Ingredient Spotlight
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Cracking the Collagen Code: Understanding the Buzz and Benefits

June 21, 2024
Cracking the Collagen Code: Understanding the Buzz and Benefits

Collagen is making waves in the health and skincare realms but amidst the abundance of "collagen this" and "collagen that," it's easy to feel confused. Let's cut through the noise and explore exactly what's fueling the collagen craze.

Collagen Basics: What you need to know

To really understand why collagen is such a big deal for your body, let's rewind a bit and talk about the basics. First, let's dive into the world of proteins, the unsung heroes that makeup about 20 percent of you. They're in every cell, doing all sorts of important tasks. The word "protein" comes from Greek, meaning "of utmost importance," and trust me, they live up to it. They are often referred to as the workhorses of life because they play a crucial role in providing structure to our bodies and carrying out a vast array of functions.

Think of proteins as the Lego blocks of life, made up of smaller units called amino acids. There are 20 different types of amino acids, and they can be combined in countless ways to create a wide array of proteins, each with its own special job. The specific sequence and arrangement of amino acids determine the shape of a protein, and that shape dictates what it does in your body.

Enter collagen, one of the most abundant proteins in the human body. If proteins are the builders of your body, collagen is the elite construction crew, providing the strength and structure that holds everything together. Collagen is made up of a special mix of amino acids, with proline, glycine, and hydroxyproline playing the starring roles. Take your mind back to the days of flawless skin and plaits in your hair. These amino acids link together to form protein fibrils in a unique triple-helix structure, resembling those tightly braided plaits. This intricate formation is what gives collagen its strength and resilience offering a strong yet flexible framework that can stretch without breaking.

But amino acids aren't the only players in this game. To form that triple helix, your body also needs a good supply of vitamin C, zinc, copper, and manganese. Vitamin C is a must because it helps kickstart the chemical reactions needed for collagen production. Without enough vitamin C, your body can't make or maintain collagen properly, leading to weaker connective tissues.

Zinc, copper, and manganese play supporting roles in the process, helping to stabilise and strengthen the collagen fibers. Zinc helps activate key enzymes for collagen production, while copper is crucial for cross-linking, which helps lock the collagen structure in place. Manganese plays its part in forming connective tissue, ensuring the end result is both strong and flexible. Together, these nutrients and amino acids form the building blocks for making robust collagen production. Take a breath - the hard part is over!

Collagen Over Time: Why It Slows Down and What That Means

Collagen production naturally begins to slow down in our mid-to-late 20s and early 30s, and we lose about 1% of our collagen each year until the big 4-0 comes around and the loss rate accelerates. This is the same for all genders, so nobody escapes. At first, this gradual decline might not be too noticeable, but over time, the effects become clearer, with visible changes in skin firmness, elasticity, and overall appearance.

As if that weren't enough, as you age, not only does your body’s collagen production slow down, but the collagen you have starts to break down and fragment and become less effective. It's like a support system that's slowly crumbling, leading to a loss of elasticity and a thinner skin texture. This often results in a drier, less supple appearance. The change in collagen distribution means that certain areas, like the face, neck, and hands, might show signs of ageing more prominently.


But wait, there's more! Other factors like sun exposure, smoking, poor diet, too much booze, lack of sleep, and a sedentary lifestyle can also speed up collagen loss. These culprits not only harm existing collagen but also put the brakes on your body's ability to make more. In its abundance, collagen gives your skin that smooth and bouncy quality. However, as collagen levels drop, the structural integrity of the skin weakens. This leads to the development of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as a general sagging of the skin. The framework that held your skin smooth and firm is weakening, and you start to notice the results. Those subtle fine lines around your eyes and mouth? They’re not so subtle anymore.

Keep Your Glow: Tips to Boost Collagen Naturally

The good news is, now that you understand how collagen works and why it’s so important, you can take action to keep your skin looking vibrant and maintain your body's youthful vigor, flexibility, and resilience.

Luckily, there are ways to support collagen, like a few lifestyle changes such as eating a balanced diet with plenty of protein, vitamin C, and other nutrients, being active, and not overindulging in those peskies like alcohol and smoking. Use skincare products rich with ingredients such as peptides and retinol that help boost and support your skin. It’s all about giving your body the tools it needs to keep your skin healthy and flexible.

Super Collagen Moisture Dew
Super Collagen Moisture Dew