Skincare must be one of the most written-about subjects, and the info out there is daunting, especially if you don’t know your retinols from your salicylic acids. How do you know what to put on your skin when every ad, magazine and website is telling you something different? Though we love trying out new and innovative skincare products, we believe that the basics are most important – a good cleanser to remove dirt and impurities and a great moisturiser to hydrate the skin. Once you’ve got that down, determine which ingredient will solve your woes (and give your skin exactly what it needs!).
We’re on a mission to simplify skincare – one ingredient at a time. Today we take a look at collagen.
What is it?
Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in the human body, found in the skin, tendons, cartilage, ligaments and the linings of bone and blood vessels. Collagen is responsible for retaining the skin and body’s shape and resisting tearing. It’s long and fibrous and looks almost rope-like. It is sometimes referred to as the skin’s “scaffolding” due to its ability to provide strength and structure to the skin, kind of like glue holding everything together. In addition, it also helps heal wounds. From the age of 20 onwards, we lose roughly 1% of our body’s natural collagen every year.
How it benefits the skin
Collage keeps the skin firm, supple and smooth. It’s also responsible for maintaining the skin’s elasticity. Most scientists believe that the collagen molecule is too large to be absorbed by the skin, which is why most collagen skincare products contain ingredients that help stimulate the skin to produce more of its own collagen, rather than put collagen on the skin. There are also countless collagen drinks on the market, but the verdict is still out on that one.
Important things to note
Environmental aggressors like smoke and pollution, UV damage and smoking cigarettes can all contribute to collagen becoming weak and brittle, thus accelerating the ageing process. Your diet also plays a role – eating foods like carrots, mango, cabbage, egg whites, nuts, red meat and broccoli supports collagen production. Top tip: eat as little sugar as possible, as it’s one of the biggest causes of collagen breakdown.
Products to try:
Dermactin-TS Collagen Firming Boost Daily Facial Cleanser, R119.00
This gentle yet effective cleanser mildly exfoliates the skin for a softer and more even complexion. It washes away makeup and impurities while hydrating the skin, and helps the skin to retain moisture even after it’s been washed away.
Gatineau Collagen Expert Smoothing Eye Contour, R810.00
Rich in collagen, this eye fluid helps to diminish the appearance of lines and wrinkles and fatigue around the eye area. Say hello to a smoother texture, ironed out lines, plumper skin and less prominent signs of too-little-sleep.
SKNLogic Boost with Apple Extract, R147.00
An affordable, and kind-to-the-skin option, this moisturiser helps combat prematurely-ageing skin conditions while repairing and protecting the skin. Apple extract revitalises the skin, whilst the rest of the formulation helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and improve the skin’s tone. Hydrolysed Collagen balances the water content of the skin.
SkinCeuticals Ultra Facial Defence SPF50+, R514.00
Prevent sun-induced collagen breakdown with this broadspectrum moisturising chemical sunscreen. Key Ingredients include the formulation of state-of-the-art UV filters, Mexoryl SX/XL and Drometrizole to help protect the skin from premature ageing and vitamin E and glycerin to keep the skin hydrated. Suitable for all skin types, and no greasy residue or white marks in sight.