Collagen is a connective tissue protein responsible for holding your skin and organs together. Although 12 different types of collagen protein are present in your body, those most responsible for firm skin include types one and three. Collagen levels begin a slow decline in your skin tissues after the age of 35, and outside factors such as the environment, nutrition and lifestyle choices can hasten this decline, according to SmartSkinCare.com. There are, however, steps you can take to stimulate collagen production and reduce or prevent unwanted effects such as sagging skin and wrinkles.
Look for over-the-counter skin care creams and lotions that contain vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid. Vitamin C helps in two ways. First, it plays a key role in collagen synthesis and second, it helps reduce damage to existing skin cells by preventing a process called cell oxidation. In order for creams or lotions to work effectively, however, they must penetrate the outer layer of your skin and reach the dermal layer where new skin cells form. According to SmartSkinCare.com, vitamin C must be present in concentrations of 10 percent or higher for an over-the-counter cream or lotion to be effective.
Take magnesium-L ascorbyl phosphate supplements. Magnesium-L ascorbyl phosphate is a vitamin C derivative that stimulates new skin cells to produce collagen. According to a study by Cosmetochem International in 2007, this derivative is more stable than vitamin C and resolves the issues that plague creams and lotions due to poor penetration through the outer skin layer. Test results showed magnesium-L ascorbyl phosphate is effective in boosting new skin cell growth, stimulating collagen syntheses and is non-irritating to the skin and eye.
Visit your doctor or dermatologist and get a prescription for a topical retinoid cream. According to Antiagingskincarebeauty.com, retinol, or vitamin A, is one of the few substances able to penetrate the outer layer of your skin and get to the source of skin cell production. Retinol works to reduce the presence of a collagen-destroying enzyme called metalloproteinase and stimulate new skin growth by increasing the rate of cell division. Retinoid creams also function to exfoliate, or remove the top layer of skin.
Remove the top layer of skin via medical procedures, such as dermabrasion, microdermabrasion, laser treatments or chemical peels. These procedures remove top layer skin cells by sanding, vacuum suction, heat or acid, depending on the procedure. As MayoClinic.com notes, each of these treatments removes portions of your epidermis and as healing occurs, stimulates collagen production in new skin formation.
Items you will need
- ✓ Vitamin C cream
- ✓ Magnesium-L ascorbyl phosphate supplements
- ✓ Prescription retinol
- skin care image by anna karwowska from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.