How to maintain healthy skin as we age
Updated: Aug 28
The health and appearance of our skin is dependent on many factors. One of the most important factors for skin health is the health and productivity of our fibroblasts in the deeper layer of the skin called the dermis. Fibroblasts produce collagen, which gives our skin structure and support; elastin, which gives our skin bounce and recoil as well as hyaluronic acid which gives our skin moisture and radiance.
From age 25, we start to lose 1.5% collagen per year and then women in the menopause lose 30% more collagen in the first five years of menopause. The loss of collagen from the skin as well as hyaluronic acid and elastin leads to the signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles, deeper folds and grooves, as well as dehydrated looking skin. One of the most important things that you can do to manage the signs of aging is to preserve and almost improve your collagen reserves from the age of 25 onwards. Here is a list of things that you can do to improve your collagen reserves and manage the signs of aging.
A good skincare routine. This might include exfoliating and moisturising daily with hyaluronic acid creams as well as using daily factor 30 or more SPF. The ultraviolet light from the Sun causes skin damage. UVB burns the skin, however UVA, which is present all year round and penetrates through cloud cover damages and denatures collagen in the skin, so it is a good idea to cover yourself and protect your collagen with SPF. Using retinol cream at night can also help with fine lines and wrinkles. At Wandsworth Aesthetics we use Obagi and Janssen skin care products. This can be accompanied by having things like facials and peels using anti-aging serum or hyaluronic acid to improve your skin.
Micro needling has been shown to help boost collagen production in the skin. This could be performed with a micro needling pen or a device called radio frequency micro needling, which delivers heat through the needles as well. This alone causes collagen stimulation, but when you combine it with PRP, or exosomes the collagen and elastin production has been shown to be much greater.
Injectables such as skin boosters are a great way to improve collagen production. Dermal fillers are used to replace lost volume from bone and fat pads to restore facial volume but these are not used to stimulate collagen production. However, products such as polynucleotides (Nucleofill), Sculptura or Radiesse have been shown to increase collagen production. Profhilo which is another well-known skin booster does not improve collagen production but can stimulate fats cell in the skin. This sounds counter-productive, but we lose fat as we age and stimulating a little bit of fat production back into the deeper layers of the skin help to support the skin. Profhilo is a hyaluronic acid product as well, so it causes a moisture surge giving you a radiance and glow back to the skin.
Supplemental collagen may be beneficial, but you need to use the right product. Many powders and tablets are not very effective. Collagen is produced from the amino acid proline and lysine and requires vitamin C as a cofactor for their production. Most people are not protein deficient in the UK and you could simply take more vitamin C to stimulate collagen production. However, if you want to boost your collagen you could use a collagen supplement, such as a liquid marine collagen (Skinade) or a collagen supplement that has been scientifically shown to pass through the stomach and intestines without being broken down such as a product called Totally Derma. Eating foods that are rich in vitamin C, such as green vegetables, tomatoes, Kiwi fruit, peppers is also very useful. Making a bone broth which is essentially a stock made from chicken or beef bones will be very rich and collagen.
I you want to discuss how you can boost your collagen production and manage the signs of ageing contact us today.