A deeper look into what exactly is collagen, and how it impacts the aging of our skin and our appearance.
Aging is an inevitable fact of life, and with it comes wrinkles and fine lines. But what exactly causes our skin to age? Why does it age? How can we prevent the look of aging? The simple answer to all of these questions is…collagen!
Collagen, in the simplest of terms, can be described as the main ingredient or protein that holds our body together. Collagen is found in the skin, bones, muscles, and tendons. Contrary to popular belief, we have a tonne of collagen in our bodies. About 25 percent to 35 percent of the protein in our bodies is made up of collagen, making it the most abundant protein in our bodies. It is the main ingredient of connective tissue found in our skin, which is why it is termed as holding everything together or keeping everything tight.
And then it changes…
When does collagen production stop?
After a certain age (around 25 years old), our bodies begin to decrease the amount of collagen it produces. The reason that wrinkles occur with age is due to the fact that there is not any new collagen being produced in our bodies, and collagen keeps the skin tight and “young”. Most women experience a drastic change in their skin during menopause, and after 60 years old it is normal to have a considerable decline in collagen production. As we age, collagen production slows leading to sagging or tired looking skin. Researchers suggest we lose approximately 1 percent of collagen per year.
Types of collagen
There are two different types of collagen.
- One is endogenous collagen, which is the natural collagen found in our bodies that develops naturally but decrease in production over time.
- The other is exogenous collagen, which is synthetic and is used to treat a number of cosmetic and medical procedures.
Wound dressings are an example of how collagen is used to repair damaged skin cells. Wound dressings with collagen work by attracting new skin cells to the damaged area which helps heal and build a platform for new tissue growth. Second-degree burns, granulating wounds, skin grafts, and chronic wounds can all be treated by wound dressings that contain collagen.
Treatments that help improve collagen production
Sublime Skin Tightening
At Enlighten Laser, we use the power of Elos Plus from Syneron Candela to tighten skin and shorten old collagen fibres to improve the production of new collagen cells.
Sublime Skin Tightening combines both bi-polar RF energy and deep infrared heat to target the dermis layer of the skin, and the controlled deep dermal heating shortens aged collagen fibres and leads to the production of new collagen fibres. This helps reduce the look of wrinkles, fine lines, and improves the look of skin laxity and texture.
Although Sublime Skin Tightening may be used on other parts of the body, the face and neck are by far the most common target areas. The head of the machine carefully glides over the skin and releases heat. Each session is approximately 20 minutes and you may return to your normal daily routine immediately after the treatment. Treatments will need to be spaced at least two weeks apart. It is not a painful procedure and most patients describe the feeling as a deep tissue massage.
Read more about Sublime Skin Tightening here.
Sublative Skin Resurfacing
Sublative Skin Resurfacing is a non-invasive skin treatment that works to stimulate the body’s natural collagen production, to reveal smoother, clearer and more even skin. The power of Elos Plus is also used for these treatments. Using fractionated bi-polar radio frequency (RF), Sublative technology reaches deep into the dermis and encourages the production of collagen and elastin which resurfaces the skin from the inside out. Using electrode pins, the energy is sent deep into the layers via these pins creating a grid-like pattern onto the skin. The energy is then delivered deep into the cells to induce wound healing, in turn inducing collagen production. Sublative does not disrupt the epidermal layer of skin, allowing you to get back to your regular daily schedule immediately post-treatment.
Sublative Skin Resurfacing helps improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, and even acne scars. Depending on your skin type, the number of sessions needed vary from patient to patient, but you can expect to see amazing results in as little as three treatments. Appointments are scheduled about six weeks apart, and the appearance of the patient’s skin will look better and better over time as the technology helps the skin improve from the inside out.
Read more about Sublative Skin Resurfacing here.
Although aging is something that we cannot change, there are measures that we can take to improve the look of our skin. Non-invasive procedures such as Sublime Skin Tightening and Sublative Skin Resurfacing does not use any synthetic collagen fibres to improve the look of aging and they actually stimulate natural collagen production.
At Enlighten Laser and the power of Elos Plus, we are able to make our patients look and feel amazing, and defy the laws of aging.
To learn more about the service that is right for you, or to have your skin assessed, please contact one of our locations near you.