Help ! Collagen in danger

We hear a lot about collagen when talking about skin aging. While we are always keen to protect it or boost its production, we rarely know what damages it. Let's look at the factors - external and internal - which do the harm.


Collagen is an essential protein

Collagen is produced by cells called fibroblasts. It is part of a large group of proteins. It alone, represents 70% of the proteins in our derme! It is found in the form of fibres in many parts of the body : vital organs, bones, muscles, tendons, skin, blood vessels ... Collagen is responsible for resistance of the tissues, it protects and stabilises skin and cartilage. Along with elastin fibres and glycoproteins, it forms support tissues in the skin. It is the reason why skin is firm and the face has defined contours.

External factors which damage collagen

Tobacco + UV rays + pollution, this phototoxic trio is the main cause of damage to collagen fibres. On the surface, they are a source of free radicals involved in cell oxydation processes. The free radicals simply attack the collagen directly and stimulate the collagenases whose role is to destroy collagen. The fibres are damaged at record speed ! The daily external aggressors are ultimately responsible for premature aging of the tissues.

Internal factors which damage collagen

From the age of 20, collagen synthesis diminishes progressively and the cell processes become less effective. They can no longer make up for the fall in production. As a result, the fibres produced are more and more fragile and their renewal rate slows down. The situation gets worse during the menopause because of the drop in hormone levels. In fact, oestrogen plays a role in the production of good quality collagen. Another important internal factor is stress. When we are stressed, we produce more free radicals (yes, them again !) which damage the collagen.

Consequences for my skin

Collagen damage weakens the structure of the skin. The skin ages more quickly and loses its tone. The contours of facial features become blurred, wrinkles appear and the outline of the face changes.