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Collagen is our most abundant protein, accounting for around 30% of the protein content of the human body. Collagen gives skin its elasticity and strength. It’s inevitable degradation as we age causes wrinkles. There are anti-aging products that contain collagen (usually animal or fish derived), but I am not fully convinced that dabbing collagen on our skin, begets more collagen. However, there are clues as to what to look out for in the building blocks of collagen in our bodies. For example proline, an amino acid, makes up 17% of collagen; and vitamin C is important to collagen formation. Certain growth factors and synthetics peptides, such as Matrixyl, have research backup showing their impact on collagen production. So here are my Five Best with collagen-boosting actives.
Osmotics Micro Peel Skin Resurfacing System
Osmotics Micro Peel Skin Resurfacing System ($86 in the shop). On the box of this three-part system, it says that it visibly reduces fine lines and wrinkles – and it does. After the charcoal mask (which I love using), there’s the Collagen Boosting Micro Peel. Although the primary actives here are the exfoliating AHAs, there are some interesting botanicals. Spondias mombin is rich in potassium and calcium. Impressive is plantain, which studies show has an antioxidant effect four times stronger than vitamin C. There’s also mango, an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, as well as cactus pear.
Your Best Face Control
Your Best Face Control ($160 in the shop). YBF Control is packed to the brim with powerful anti-aging ingredients and two in particular weigh in on the collagen front. Relistase is actually a tripeptide and inhibits elastase activity and boosts collagen 1 synthesis. Matrixyl 3000 is a combination of two peptides: a palmitoyl tripeptide and a palmitoyl tetrapeptide. They are supposed work synergistically to mimic the appearance of this broken down collagen, causing your skin to react by producing more collagen, as well as elastin. Meanwhile independent researchers found that Matrixyl can nearly double the amount of collagen needed to give skin its elasticity. There’s 5% YBF Control in our Ultra Renew Gel for use with Ultra Renew Plus or Sculpt.
Ultra Renew Plus
Ultra Renew Plus ($149 in the shop). With LED light therapy and ultrasound, our at home device has technologies with a proven track record in encouraging collagen formation. Researchers, such as these in Denmark, established that LED boosts collagen. Ultrasound works is that the ultrasound energy causes rapid oscillation of tissue and this promotes movement of fluid waves against cells. This action facilitates movement between the inner and outer cells and thereby increasing fibroblastic activity and collagen formation.
ReLuma Skin Illuminating Serum
ReLuma Skin Illuminating Serum ($145 in the shop). ReLuma products, use human-derived cytokines that stimulate our own fibroblasts, the cells that synthesize the extracellular matrix and collagen, explains Habib Torfi, the company’s founder. There are many different growth factors (cytokines) in Reluma and they all signal cells to do different things. For example, take TGF-B. The expression TGF-B is induced during wound healing and studies show that it can increase collagen and fibronectin.
Medik8 CE-Tetra ($140 in the shop). I am using this to repair sun damage on my neck, and I am excited by the results. This pared back formula has vitamins C and E and that’s about it. What makes Medik8’s vitamin C serum a standout is that it has a 7% concentration of tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate. A study published in Dermatologic Surgery said that it "penetrates directly into the epidermis and dermis, acting both as an antioxidant and a direct stimulant of new collagen."