When it comes to skincare- collagen is all the buzz right now, and for good reason. Collagen is the main structural protein found in the skin and it plays a large role in its firmness and elasticity. When collagen production slows down, or it’s broken down faster than it can be made- wrinkles start to appear, skin loses its firmness and we see the effects of aging. There are many creams and skin care products that target wrinkles by promoting collagen production. Collagen production, however, does not take place on the surface- it is a biological process that occurs on the cellular level.
When it comes to reducing or preventing wrinkles- collagen is your best friend. Collagen makes up a large portion of the extracellular matrix. We can think of the extracellular matrix as the foundation of our skin. When it starts to degrade, it can lead to the characteristic signs of aging such as wrinkles and loose skin. While collagen is great for keeping skin youthful- it isn’t just found in the skin, it’s the most abundant protein in the body. Collagen is found in muscles, blood vessels, bones, teeth and in tendons and ligaments. Therefore, having enough collagen in the body is paramount to both esthetics and biological functions.
What Influences Collagen?
There are a number of factors that can negatively impact collagen levels:
- Age: Collagen production decreases throughout the lifespan
- Increased UV light exposure has been shown to degrade collagen in the skin
- Environmental factors like pollution can break down collagen
- Dietary choices: Processed/inflammation producing foods, sugar and alcohol can all increase collagen breakdown
- Chemical exposure from synthetic skin care products can disrupt the structure of the skin
Vitamin C and Collagen
Let’s break down the structure of collagen to see how we can make more of it. Vitamin C is critical to collagen production. Collagen is made from lysine and proline which are two amino acids (the components that make up protein). In order for these amino acids to make collagen they need vitamin C. Vitamin C adds hydrogen and oxygen and through a complicated process this trio produces collagen. Along with having the raw materials we also need specialized cells called fibroblasts- these helps synthesize collagen in the skin.
An inadequate amount of vitamin C to act as a cofactor for lysine and proline will slow down the production of collagen and compromise its quality. Vitamin C also promotes the growth of those fibroblasts we just talked about- the cells responsible for producing collagen. Without vitamin C, the amount of collagen found in the skin diminishes.
Aside from the structural advantages, vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant. This is important because collagen is easily targeted by free radicals (FR). Antioxidants scavenge FR so that they don’t do damage to the cells. We are all exposed to FR through our diet, lifestyle and pollutants. Vitamin C protects collagen by removing FR that can break it down.
One study compared elderly cells to that of newborns. They found that when vitamin C was added to the elderly cells- collagen production doubled. This was a huge finding, because the vitamin C treated cells actually produced more collagen than newborn cells. While this study was done on cultured cells and not in humans- a study done on Lypo-Spheric™ Vitamin C shows this in action.
A double-blind, placebo-controlled study showed that supplementation with Lypo-Spheric™ liposomal Vitamin C reduced wrinkles and increased both skin firmness and elasticity. They showed that those supplementing with 1000 mg (one package) a day had an 8% reduction in wrinkles and a 35% increase in skin firmness. Even more impressive, supplementing at a dose of 3000 mg/day (3 packages) showed a 14% reduction in wrinkles and a 61% increase in skin firmness. These results were obtained over the course of 16 weeks- with improvements showing in as little as one month. The participants were asked not to use any moisturizer or skin cream for the duration of the study. If you would like to see the full study- contact us and we’ll send it over!
Vitamin C and skin health has been well documented in the literature. The increased bioavailability of liposomal vitamin C makes it an excellent addition to your beauty regimen. As a bonus, vitamin C has a wide range of health benefits. In addition to promoting youthful skin, vitamin C is great for the immune system and overall health. So, join us in creating #beautyfromwithin by loading up with Lypo-Spheric™ Vitamin C. Your skin will thank-you!
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