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There are three major components of our skin: collagen, elastin and Glycosaminoglycans. Collagen is by far the largest, with more than 80% (dry weight) of our skin being comprised of it. Collagen provides strength for the skin’s tissue while elastin allows skin to stretch and recoil.
Collagen also protects structures by preventing absorption and spreading of pathogenic substances, environmental toxins, micro-organisms and cancerous cells. Reduced collagen means wrinkles. Collagen protein is the glue that holds everything together. So it isn’t surprising that, as we age, a common lament is “everything is falling apart.” Happily, there’s no need to be glue-less if you get clued up on the right collagen boosters.
Collagen is a protein made up of amino-acids, specifically glycine, proline, hydroxyproline and arginine. So, looking for beauty products with these amino acids is a good place to start. There are also ingredients with tangible research showing their effect on collagen, such as Matrixyl, which researchers have shown can nearly double collagen, and copper peptides, which can increase collagen by 70% and also remove damaged collagen. And when you put copper with red LED, it becomes even more effective. With these actives in mind, here are the anti-aging products that I currently consider to be the Five Best for boosting collagen.
BRAD Biophotonic Sublime Youth Creator Gel-Cream
BRAD Biophotonic Sublime Youth Creator Gel-Cream ($245 in the shop) is an excellent and unusual serum that has a gel-like texture and hits the main collagen boosting bases with the key amino acids glycine, proline and arginine. It also has Matrixyl 3000, the big sister to the proven collagen booster, Matrixyl, mentioned above. One of the other stars of Sublime’s show is a stem cell derived from a kind of daisy that protects the skin’s own stem cells and stimulates sirtuin-1 (an enzyme that contributes to the longevity of cells). With a touch of retinol, Sublime is also a helpful skin brightener. Numerous botanicals include pansy, the extract of which is thought to increase blood flow while reducing inflammation.
Sciote Peptide+Defense Firming Youth Serum
Sciote Peptide+Defense Firming Youth Serum ($98 in the shop) also focuses on amino acids and Matrixyl 3000. The formula is rounded out with a botanical alternative to hyaluronic acid that is extracted from an Asian herb, cassia angustifolia. In addition to collagen boosting, skin’s surface is smoother and more hydrated. Our tester, Cindy, was able to replace three serums (AHA, antioxidant and hyaluronic acid) with Sciote.
Snowberry New Radiance Face Serum
Snowberry New Radiance Face Serum ($46 in the shop) is a blessedly simple formula that focuses on collagen-building copper peptides. There is sodium hyaluronate and glycerine to moisturize the skin. An interesting addition is gluconolactone, an antioxidant that attracts water to hydrate and can also protect from UV radiation. Snowberry’s New Radiance is a well-priced collagen essential.
Medik8 Firewall ($145 in the shop) is a collagen heavy-hitter, with copper peptides and Matrixyl 3000. Indeed, there are several forms of copper in Firewall; copper is the key mineral in lysyl oxidase, an enzyme that weaves together collagen and elastin. There are many other interesting ingredients including cysteine, which helps synthesize glutathione, one of the body’s most important natural antioxidants and detoxifiers. And, by the way, as a wrinkle eraser, Medik8 Firewall quite simply works.
Red LED light with Truth Renew
Research has shown that copper peptides and red LED light make a powerful combination. Red light alone maintains fibroblast activity and increased collagen synthesis. When used with copper peptides, collagen 1 expression increases even more. So, whip out those LED devices – in particular, the Red LED light with Truth Renew ($109 in the shop). Truth Renew also has green and blue LED light, with ultrasound (which also increases fibroblastic activity and collagen formation).