements, cosmeceutical products, specialised facials and laser treatments like the Collagen Remodelling Facial: Laser Genesis into your skincare routine.
Specialised Facials and Treatments
The Collagen Remodelling Facial - Laser Genesis
Our favourite collagen-boosting non-invasive treatment is Laser Genesis, a revolutionary laser facial which heats the skin in order to stimulate new collagen formation. It’s non-ablative, relatively painless, feels like warm rain drops on your skin, and works by stimulating the skin's natural processes to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and skin texture and to reverse the signs of aging, sun damage and facial redness to promote a vibrant, healthy looking complexion.
$200. 30mins Book a treatment >>
Thalgo Collagen Radiance Facial
Drench your skin in collagen with our Thalgo Collagen Radiance Facial. Our favourite collagen-boosting facial uses a collagen sheet mask with 100% Native Marine Collagen (which has a remarkable bio-affinity), and is dampened with a multi-vitamin solution made up of vitamins A, E and B5. The collagen offers a 'second skin' effect to act on skin hydration and skin surface smoothing. This unique professional treatment helps combat the first signs of ageing. Wrinkles and fine lines are diminished. The skin is intensely moisturised, super-smooth and radiant.
$185.00 60 mins. Book a facial >>
Skin needling to boost collagen production: The wound healing response
The body has an amazing capacity to heal itself, and that includes your skin. That’s why skin needling works so well, as it prompts the body’s natural healing system into action.
The Dermapen® microneedling pen provides an unparalleled response via the fractional delivery of micro needles, creating micro-injuries to the epidermis and dermis. This is how micro needling works, by creating these micro-injuries to the skin encourage and harness the power of the body’s innate ability to repair the skin through the normal physiology of skin.
The first phase begins with the release of the bodies growth factors and the further cascade of new epidermal growth, fibroblast chemotaxis, fibroblast proliferation and matrix production. This proliferation of the body’s tissue continues to release growth factors from fibroblasts, keratinocytes and monocytes.
The second phase of wound healing involves deposition of collagen III, IV and I, elastin, proteoglycans, and GAGs. The last phase results in tissue remodeling where the skins vascular matrix matures and skin tightening. The body’s ability to heal itself is at the heart of this amazing process.
$395. 90 mins Book a treatment >>
Collagen boosting products you should know about
Thalgo Collagen Cream
The Thalgo Collagen Cream moisturises and regenerates your skin, leaving your fine lines and first wrinkles visibly smoothed from the first application. Simply apply morning and/or evening to thoroughly cleansed skin.
Thalgo Collagen Eye Roll-On
Designed to diminish the appearance of puffiness, dark circles and fine lines around the eyes, the Thalgo Collagen Eye Roll-On gently hydrates the eye area and will make you look and feel fresher and more awake. As an added bonus, the roll-on also gives your eyes a good massage.
Ultraceuticals Ultra C10+
This collagen-boosting serum combines pure Vitamin C and MicroCollagen to stimulate collagen synthesis for visibly firmer, younger-looking skin. The slightly stronger Ultra C23+ Firming Concentrate is an age defying product designed to help improve skin resilience and firmness. This potent ProCollagen formula combines 23% pure Vitamin C with MicroCollagen and Microelastin to leave your skin looking firmer, more dense and youthful.
Ultra C Firming Eye Cream
Ultraceuticals’ advanced age defying eye cream contains pure Vitamin C and peptide microelastin. Ultra C Firming Eye Cream provides antioxidant protection from daily environmental aggressors, to visibly improve elasticity, firmness and smooth the delicate eye area. This Pro Collagen formula has also been enhanced with a potent cocktail of calming and moisturising ingredients (Ceramides, Oat Kernel, Bisabolol and Shea Butter) to soothe and hydrate the skin. Paraben and fragrance free.
Thalgo Collagen Concentrate
Formulated with an ultra-high concentration of Native Marine Collagen (derived from the skin of noble fish species), the Thalgo Collagen Concentrate instantly smoothes emerging wrinkles. It gives a velvety plumping effect and helps prolong the skin’s youthful look.
Drink your collagen
Collagen supplements can compliment your in-clinic collagen-boosting skin treatments and your at home beauty routines. You can take collagen in pill or liquid form. Thalgo's nutricosmetics innovation, Thalgo’s Collagène 5000, is a ready-to drink, comprehensive wrinkle correction solution designed to replenish your skin from the inside out.
Incorporating the latest scientific findings around the oxidative processes responsible for cell ageing, the exclusive solution contains 5,000mg of easily assimilated Marine Collagen Hydrolysate and AGE PROTECT Complex comprised of Vitamin C and Selenium which helps to protect the cells from oxidative stress. A true time defying formula!
△ Marine Collagen Hydrolysate - preserves the skin's elasticity, preventing the formation of deep wrinkles, smooths skin by reducing the number of wrinkles and improve the skin's suppleness and hydration.
△ Vitamin C from Palmaria Palmata algae - helps boost collagen synthesis and protects against oxidative stress.
△ Selenium - reinforces the skin's active defences and protects against oxidative stress.
△ Promotes collagen synthesis
△ Protects skin's lipid structures
△ Preserves the skin's elasticity
△ Contributes to skin radiance
△ Strengthens the skin's active defences
△ Improves skin's suppleness and hydration △ Prevents the formation of deep wrinkles △ Reduces already formed fine lines
△△ AND ULTIMATELY restores younger-looking skin! How to Use: Take one dose a day in the morning before breakfast. Drink pure or diluted in a glass of water. We generally recommend this as a three month course of treatment to be repeated periodically.
As a precaution, before using products for the first time we always recommend a consultation to ensure suitable skin type.