Collagen: How it works against wrinkles
Collagen, everyone has heard that before – and especially when it comes to the topic of anti-ageing, it is often mentioned. But what exactly is collagen and what does it have to do with wrinkles? Here you will learn how collagen ensures smooth skin and what you can do to boost the body’s own collagen production.
What is collagen?
Collagen is basically nothing other than protein – but not just any protein. Collagen is the protein that occurs most frequently in our body. It bundles into fibres that are extremely stable and hardly stretchable. The body needs these solid collagen fibers to stabilize bones, cartilage, tendons, teeth, but also the skin. Thus collagen makes up about 60% of the connective tissue of our skin.
However, these firm collagen fibres are not sufficient for the suppleness of our skin. The elasticity is only achieved by weaving with stretchable elastin fibres. This reticular structure of collagen and elastin is embedded in a gel-like basic substance containing hyaluronic acid. This substance has a very high moisture-binding capacity and helps the skin to retain its volume. The more strands and fibres our skin has, the tighter it is. Read more about the structure and function of the skin.
The annoying thing: From the age of about 30 years on, the body’s own production of collagen and elastin decreases (collagen approx. 1 % annually) – with various consequences for the skin: The connective tissue becomes weaker, the skin loses volume. Elasticity, radiance and resistance decrease and at the same time the wrinkles deepen.
There are actually some ingredients for face creams that can increase the renewal process of collagen and slow down its degradation.
- Oligopeptides: Oligopeptides are care ingredients from plant extracts. In the care series Eucerin HYALURON-FILLER + Volume-Lift they come from the fruits and seeds of the aniseed plant. Oligopeptides strengthen the connective tissue in the skin through improved collagen formation, making the skin network stronger and more stable.
- Glycine soybean extract: is contained in all products of the Eucerin HYALURON-FILLER and HYALURON-FILLER + Urea care series and has a proven positive effect on collagen formation. 1
- Arctiin can be found in the day and night care of the Eucerin HYALURON-FILLER + ELASTICITY care range. The highly effective burdock fruit extract accelerates the renewal process of collagen in the skin.
- Silymarin fist is included in the day and night care of the Eucerin HYALURON-FILLER + ELASTICITY care series. The powerful antioxidant helps prevent the breakdown of collagen and elastin.
Read here what helps against wrinkles and loss of elasticity.
Is collagen carcinogenic?
The answer to this question is clearly “no”. However, one must know that there are different types of collagen. A certain type (collagen VII) not only keeps healthy skin intact, but also plays an important role in the spread of skin cancer: However, the so-called squamous cell carcinoma can only form metastases if the protein is altered in a very specific way. Collagens themselves are therefore not carcinogenic.
Collagen in food
How does collagen work as a food supplement?
Just take a collagen drink in the morning and your skin will be wonderfully smooth again? Unfortunately, it is not that simple! The preparations to be taken (often in ampoules or as a powder to be dissolved) supply the body with important proteins, but at the latest in the stomach and intestines these are broken down into amino acids. Those who eat a healthy and balanced diet achieve the same – and save a lot of money in the process. Studies also show that it is significantly more effective to supply the skin with active ingredients from the outside than from the inside via food.
Anyone who wants to do something against premature skin aging beyond appropriate care should try to reduce the external stress on the skin. This means in plain language: Avoid as little sunlight as possible (or sufficient sun protection) and avoid alcohol, smoke and other environmental toxins. All this leads to the formation of free radicals that damage the stabilizing collagen framework.
Food with collagen: Where is collagen contained?
They can support your organism in absorbing natural collagen. Antioxidants also help to maintain collagen levels by fighting free radicals. Foods with a high collagen content are for example:
- Meat, especially cow, beef, chicken, goat, deer and pork meat
- Fish, especially fatty fish such as salmon and tuna
- Gelatine, e.g. in aspic, aspic and many desserts
If you want to avoid animal products and prefer a vegetarian or vegan diet, you can at least slightly reduce the breakdown of collagen by eating the following foods
- Red fruits and vegetables, such as apples, strawberries, cherries, beetroot, tomatoes, red peppers, etc.
- Orange fruit and vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, mangoes and apricots
- Vitamin C-rich fruit, such as orange, lemon, kiwi, grapefruit, mango, pineapple
The collagen and elastin in the connective tissue ensure the elasticity and resilience of our skin. Unfortunately, collagen in creams does not penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin. Therefore, it is advisable to use skin care products with ingredients that stimulate collagen production again and slow down its decomposition.
1 Novel Aspects of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Aging of Human Skin: Beneficial Effects of Soy Extract, Photochemistry and Photobiology,2005,81: 581-587