Whether it’s a Zoom meeting with your boss, date night on FaceTime or happy hour on Teams, we’re living in a brave new world of video calls. It’s now the norm to spend hours looking at our virtual selves, and while we may be wearing joggers, our faces are in full focus.
It’s little wonder, then, that skincare brands have seen an almighty boom since lockdown began. Zalando, Europe’s largest lifestyle e-commerce marketplace, reported a 300% surge in sales of skincare products year on year. Meanwhile, Google searches on DIY beauty care are sky high. So what works when it comes to looking fresh for your next Zoom gathering, and beyond?
Collagen is one beauty booster that’s worth the hype. You’ve likely heard of this miracle ingredient, which is said to transform what you’re currently working with to more youthful, plumper skin. But why is it so essential for a healthy complexion? And can we get more of it, please? Here’s what you need to know…
What is collagen?
First up, the science. Collagen is the most abundant structural protein in the human body, containing key amino acids that act as building blocks to keep the tissues and bones together. Collagen gives skin its shape, strength and elasticity. In short, it’s the body’s natural filler.
Collagen production slows down as we enter our 20s and 30s, plus our existing stores may be damaged by environmental factors, such as UV rays and cigarette smoke, so visible signs of ageing inevitably begin to appear. And that’s where fine lines and wrinkles come in.
What are the benefits of collagen?
Collagen has the power to add youthful volume to the skin, contributing to a plumper appearance and helping your skin to remain strong. It’s naturally produced by our bodies, but collagen as an ingredient cannot penetrate the skin’s surface. Enter collagen peptides.
How can we boost our collagen?
While collagen levels naturally decline, the good news is that there are ways for us to give it a boost, delivering proven results and helping to restore our glow without turning to invasive, costly treatments. Here’s how…
For starters, impressive skincare formulas can help to deliver a youthful look straight from your bathroom shelf. Olay has found a smart way to restore your skin’s strength thanks to the new Collagen Peptide24 collection. The beauty behemoth has invested in years of scientific research to develop products that harness a clever combination of ingredients.
‘Some peptides have been shown to stimulate collagen production,’ says Dr Frauke Neuser, the brand’s principal scientist. ‘The Olay Collagen Peptide24 range contains collagen-boosting peptides that penetrate 10 layers deep into the skin. When paired with our vitamin B3, it’s a recipe for a smoother complexion.’ No sitting on the skin’s surface here; the products sink in quickly and get straight to work.
It’s important to note that while collagen products, from beauty shots to supplements, have flooded the market, not all are created equal. Olay, however, has spent close to 20 years researching one specific peptide to understand how best to formulate it to help boost skin’s bounce.
As Dr Neuser explains: ‘We’ve run several clinical studies to show that this peptide is powerful in terms of helping with skin texture and strength as well as improving fine lines and wrinkles. We have been working with this peptide for a long time, but this is the highest concentration that Olay has ever used.’ And luckily, you don’t need to be a cosmetics chemist to try it.
It’s just as important to protect the collagen you already have as it is to strengthen new production. ‘A healthy lifestyle can have a hugely positive affect on skin hydration,’ says Dr Neuser. ‘Avoiding smoking, unprotected UV exposure and excess alcohol consumption can support our collagen networks and delay the signs of ageing.’
Stress is also a known factor that damages our skin, so not checking your work emails on weekends and actually taking the time to unwind can improve your complexion. Whether that’s through practicing yoga, meditating or taking a long warm bath with Enya on repeat (our personal favourite) is up to you.
You can also eat your way to better skin by adding certain foods to your diet. Vitamin C is required for the synthesis of collagen, so fruits and vegetables such as oranges, peppers and strawberries are brilliant for giving your natural supplies extra oomph. Otherwise, a balanced diet with adequate protein, whether that’s plant-based or animal, will keep your natural collagen levels topped up.
When should we start?
Natural collagen production decreases from age 20, after which it is estimated a person produces about 1% less collagen in the skin each year, so the sooner you start looking after your skin, the better. ‘Prevention is better than cure,’ says Dr Neuser. ‘Instead of waiting for the damage to be done, collagen is something you can start protecting from a young age. It’s never too soon to take care of your skin.’
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