Understanding the Role of Collagen in My Skin

Understanding the Role of Collagen in My Skin

A beautiful complexion begins with a solid skin care routine that includes daily cleansing and moisturizing, periodic exfoliation, and the attentive application of a broad-spectrum sunscreen whenever you plan to spend time outdoors.

Maintaining a radiant complexion as time goes by, however, requires a skin care routine that dives a little bit deeper every now and then — one that improves and fortifies the underlying structures of your skin to keep it smooth, supple, healthy, and resilient. 

Let’s explore the key role collagen plays in sustaining youthful-looking skin, and how clinical skin care specialist Craig A. Foster, MD, can help you preserve optimal collagen levels as you get older.

What is collagen?

As one of the most durable and plentiful proteins in your body, collagen has been called the “cement that holds everything together.” Its primary function? To give cells and tissues structure, strength, and stability.

Collagen accounts for about 30% of the protein structures in your body. It’s a critical element of the smooth tissues that comprise your organs, digestive tract, muscles, and blood vessels. It’s also the central structural protein in the fibrous tissues that form your tendons, ligaments, and skin. 

The foundation of healthy skin 

For as abundant as it is throughout your body, collagen is especially concentrated in your skin, representing up to 80% of the protein in your skin tissues. 

Collagen is the flexible inner scaffolding that gives your skin its shape, firmness, elasticity, and resilience. Along with the two other structural proteins called elastin and keratin, it does a superb job of keeping your skin supple, healthy, and in a continual state of renewal.

Cell by cell and layer by layer, your skin regenerates itself — and renews its collagen reserve — about every 27 days. Unfortunately, environmental damage and age-related changes make it harder for your skin to maintain optimal levels of fresh collagen as time goes on.

Signs of collagen depletion 

Collagen production declines gradually as your hormone levels change with age. This natural and expected reduction in collagen levels is more pronounced in skin that’s been damaged by long-term exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) light rays.

Sun damage and age-related physiological changes don’t just deplete your skin’s collagen stores; they also weaken and destabilize your skin’s remaining building blocks. 

Most people notice the first signs of collagen depletion in their skin when they reach middle age. On top of setting the stage for the formation of fine lines and wrinkles, it’s a key catalyst for diminished elasticity (skin sag) and rough, irregular skin texture.

Although everyone experiences collagen loss as they get older, a variety of individual factors — ranging from genetics and lifestyle to daily skin care habits — can influence the degree to which it affects your skin. 

Stimulating collagen renewal 

Luckily, collagen loss is one of those rare aspects of aging that you don’t have to accept at face value. There are simple and highly effective clinical skin care treatments that stimulate collagen renewal at the deepest level, helping you rejuvenate your skin from the inside out. 

Collectively known as collagen induction therapies, these gentle skin-renewing treatments help restore a healthier, more youthful-looking complexion by triggering collagen production in your dermis, which is the layer of tissue that’s just below the surface of your skin.

Dr. Foster offers a complete menu of anti-aging, collagen-stimulating skin care treatments in his Uptown Manhattan office, including: 

The collagen-regenerating effects of these treatments go beyond a single, immediate boost in production, as restoring optimal collagen levels prompts your skin to continue producing more collagen on its own, naturally.

If you’re ready to erase a few years from your skin and revitalize your complexion, we can help. Call 212-744-5011 to schedule a visit with Dr. Foster in our Manhattan, New York City, office today. 

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