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What is collagen and elastin?

What is collagen and elastin?

We hear and read so much about collagen and elastin; we know that we definitely need it, but do we really know what collagen and elastin are and why they’re so important to our skin? Most of us know that we want lots of collagen and elastin to stop lines and wrinkles from developing or worsening but that’s usually the extent of our knowledge; this is why we’ve decided to delve a little deeper to demystify the world of collagen and elastin.

What is collagen made of?

Collagen is a naturally occurring protein (an amino acid) that is found in our connective tissue. It gives strength and structure; think of it as scaffolding holding up the top layer of skin. In fact, type 1 collagen fibres (yes, there are many types!) are five to ten times stronger than steel.

Wrinkles and lines are signs that your skin lacks collagen.

What is elastin made of?

Elastin is also a protein (an amino acid) that is naturally found in our tissues. It provides resilience and elasticity to our skin; in fact, it is approximately 1,000 times more flexible than collagen and allows the skin to snap back into shape like a coiled spring.

A lack of firmness, elasticity and skin sagging are all signs that your skin is lacking elastin.

What’s the difference between collagen and elastin?

Although the two proteins are closely associated and work together, they have two totally opposing jobs. Collagen provides rigidity and strength whereas elastin allows the skin to be flexible and bounce back to its original shape. A good example of their teamwork is when we frown; the skin is flexible and moves to create lines between your brows, then when you relax those muscles the skin bounces back into its smooth original state. If your collagen isn’t very strong or if there aren’t lots in your skin, repeating this frowning movement over time creates permanent lines which are there even when you’re not furrowing your brow.

What breaks down collagen and elastin?

These crucial skin components naturally decline in production and breakdown as we age. Factors such as UV light from the sun, pollution and smoking can accelerate the breakdown and slow the production of these important proteins.

Additionally, there are diseases and conditions which result in abnormal collagen production such as scurvy, which is caused by a deficiency in vitamin C. Elastin is also affected by diseases, such as pseudoxanthoma elasticum, which result in a breakdown and/or the impaired function of elastin.

What happens to collagen and elastin as we age?

As we age our bodies break down collagen and elastin fibres produce less and less of them. Women have a dramatic decline in production of collagen after the menopause and by the time we reach 60 the decline in the in production is considerable.

After puberty (eeek!) the skin tends to stop producing elastin. As the ageing process continues, toxins such as calcium salts and fatty acids build up around the elastin fibres and cause them to swell and stiffen; according to the latest scientific research, this lack of flexibly and stiffness is accountable for skin sagging as the elastin can no longer hold the skin.

The breakdown and reduced production of collagen and elastin mean that the ‘scaffolding’ supporting your skin starts to breakdown and your skin loses its ‘bounce’ and ability to snap back; the result is wrinkles, lines and loose, sagging, thin skin.

What is a good source of collagen?

We naturally have collagen in our skin (and throughout the body) however there are some things that you can use, internally and externally, to boost your production of collagen. Vitamin C is required in the production of amino acids which make collagen. Vitamin C must be included in your diet; simply, eat lots of fruits and veg! You may also consider taking a supplement if you struggle to regularly make food with high vitamin C content part of your diet; we’d recommend seeing your GP for specific advice about supplements.

Although diet should play a big part in how you get vitamin C, Vitamin C serums are available and ideal for ensuring that the vitamin C is going to your skin; we have no control of how our body distributes the vitamin c we consume it through food.

Can you protect collagen and elastin?

It is never too early to start protecting and taking care of your skin. Trust us. Ageing, damaged skin is much more difficult to correct than protecting and helping to prevent in the first place.

One thing we can all do is eat a well-balanced diet consisting of vitamins and antioxidants such as fruit and veg to help your skin from the inside. There are collagen supplements on the market; some will be more effective than others so do your research on them. At the Clinic, we only use Gold Collagen Rx, the strongest and most advanced Gold Collagen supplement available on the market. As sceptics, we were impressed with the peer-reviews, published research supporting this product which contains hydrolysed (meaning it won’t all be destroyed during digestion) elastin as well as bioactive collagen peptides and cram-packed with powerful antioxidants vitamin C and D. A 9-week course of a daily Rx supplement is recommended and then you can move on to maintenance (a supplement every few weeks); this can be used on its own or to complement any aesthetic treatments that you may have.

If you are considering treatments to boost your production of collagen and to revitalise your elastin fibres it may be a daunting process as there are so many treatments available. We’ve compiled a few treatments that you might benefit from (and why!) below:

Byonik

With over 10 years of research and development in cooperation with the scientists at Ulm University, Byonik uses pulse-triggered laser technology helps to detoxify your elastin fibres, allowing them to be free of the toxin build-up we discussed earlier, giving them their bounce back. This treatment is major TLC for your elastin. We’re honestly just touching the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what the Byonik treatment does for your skin, read more about how it gets antioxidants and deeply hydrating hyaluronic acid inside your skin cells, promotes healing, protects your DNA, increases the production of your collagen and more here.

Thermage

Even after decades of the ‘latest thing’ coming on to the market, patients still seek out the Thermage treatment for non-surgical skin tightening. Providing long-lasting results which subtly but effectively tighten, firm and smooth anywhere on the body, face, and eyes (even your eyelids) we totally understand why this deeply collagen stimulating treatment is popular with both men and women. In particular, people seek this ‘mono-polar radiofrequency’ technology out for skin issues such as stretched, thin and crepy skin on the abdomen (sometimes referred to as a ‘mummy tummy’); sagging, heavy, creased eyelids; wrinkled, crepy, loose skin on the inner arms, knees and neck. Learn more about Thermage here.

Profhilo

Winner of the Aesthetic Awards Product Innovation of the Year 2016, Profhilo is truly a pioneering treatment; it is an entirely new category of injectable treatment not to be confused with mesotherapy, dermal fillers or skin boosters. Why? Unlike other types of injectable hyaluronic acid (HA), Profhilo uses a unique slow-release HA which has a honey-like consistency to infuse your tissues with its deep hydration and, due to the unique combination of HA, Profhilo triggers a skin awakening process called ‘bio-remodelling’ which stimulates 4 different types of collagen. This bio-remodelling process is likened to switching your skins’ ‘lights on’.

If you would like any personalised advice for your skin, please don’t hesitate to arrange a consultation.

Disclaimer: This blog is not to be used for diagnostic purposes. We are all unique which means that our results, recovery and suitability for any type of treatment will vary. Always seek the advice of a professional should you have any health or cosmetic concerns or to discuss treatments specifically for you.

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    Professional, friendly, thorough and prompt treatment. Jane explained everything and was superb. I'll be back for more treatments.
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    Paru Amarsingh
    20:09 16 Jul 22
    I'm claustrophobic so didn't like having my eyes completely covered, however, Jane was so patient & understanding & dealt with the situation brilliantly so I could have the treatment. It was a so easy in the end, took minutes, & nothing to worry about at all.
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    I cannot recommend the team the innovation and treatments more highly than at the Skin To Love Clinic. They are at the cutting edge of beauty and have new ways and procedures that make your skin look beautiful. I've spent many years on Harley and Wimpole street and assumed you couldn't get this level of investment and treatments anywhere else but the Skin the Love clinic not only offer every top treatment but the Jane and Sue are so skillful and have a real eye for what will work for you. Their mini thread lift is incredible as is their 'vampire' treatment but skin since I have moved to St Albans has improved dramatically
    Annie Lonie
    Annie Lonie
    17:20 31 May 22
    Great experience at Skin to Love today as always! Thank you Jane and team!
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    Michelle Shearly
    18:53 17 May 22
    Kay Pereira
    Kay Pereira
    11:16 16 May 22
    I have several issues with my skin and have been working with my doctor to deal with them. He referred me to a Dermatologist who advised on the treatment I needed. It took me a while to find the right place with the level of expertise that I needed and The Skin to Love Clinic ticked all of the boxes. My first experience with The Skin to Love Clinic was about 2 years ago. I had a consultation with Jane and immediately knew I was in good hands. I had a series of Fraxel laser which dealt with the issue as well as improved the quality of my skin. I am now dealing with a different issue and without hesitation made an appointment with Jane. What a relief to know that once again, I will be in the best hands and get the most appropriate treatment for my skin, not only dealing with the issue but also improving the health of my skin at the same time.About 4 years ago, I had threads from a well known Clinic in Harley Street. The process was extremely painful, left me with a lot of bruising, a disfigured face and took at least 6 weeks to recover. For the first 1 - 2 weeks I could hardly open my mouth, getting my toothbrush into my mouth was painful.2 weeks ago (with much trepidation) I had threads at Skin to Love. The difference was remarkable. This is a cosmetic procedure so when the threads are inserted, there is some discomfort. However, it was a far cry from the extreme pain from the Harley Street clinic. I had 1 pale yellow bruise about the size of 50p, no disfiguration and went out for dinner that night! My face was tender to touch for about 1 week but definitely not painful. I could see the results straight away and as time passes, it gets better. Thank you Jane for being so patient with me. I was so scared but now know I didn't need to be.
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    CET Plays05
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    Jane is wonderful, I feel in safe hands here and am always pleased with the advice and treatments I receive here, hence why I would not go anywhere else, this is a great clinic.
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    Angelique Rowan
    12:44 29 Apr 22
    For my first session of Lazer Hair Removal, I had the most lovely practitioner. They were so patient with me and walked me through the process. I’m so happy and excited to continue with them throughout my course!
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    Always friendly and information! Would recommend to anyone with any skin concerns or just looking for advice you can trust. I have my next consultation already booked.
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    20:01 30 Mar 22
    I recently had 3 moles removed from my face by Emma. I am really pleased with the results, I was very nervous and Emma made me feel at ease. I would highly recommend Emma and the skin to love clinic.
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    Gemma Terry
    14:06 28 Mar 22
    Skin to Love is a super professional clinic, from the moment you walk in they make you feel welcomed and the ladies are all absolutely lovely. The treatments are always done to an incredibly high standard and they make sure to answer any questions you may have. Would highly recommend!!
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    Rebecca Wilkins
    19:33 23 Mar 22
    Exceptionally positive experience:* A consultation is required to determine whether the requested treatment is suitable for me. This reassured me of their expertise and integrity (that they wouldn't just push any treatment on me)* Specialist Jane is clearly an expert on the Clear&Brilliant treatment and provided me with a comprehensive insight in the procedure + follow-up care and answered all my questions* Tomorrow I'll receive a check-in call, which shows their level of attentiveness* Reception staff is very friendly, welcoming and helpful* So far my Clear and Brilliant treatment looks good, will see results in 2-4 weeks
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    I made the mistake of buying a product called Eyesential; an under eye enhancer which temporarily erases puffiness, fine lines, dark circles and wrinkles in minutes and lasts for up to 8 hours. I used this product for a period of 7 years. During this time, the skin under and around my eyes became thinner, reddened, chronically dry and intensely wrinkled. I thought there was nothing I could do and would be left like this. I felt so depressed. Then one day when I was in The Skin to Love Clinic having treatment for Laser Hair Removal; I was informed about Thermage for the very first time. I now have this procedure done yearly. Jane has brought my skin back to its original state and more. My confidence has come back and I feel a so much happier. This treatment really works!
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    Absolutely thrilled with the results of my treatment which was carried out expertly and efficiently with the utmost professional care by Jane. Would recommend ‘the Skin to Love’ clinic to anyone
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    Such a professional, understanding approach. I feel like I've just blurted out my last 12 months but Jane made me feel so heard and relevant.Really appreciate the time and advice given and I now feel like I have a plan for how to manage the skin troubles/problems.Thank you!
    Shareen Pavaday
    Shareen Pavaday
    11:36 03 Feb 22
    Had an appointment at Skin to Love today (my first in a while) and oh boy was it good to be back! It was great to see that they are still taking the safety of their clients so seriously with strict PPE guidelines being adhered to. Had a consultation with Jane and can’t wait to go back for my treatment! Thank you ladies ☺️
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    Rashad Koura
    11:12 23 Jan 22
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    Louise Allen
    12:20 19 Dec 21
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    Gillian Maxwell
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    Margarita Germanos
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    22:57 23 Oct 21
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    Daniel Farney
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    Catherine Rumsey
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    Excellent service and explained everything thoroughly so I understood. Really impressed with the level of care. Thank you.
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    Melissa Uddin
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    FV Lessers
    FV Lessers
    14:31 07 Oct 21
    Would recommend, had a consultation by the nurse , very informative and all staff are extremely knowledgeable of their treatments. Not pushy in selling products or services , the look and feel of the store is very warm and welcoming. I am looking forward to getting treatments there.Update in 4/10/2021 - after going to mobile therapists and now here, I must say there is a big difference ! much much more professional and great customer service - I have had anti wrinkle injections and was reassured this will work and it has! ( I had deep frown lines) worth the bit of extra money for sure!
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    Nadine Lackhee
    17:43 25 Sep 21
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    Valerie Minchella
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