Touch a baby’s cheeks and you’ll feel her firm and soft cushion-like skin. Fast-forward six decades later and the cheeks would have sagged, hanging more loosely due to a missing protein layer of cushion called collagen. Sometimes referred to as the cement that holds the whole body together, collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and can be found in muscles, bones, skin and tendons. It is also the main determinant of skin strength and elasticity, assists in replacing dead skin cells, and the main ingredient of skin tightening products.
Multitasker Extraordinaire: Skin Tightening
Although more renowned for its popular use in the replacement and restoration of dead skin cells – maintaining healthy collagen levels can help in skin tightening and smoothing – collagen is also important for creating and maintaining healthy cartilage, bones and other tissues. Working with other body components, collagen provides a strong and flexible internal frame that’s able to withstand stress and stretching, and assists to heal wounds by connecting torn skin. Some collagens also function as protective coverings for delicate organs in the body such as the kidneys. Thus having ample collagen levels is similar to greasing a creaky door hinge; your joints can move easier hence reducing joint pain and can assist in remedying other joint disorders.
An unhealthy and leaky gut condition is where bacteria, fungi, viruses and other harmful toxins can easily enter your bloodstream and move freely through your digestive tract unfiltered. This can result in a weakened body immune system, making a person more vulnerable to illnesses. Conversely, the presence of sufficient collagen can be immensely beneficial as it helps to break down proteins and soothe the gut’s lining and infuse it with healing amino acids. Having healthy collagen levels also assist in repairing damaged cell walls and water absorption thus keep things moving constantly in the digestive tract.
Cleanser And Energizer
Collagen can play an important role to rid the body of toxins and other unhealthy substances. The presence of glycine helps to minimize liver damage when it absorbs trespassing foreign matters that should not be going through the liver. Also, a rise in collagen levels can increase the body’s metabolism as the glycine found in collagen helps pump sugar into the body’s tissue to increase energy levels. This also facilitates muscle development and because muscles burn more calories than fat – and along with the consumption of vitamin C – the body is able to convert the collagen into a useable protein and harness it as a source of energy.
The Downing Of Collagen
Studies show that collagen production in the body starts to slow down from the 25-year age mark and could be worsened by an unhealthy lifestyle, poor dietary habits and environmental toxins. For example, sunlight cause collagen to break down faster by damaging its fibers and elastin – another protein in the skin that helps it and the tissue below stay springy and strong. Plus, a high-sugar diet increases the rate of glycation – a process that creates new sugar proteins called advanced glycation end products (AGEs) that can make collagen dry, brittle and weak. One of the most visible signs of reduced collagen amounts is the skin losing its natural elasticity and firmness followed by the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin. So increasing the level of collagen in the body is vital for skin tightening.
Action For Collagen Protection
While it is true that collagen depletes naturally over time and there is no way to prevent this intrinsic aging, it is possible to take proactive and precautionary measures to stave off extrinsic aging by maintaining ample collagen levels to support skin tightening, bone and joint strengthening. For example, specific types of antioxidants in carrots, yellow vegetables, kale and blueberries offer protection for collagen in blood vessels and other parts of the body. Research also shows that astaxanthin – a natural carotenoid with a wide range of antioxidant benefits – is able to slow down the formation of cell-damaging enzymes caused by UVA exposure. The result: protection for collagen within the skin, assistance in maintaining the skin’s elasticity and firmness thus deferring the onset of skin sagging and wrinkling. Astaxanthin is one of the key ingredients in INVI-SUN by Ceramiracle – an oral sun defense formula to protect and increase your skin’s resistance to the elements.