Collagen for Beauty
From creams to injections, collagen offers options to combat ageing
We’ve heard about this beauty wonder too often. Some drink it, others inject it, and many apply it. But what is collagen really, and how does it suddenly become a byword for beauty fix?
Way before it became synonymous with anti-ageing, collagen was simply known as a protein found in the skin, muscles, bones and tendons of the human and animal body. It is a necessary component in order for many parts of the body
to function. It is the connective tissue for almost all our body structures, including joints, heart, lungs, discs, skin, muscles, bones, liver, blood cells and many other organs.
Although collagen is naturally formed in the body through protein synthesis, as we grow old, our body breaks down collagen faster than it can replace it. And the result: sagging of the skin, brittle or easily fractured bones, and yes, joint pains. Breakthroughs in technology in the recent years, however, have made it possible to create synthetic collagen molecules. Manufacturers and researchers are now able to contain most of the same natural properties of collagen in its synthetic form, paving the way for Food and Drug Administration to approve it for medical and retail use.
The hydrolysed collagen is used in the food, pharmaceutical, adhesive, photograph, plastic, rubber, leather and other industries. In the field of medicine and surgery, collagen also has various treatment functions. But in the recent years, it is in the field of cosmetics and dermatology that collagen is gaining popularity.
Women have long since desired to have plump and pouty lips. And many have actually gotten it through collagen lip injections. Lip enhancement is a non-surgical cosmetic procedure that improves the appearance of the lips by increasing their fullness. Since the collagen used in this procedure contains refined bovine collagen, a possibility of an allergic reaction is always considered. Swelling or slight bruising is expected after the treatment, but it subsides after a few days. This is not permanent and collagen lip injections last only four to six months. So the patient goes back for a touch up at least three times a year.
For those who are looking for temporary solutions to erase wrinkles, they go for a collagen filler injection treatment. Filler injections are a cosmetic procedure that aims to smooth wrinkles, laugh lines or pitted scars on the face. The filler raises the wrinkled or pitted area, giving off smooth and plump skin. There are various fillers available nowadays, but the most important thing is to get yourself tested for allergy first before undergoing the procedure. A session takes as fast as 15 minutes, but some are done in repeat sessions.
Cream of the crop
There’s nothing like a slow but safe approach to beauty, and most women prefer it this way. To reverse the signs of ageing or at least to slow it down, collagen creams and gels can be your safe bet. These topical beauty treatments promise to reduce lines and wrinkles, pimple scar and imperfections, as well as blotches and redness. Of course, this doesn’t take overnight, but it’s a good start if you want to try to incorporate collagen into your beauty regimen.
Another way to include collagen into your beauty routine is to take it as a supplement. Since collagen from natural foods goes through many metabolic phases in our digestive system to become its precise form needed by our body, protein digestion of dietary collagen is not often complete. This cannot keep up with the declining production of natural collagen in our body. Hence, we need supplements to combat collagen loss. Collagen supplements come in either pill or liquid form. The good thing about it is, this will not only help rejuvenate our skin, it will also help ease arthritis problems, build muscle and keep our important organs healthy.
There are various ways to combat the effects of ageing, and collagen treatment is just one of them. But just like any other treatment, it is important to be aware of the possible side effects of collagen treatment, whether you play safe with the creams or go bold with the injections. It is also very important that you consult your doctor before trying out any of the treatments.