What is collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and it's essential for building muscle and cell repair. It's a long, fibrous, structural protein - it's rope-like in appearance - that gives the skin strength and elasticity.
Often described as scaffolding for the skin, it acts like a trampoline providing a supportive base structure and giving us the 'boiiing' we need for bouncy, healthy-looking skin. Think plump, juicy skin.
With its fundamental face-perking credentials, it stands to the reason that beauty brands and consumers want in on the action with skincare that contains the ingredient and promises to give our skin added oomph.
Where does collagen come from?
Collagen is not just an essential component of the skin, but it can also be found throughout the entire body. In fact, collagen making up from 25% to 35% of the whole-body protein content. To date, 29 types of collagen have been described, however, over 90% of collagen throughout the body is of types 1 through 5, with type 1 being the most abundant. Below are the tissues and organs where collagen types 1 through 5 can be found.
Collagen type I: skin, tendon, vascular, ligature, organs, bone
Collagen type II: cartilage
Collagen type III: reticulate fibers
Collagen type IV: forms basis of cell basement membrane
Collagen type V: found in tissues containing type I
If it's found in our body why do we need it in a cream?
Aging results in thinning of all three layers of the skin: the epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis. The top layer of the skin, the epidermis, provides a waterproof barrier and protects the body from external harm. This layer covers the dermis, which contains connective tissue, hair follicles, sweat glands, and collagen. Underneath the dermis is the hypodermis, a layer of subcutaneous tissue made up of adipose (fat) cells and connective tissue. Thinning of these layers is accompanied by a decrease in collagen. Collagen production decreases by approximately 1% with each year of age after maturity (about age 21), leading to a loss in firmness and elasticity of skin.