¿Qué es el colágeno?

Collagen in the Skin: What it is, What it is for and Benefits

If you're interested in skin care, you've no doubt heard of collagen. Many products claim to "replenish collagen" or "increase collagen production" in the skin. Although the Collagen plays a very important role in skin care , some of these commercial claims may be dubious. To help you choose the best product or treatment to address concerns such as wrinkles, fine lines, or sagging skin, this article will provide a complete explanation of the role of collagen in skin care.

What is collagen?

Collagen is a protein present in almost all of our body: bones, joints, ligaments, etc. It is a structural component of the skin and represents 70% of our dermis. From the age of 25 we begin to lose approximately 1% of our skin's collagen per year.

Collagen is the main structural protein of the extracellular space in several connective tissues, including the dermis, the middle layer of the skin located beneath the epidermis. In fact, collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, accounting for 25% to 35% of the entire body's protein content. To date, 29 types of collagen have been described. Of all the types of collagen, type 1 collagen is the most abundant. This makes sense since it is the skin, the largest organ in the human body.

What is collagen used for?

It is known as the "youth protein" due to its role in keeping skin firm, elastic and young. Collagen, together with elastin, are responsible for attracting and retaining water, providing flexibility, density and firmness. Furthermore, it also helps replace dead skin cells.

Functions of Collagen in the Skin

  • Firmness and Elasticity : acts as a network that holds skin cells together, resulting in a soft and smooth appearance.
  • Hydration – Also plays a role in water retention in the skin, helping to keep it hydrated and radiant.
  • Skin Repair : When the skin suffers damage due to factors such as sun exposure or injury, collagen is essential in the repair and healing process.
  • Wrinkle Prevention : The loss of collagen leads to the premature formation of wrinkles and expression lines.

Benefits of Maintaining Skin Collagen

  • Wrinkle reduction
  • Firmer skin
  • Hydrated skin
  • More radiant and youthful complexion

Is it worth buying a cream with collagen?

Despite collagen's important role in the skin, adding collagen to a topical product has no value in terms of anti-aging benefits. While topically applied collagen hydrates the skin, that's all it can do. Topical application of collagen has never been shown to stimulate collagen synthesis or growth. This is because collagen as a cosmetic ingredient has high molecular weight and is too large to penetrate the top layer of the skin.

The solution?

  • Healthy Diet: Eating foods rich in vitamin C, zinc and protein can promote collagen production.
  • Cosmetics: combine antioxidants, hydration and photoprotection in the morning and retinoids and hydration at night. Although adding collagen to a topical skin care product may be ineffective, that doesn't mean there aren't topical products that can improve collagen production. It has been shown that vitamin C stimulates collagen biosynthesis and photoprotection prevents free radicals from damaging the skin, causing collagen loss. And vitamin A stimulates cell renewal, including cells that produce collagen. Hydration also plays an important role in maintaining healthy barrier function and preventing collagen degradation. In summary: Vitamin C + Vitamin A + hydration + photoprotection = Method R + photoprotection
  • Aesthetic Procedures: There are a wide variety of aesthetic procedures that stimulate collagen production and can be considered under the supervision of a dermatologist.
  • Oral Supplements: There is still not enough evidence of the benefits of oral collagen supplements for skin health. If you choose to try it, our recommendation is to consult with a doctor before starting. People prone to gout or who have other medical conditions that require them to limit protein should not use collagen supplements. Our recommendation is to only take the supplements recommended by your doctor and under his supervision. If what you are looking for is to improve the texture and elasticity of the skin and minimize wrinkles, it is better to prioritize sun protection and use topical retinoids.

In short, collagen is an essential protein for the health and appearance of our skin. Maintaining adequate collagen levels through diet, cosmetics and aesthetic procedures can help prevent premature aging and maintain healthy, radiant skin. However, it is important to remember that aging is a natural and unstoppable process, and collagen alone will not completely stop the passage of time.

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