Christmas is the time for giving and for family. And what’s better than giving the gift of knowledge? In my clinic, my patients will often express regret at not starting sooner or wishing they had not seen as much sun. The feeling that it’s too late can put a real damper on the mood It’s never too late to start anything, just harder.
What is it that you wish you could give your children for Christmas that you wish you had had, or done when you were younger. What would you like them to know? It doesn’t have to cost you anything, just time and love.
So in this spirit, I would like to teach you about collagen banking and maybe you feel you are too old for this, but pass this on to the next generation.
Collagen Banking the new buzz word but what is it?
The idea of collagen banking is to stimulate your natural collagen production early enough whilst you still can produce collagen efficiently. Save it for a rainy day perhaps? I don’t think it works that way but you can stimulate the collagen that you have got and hope to grow some more so your face will stay firmer for longer.
Collagen is what makes our skin plump, firm and bouncy. In fact it’s everywhere in our bodies, it’s the glue and scaffolding that holds everything together. It’s the most abundant protein in our body but from about the age of 25 we stop making as much of it and start losing 1% per year.
1% a year doesn’t sound like much but it all adds up. And when we hit the menopause it plummets even further. Losing about 30% in the first 5 years of menopause.
So ideally you should start thinking about it as early as your 30s, but it’s never too late to start preserving and boosting your collagen levels. The key is to be proactive.
Smoking, too much UV exposure and high sugar consumption all lead to faster collagen reduction. So cutting them out is a great step to preserving what you have got.
Diet – This should be our first port of call when we talk about anything in health and well-being. Do not underestimate the importance of a healthy diet. Vitamin C especially with Vitamin E boosts the production of collagen and elastin. Look for fish, eggs, meat, seeds, nuts, grains, avocado, broccoli, cabbage and peppers. How can you incorporate these into the family Christmas dinner?Oral Vitamin C supplements are tricky as it’s water soluble and our bodies cannot store it, so if we ingest large amounts we will simply excrete it. So you’ll want to be using Vitamin C topically too.
The jury is still out on collagen supplements but do your own research if this is something you have been wondering about.
Skincare, support collagen levels from home with retinoids/retinols, and topical Vitamin C&E. and protect from UV speeding up the breakdown by wearing SPF daily, even over the Christmas season.
Treatments that stimulate collagen production is where the magic is at. Some of these treatments are non-invasive giving everyone an option to suit them.
LED red light therapy protects existing collagen and encourages the formation of new collagen. Home devices are the rage and may be on your Christmas list but if not used regularly can be a waste of money too.
Chemical peels improve cell turnover and skin renewal and indirectly encourage collagen and elastin formation.
Microneedling is a treatment that causes micro punctures to the skin which the body responds to by producing growth factors and stimulating collagen. For an extra boost RF microneedling uses radio frequency to ramp up the collagen induction results. Watch out for exosomes which look like they will further enhance the results of microneedling.
Skin Boosters are injectable treatments using hyaluronic acid or polynucleotides (the building blocks of DNA) to hydrate but also stimulate collagen production.
Ultrasound therapy. We can use ultrasound technology to lift and tighten the skin but the focused ultrasound energy also initiates collagen and elastin production.
Collagen banking might be the new buzzword but the aesthetics industry has been trying to stimulate collagen production for many years already. It’s never too late to start and many of these treatments have other skin benefits like improving texture and radiance or tightening that will be the main reason for having them and the collagen stimulation is the by product. Put them on your wish list or drop a hint for a gift voucher.
Whether this article spurs on the gift of knowledge, inspires a gift idea or a treat for yourself, may your Christmas be filled with love, health and happy memories.
Dr Roxi, Fountain of Youth, Salisbury