How Does Collagen Work?

How Does Collagen Work?

The benefits of collagen are so well known that this complex of amino acids, our body’s most abundant protein, has become a household name. A veritable fountain of youth, collagen’s essential role in our youthfulness, vitality, and appearance has made it a sought-after ingredient in beauty products, aesthetic treatments, and most recently, in supplements. The idea that ingesting collagen in powder or pill form will keep us looking forever young is a nice one, but as anyone in the medical aesthetic industry knows, it’s not that simple. Read on to learn more about collagen, the collagen supplement trend, and how to position aesthetic treatments for clients who want to boost their collagen levels in pursuit of their aesthetic goals. 

What Is Collagen?

One way to look at collagen is as the glue that holds the body together. Collagen is the body's most plentifulprotein, accounting for approximately 30% of the proteins within the body. It’s made up of different amino acids, specifically Glycine, Proline, Hydroxyproline, and Arginine. It provides structure to skin, bones, tendons, fibrous cartilage, connective tissue, and teeth. It also supports the cartilage in our joints, as well as muscles, organs, and arteries. It plays a key role in how our tissues grow, mature, and age. Collagen is especially important to our skin, where it can be found in each layer contributing to cell repair, wound healing, structural support, nutrient uptake, and filtering out toxins.

Decreased collagen in the body tends to manifest through our physical appearance in the following ways:

  • Wrinkles and fine lines
  • Dry, “crepey”skin
  • Sunken or hollow areas of the face and body
  • Sagging skin on the face or body

Natural Sources of Collagen

Our bodies produce collagen throughout our lifetimes. This is done through a process of combining the nutrients from eating protein-rich foods, like beef, chicken, fish, beans, eggs, and dairy into amino acids. The process also requires vitamin C, which we absorb from citrus fruits, red and green peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, and greens. Collagen production also depends on the mineral zinc and copper, which we get from eating meats, shellfish, nuts, whole grains, and beans. Basically, our body’s natural production of collagen requires a healthy, balanced diet. As we age, however, your body may no longer absorb nutrients as well or synthesize them as efficiently. That’s when it makes sense to turn to other sources of collagen.

Do Collagen Supplements Work? 

Collagen supplements are on the market in various forms, primarily in pills and in powder form, which can be mixed into food or drink and ingested. Some studies show that taking collagen supplements can improve skin elasticity, wrinkles and fine lines, and other signs of aging. The supplements are also marketed as a way to support cartilage, and thereby relieve joint, back, and knee pain. However, these promises come with a caveat.

Since the supplements only recently came to market, there are relatively few studies that promise their effectiveness. Moreover, when it comes to supplements, which aren’t held to the same rigorous process of testing and quality control as prescription pharmaceuticals, it’s best to be cautious: In a recent test of 14 popular collagen supplements by a consumer supplement testing company, while all products contained the levels of collagen indicated on the bottles, one also contained high levels of cadmium, a toxic heavy metal.

While quality control is still in question and the jury is still out on whether collagen supplements have any real benefits, you should advise your clients that there are aesthetic treatments that will increase their collagen levels safely and effectively.

Aesthetic Treatments & Collagen Production

Unlike supplements, the science behind medical aesthetics is sound, proven, and effective. Wrinkle reduction treatments address one of the most common client concerns that are directly linked to collagen depletion - aging. Many of Venus Concept devices can deliver these treatments and more, for a powerful addition to your clinic offerings.

The wrinkle reduction treatment works by our proprietary (MP)2 technology, combining the proven efficacy of Multi-Polar Radio Frequency with Pulsed Electro Magnetic Fields. Multi-Polar Radio Frequency allows for homogeneous energy delivery and can help with a quick and safe increase to therapeutic temperature. Whereas Pulsed Electro Magnetic Fields (PEMF) is a non-thermal technology emitted through the applicator’s electrodes. This technology promotes angiogenesis and triggers regenerative processes in the skin. The effects of the thermal and non-thermal technologies form a synergistic combination that leads to tightening, followed by neocollagenesis. RF heats and directly stimulates fibroblasts, while PEMF is known to promote angiogenesis and induce fibroblast proliferation through the release of the growth factor FGF-2, resulting in increased collagen synthesis. Stimulating the production of collagen and elastin fibers in the skin.

The wrinkle reduction treatment is available through our DiamondPolar™ applicator that is present on our Venus Legacy™, Venus Versa™, and Venus Freeze Plus™. 

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