No matter what anti aging treatments you’re using to restore your skin’s firmness and youthful appearance, chances are they’re working to combat the breakdown and decrease in collagen. The loss of collagen and elastin in your body as you age results in wrinkles and other telltale signs of aging skin. What exactly is collagen, what does it do, why does it break down, and how can you treat it to experience fewer wrinkles and preserve more youthful-looking skin? The Murad anti aging experts are here to answer!
What Is Collagen?
Quite simply, collagen is a protein found in the skin’s dermis (the layer beneath the surface). It provides the basic foundation for your skin, cushioning and supporting the epidermis (the skin’s surface). It prevents the epidermis from collapsing in on the muscles and bones underneath. Elastin, another protein, allows skin to stretch and flex smoothly with facial expressions and then “spring” back into place. Collagen (along with elastin) is a superior water binder that allows skin to stay smooth, supple and wrinkle free. Hydration, of course, is the key to wrinkle-free skin, and most anti wrinkle creams and treatments work to compensate for the decrease in hydration that happens as collagen breaks down with age.
Why Does Collagen Deteriorate with Age?
As we age, the breakdown of collagen is one of the primary factors in developing facial lines and wrinkles. Why does collagen break down? There are a number of reasons. The first is simply genetic aging. All body processes slow and deteriorate with age, and collagen production is no exception. You may be genetically predisposed to experience this later in life, or you may experience collagen breakdown early in life. Hormonal aging also plays a role. In the years following menopause, the body’s estrogen level decreases, resulting in a significant loss in collagen production. In fact, some studies show that women can lose more than thirty percent of their collagen in the five years following menopause. Environmental aging plays a significant role as well. Sun damage may result in the need for a treatment to fade and remove age spots, and also undermines the collagen-producing process. With exposure to UV rays, toxins and pollutants, free radicals in the body actively attack collagen cells, resulting in both less collagen production and unhealthy collagen production. Over time, all of these factors can lead to less collagen production and, as a result, more wrinkles.
How to Combat the Breakdown of Collagen Over Time
You can combat the breakdown of collagen over time by using great skin care products to preserve skin’s youthful appearance, and by minimizing sun damage and exposure to toxins to reduce the number of free radicals that develop in your body. Antioxidants are nature’s warriors against free radicals, so eat a diet rich in antioxidants and use antioxidant-rich skin care products. Once the breakdown of naturally produced collagen inevitably begins, choose a skin care line that hydrates to make up for the water-binding value of good, healthy collagen. It should also include a treatment such as Murad Age-Diffusing Serum, which actively inhibits the breakdown of collagen and increases new cell activity on the surface of the skin.
Collagen breakdown is inevitable, but preventive steps plus a good skin care regimen to help minimize its loss can keep you looking youthful and wrinkle free.
Learn more about Murad anti wrinkle products, including Age Reform® for genetic aging and Resurgence® for hormonal aging.