You hear us talking all the time about restoring collagen to your skin, but what does that really mean? Collagen is a protein found in your skin deep in the dermis. Your collagen is what gives volume and radiance to your face. A good way to think about it is with this analogy: Collagen is to your face what springs are to a couch. When your couch is new the springs are tightly coiled and the cushions are firm and return to the original shape when you get up. As the couch ages and the springs start to become more loosely coiled, the cushions start to lose their firmness and may start to sag. When you get up from the aging couch, the cushions may not return to their original shape, and you may see an indent in the cushion where sitting is frequent.
One day you wake up feeling like you are still in your thirties and the blasted mirror on the wall betrays you the same way it did the Evil Queen in Snow White! Who is that stranger looking back at you? Not the person that you feel like you are! So what’s a gal or guy to do when you would like your appearance to reflect your youthful spirit?
The same could be said of your face. When we are young, our collagen is plentiful and regenerates frequently which results in a fullness and radiance throughout the face. When you wake up in the morning, if there are any pillow lines from sleeping, they disappear quickly (the cushions of the couch return to their original shape). At about age 25, our collagen production starts to slow and continues to diminish production as we age. In addition all the bright ideas we had in our teens about laying out in the sun and getting tan (sun damage), environmental insults such as pollution and continued UV exposure, maybe you picked up the bad habit of smoking, or you eat a poor diet and don’t get enough sleep. All these environmental and lifestyle factors cause existing collagen to erode.
Enter into our 30’s and we start to lose about a tablespoon of that precious volume each year, and well,we don’t need to do the math for you. Enter into the 40’s and beyond and those cushions (your face)don’t quite have the same oomph they once did. Ever driven into work with the sleep line on your face still present? Uh-huh a few of you are nodding. Your cheeks seem to deflate and your lips seem to become thinner and the corners of your mouth may even begin to turn downward. So the combination of slowed production and factors that degrade collagen leave us with the aging face.
Restoring collagen can be done through in office treatments that stimulate your body’s ability to generate new collagen. Proper skin care products and treatments essentially wake your sleepy, slow collagen up and put it into operation again. But for the immediate results, dermal fillers are used to replace facial volume where it once was abundant for that youthful, healthy appearance. Many of today’s fillers also stimulate collagen to form once they are injected.
Take a deep breath, it is really never too late to start! With today’s technology, it really is possible to slow aging down and reverse damage. Going forward, however, remember it is always easier to prevent than correct. Prevention starts with SPF on your face everyday as well as a retinol and a topical Vitamin C, these three products are key to any good skincare regimen. You really can look the age you feel!