Keeping skin’s collagen healthy is an important part of youthful looking skin. Collagen is the most important structural amino acid protein that works to keep skin together and firm.
Want to learn how to restore collagen to its youthful structure?
Collagen is found in the lower level of the dermis, skin’s middle layer. Instead of being a clump of molecules like most proteins, collagen develops from a fiber to a mesh of fibers produced by fibroblast cells, which are cells that give skin its strength and ability to bounce back.
As people age, collagen and elastin production decreases. These two proteins give skin its strength and elasticity. Collagen in particular gives skin its youthful suppleness and tautness, but unfortunately, is susceptible to free radical damage. Collagen is abundant and stays in skin for years, so free radicals attack it, which leads to cross-linking. Cross-linking is a problem for skin, because collagen molecules that function properly slide over one another; but when cross-linking occurs, these molecules become stiff, making skin appear “aged.”
Some people physically age faster than others because of extrinsic factors such as the sun, smoking, and pollution. These factors increase the number of free radicals in the body which damage cells and slow the production of collagen. For example, sun overexposure causes free radicals to activate pro-inflammatory transcription factors that produce collagen-digesting enzymes. Like it sounds, collagen-digesting enzymes attack collagen molecules, which can lead to microscarring and imperfections in the skin.
Applying antioxidants topically can help fight free radicals and restore collagen beauty. In fact, alpha lipoic acid (ALA) creams can help activate a transcription factor, AP-1, with the reverse effect. When AP-1 is turned on by alpha lipoic acid in the creams the enzyme only digests damaged collagen, and can help repair the tiny scars. This process helps improve skin’s appearance. Alpha lipoic acid creams are more effective than collagen-based creams, because the collagen molecule in collagen-based creams cannot penetrate skin.
Another powerful antioxidant that can penetrate the skin to help restore collagen is Vitamin C Ester. What’s great about Vitamin C Ester is its ability to help stimulate the growth of fibroblasts, which in turn boosts collagen production.
Perricone offers a variety of creams, but consider his creams that combine the forces of alpha lipoic acid and Vitamin C Ester to help restore collagen beauty. Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturizer not only includes this winning combination of key sciences, but also includes DMAE, an anti-inflammatory that strengthens the efficacy of other antioxidants and helps lift and tighten skin.
Finally, increasing the body’s intake of antioxidants can also fight free radicals. In addition to applying Vitamin C Ester and Alpha Lipoic Acid creams, ingesting these antioxidants in supplement form can help restore collagen beauty from the inside out.