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May 19, 2021
We constantly hear about collagen, but do you actually know what collagen is, how it affects the skin, and how to support collagen production?
Collagen is the main structural protein in human connective tissues, most notably found and produced in the dermis, the second layer of skin that sits beneath the epidermis. It consists of amino acids and is a fibrous protein. Besides human, it can also be found in most animals, such as cows and fish.
For our skin to stay firm, elastic, and appear youthful, it needs collagen. However, our body produces increasingly fewer hormones and less collagen from the age of about 25, and worse, other factors like sun exposure, caffeine, pollution and stress, can accelerate the break down of collagen. This decline in collagen in our body causes the skin’s epithelial structures (tissue formed by several layers of cells) to weaken, which then thins out the skin and results in sagging and wrinkles.
As you can see from the illustration above, collagen is a complex and massive molecule. Thus no topical collagen can replace the natural collagen that is produced by our body and support the skin’s matrix——in fact, collagen when applied topically will not penetrate through to the dermis, and there is simply no current research showing that topical collagen can stimulate collagen synthesis or growth.
What topical collagen can do, is provide hydration for the skin.
Now, there have been arguments regarding whether collagen supplements truly improve the skin. One thing we need to be very clear. Collagen supplements are not the same as the collagen in your skin——they cannot move through your body, go into the skin, and become part of the structure. That is not how it works. By taking collagen supplements, you are giving the body that extra boost of nutrients and raw materials that it needs to stimulate natural collagen synthesis. Thus while not everything will go directly to the skin, they will help the body improve the skin in the long-run.
In fact, many studies in recent years have shown that collagen supplements do help slow the aging of the skin by reducing wrinkles and dryness. Here are two examples.
In one randomized, placebo-controlled 12-week clinical trial, it has been confirmed that objective dermatological measurements, such as cutometry and corneometry, have proven that oral collagen peptides, can reach deeper layers of the skin and sustainably improve skin physiology and appearance, including skin hydration, elasticity, roughness, and density after three months of intake. The study participants, in their subjective assessments, also concluded that their skin appearance had significantly improved without any side effects.
Another clinical research, which positively demonstrated collagen supplements’ impact on the skin cell’s ability to produce collagen fibers and hyaluronic acid, showed that the fragmentation of collagen in the deep layer of the dermis by significantly decreased by 18% after 4 weeks and as much as 31% after 12 weeks of intake. They also significantly increased the density of collagen in the dermis by +9% after 4 weeks of intake, and skin hydration increased by an astonishing 28%, resulting in a significant increase in skin elasticity and hydration, and reduction in wrinkle depth.
A point to note is that there is no such thing as vegan collagen, as plants simply do not produce collagen.
holi(mane) Hair, Skin & Nails Daily Supplement <- Click to shop
Developed in collaboration with Dr. Will Cole, this blend of pearl powder and marine collagen, void of any fillers or taste/texture enhancers, is abundant in over 30 trace minerals and bioavailable amino acids to activate hair, skin and nail cells to produce collagen, promote cellular repair, increase hydration, and support two important antioxidants, glutathione and superoxide dismutase. The result is hydrated skin, reduced fine lines and wrinkles, stronger nails that are less prone to breakage, and shinier, stronger hair.
While using collagen in skincare simply have no effects on our skin’s collagen level, there are ingredients that have been scientifically proven to stimulate natural collagen synthesis in the skin.
Retinol is one of the few potent anti-aging ingredients that is widely recognized by both the dermatological and scientific communities. This star ingredient not only activates collagen and epidermal growth factor receptors, promotes cellular turnover, and stimulates self collagen and elastin production, thereby reducing wrinkles, it is also highly effective in treating acne, dullness, scarring, hyperpigmentation and rough skin texture.
Stellar Restoration Corrective Complex <- Click to shop
Featuring star ingredient 1.8% Encapsulated Retinol, as well as Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Squalane, Vitamin E, Salicylic Acid, Licorice Root, Gotu Kola, Willow Bark, Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Sodium Hyaluronate and MSM etc., the powerful yet gentle watery serum stimulates collagen synthesis and rejuvenates skin to effectively reduce wrinkles, acne and hyperpigmentation, smooth skin texture, slow aging, and minimize pores in a soothing, hydrating way.
Peptides are essentially proteins that are the building blocks of the skin. Used topically, they stimulate the growth of new cells and collagen synthesis, regenerate collagen fibers, reduce wrinkles, improve skin barrier function, and slow the glycation process, so the skin stays firm and supple.
Learn more about peptides here.
The Pure Wonder Active Serum <- Click to shop
This watery serum is enriched with 55% concentrated Face Reactor™, the brand's core brightening skincare complex that features traditional Korean herbs like Ginsenocide and Cornus Extract to visibly brighten, even skin tone, lighten hyperpigmentation and dark spots, increase transparency, and restore radiance. Together with Niacinamide Maitake Mushroom, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Adenosine, Mugwort, hyaluronic acid of 3 molecule weights, Squalane, Sage and Basil Oil etc, it also provides long-lasting hydration, anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging effects, as well as stimulate collagen and elastin synthesis, to smooth wrinkles and revitalize skin.
Most forms of vitamin C, L’Ascorbic Acid in particular, are notorious for being highly unstable, easily degraded, and can often lead to acne and irritations. On the other hand, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, a stable vitamin C derivative, is excellent in promoting collagen formation, protecting cells against damage caused by free radicals, improving the photoprotective properties of sunscreens, and inhibiting melanin production to prevent hyperpigmentation and brighten skin without irritating the skin. It has also been clinically proven to treat acne!
holi(oil) Ageless Face Serum <- Click to shop
With a base of Rice Bran Oil and Rosehip Oil, which are high in beta-carotene and vitamin A, as well as actives including Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Calcium Ketogluconate, Damascus Rose Extract and Helichrysum and Sandalwood Oil, holi(oil) nourishes the skin, whilst reducing fine lines and wrinkles, promoting cell and collagen regeneration and self-hyaluronic acid production, as well as reducing redness, scarring and hyperpigmentation.
Clinically studies have proven this French-patented, expensive ingredient can increase elastin synthesis by 40-45%, increases self hyaluronic acid synthesis by 36-92%, lift skin by 27%, and improve skin elasticity by 16% with 28 days of continued use day and night. Which means, in short, less wrinkles and plumper skin!
holi(c) The C Duo <- Click to shop
A highly concentrated product consisting of only two ingredients. Besides Calcium Ketogluconate that has been shown to have incredible clinical results, that formula's other ingredient, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, protects cells against free radicals, as well as clinically proven to reduce acne. It also acts on melanin formation process in the skin and prevents hyperpigmentation process.
There are actually a few botanical ingredients that are proven to boost collagen synthesis within the skin. For instance, studies have found beta-glucan increases collagen synthesis by up to 32%, Ginseng induces Type I collagen synthesis, Ursolic acid increases collagen and helps preserve the structure of collagen fibers. whilst Sea Kelp, which carries Vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D, and E, 46 minerals, 11 micronutrients, and 16 amino acids, gives the skin ammunition to produce more collagen.
Serum Bioluminelle™ <- Click to shop
Combining Carrot Seed Oil, Prickly Pear Seed Oil, Green Coffee Oil and Black Seed Oil, which are known to have superior anti-inflammatory and regenerative properties, as well as Ursolic Acid, Beta-Glucan, Elastin Protein, Ginseng, Reishi, and Turmeric etc., it promotes collagen and elastin synthesis, improves wrinkles and hyperpigmentation, hydrates, soothes, reduces acne, fights free radicals and slows aging.
UV rays and oxidative stress can accelerate the breakdown of collagen and elastin, leading to wrinkles and sagging. Ingredients like Mulberry, Cordyceps, Polygonum Aviculare, Broccoli Sprout, Bilberry, and Cilantro, can prevent such daily UV-induced damage, fight free radicals, promote cell regeneration, prevent degradation of collagen and elastin, and reverse photoaging at the cellular level.
UV-R™ <- Click to shop
With Mulberry, which has the highest concentration of resveratrol in nature (10x more than what is found in grape), Bilberry, and other sprecious organic botanical ingredients like Cordyceps, Broccoli Sprout, and Ginseng extracts etc., UV-R prevents and reverses daily UV-induced damages, promotes cell regeneration, fights oxidative stress, and reverses photoaging, thus keeping the skin youthful and radiant.
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