Understanding the main reasons that your skin collagen declines over your lifetime will help you figure out how you can support your skin collagen naturally.
Main Reasons for Skin Collagen Decline
Collagen loss from aging is called intrinsic skin aging. All other causes of collagen loss and skin aging are termed extrinsic skin aging.
Intrinsic skin aging is an inevitable consequence of life. Collagen-producing cells (fibroblasts) age over the years and produce less collagen. There are fewer fibroblasts in the dermis over time. With age, collagen and elastin, as well as other components of skin responsible for youthful appearing skin such as hyaluronic acid, degrade over time. Skin becomes flaccid and less able to hold water. The ultimate result is the development of creepy skin with fine lines and wrinkles.
How do you know how much of your skin aging is due simply to age?
Scientists estimate that only about 3% of skin aging is due to intrinsic aging. The rest is due to extrinsic factors – which are more likely to be under your control. Said another way, you have the leverage to influence as much as 97% of how your skin ages.
2. UV Damage (also called photoaging)
UV damage is the main cause of skin collagen loss accounting for up to 80-90% of the appearance of skin aging. UV exposure causes less collagen to be produced, and it also increases collagen degradation via matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and other proteases in the skin. Proteases are enzymes that degrade proteins like collagen and elastin.
Daily use of broad-spectrum sunscreen on exposed skin and wearing a hat, sun-protective clothing, and staying out of the direct sun are proven strategies to fend off collagen decline from UV exposure.
Smoking has long been associated with facial wrinkling and poor wound healing. Smoking leads to about 20% fewer collagen syntheses and a huge increase in collagen breakdown enzyme activity in the skin. Free radicals are also involved in smoking-induced premature skin aging and collagen breakdown.
4. Diets that Trigger Inflammation
Your diet can create metabolic inflammation in your body’s physiology. This inflammation, in turn, leads to accelerated skin aging. The term ‘inflammaging’ is the acceleration of the overall aging process due to chronic low-grade physiologic inflammation. It explains the elevated risk of heart disease, type II diabetes, and skin aging due to diet and lifestyle factors that promote metabolic inflammation.
Diets that are high in animal products, simple carbohydrates, and sugars will activate inflammaging.
Diets that include more fresh fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, nuts, legumes, and healthy fats such as olive oil will help you to resist inflammaging in your entire body – including your skin.
Research has confirmed skin, which is the largest organ of the body, is an organ that perceives stress. Repeated short-term stress induces ROS/free radical production and decreases your antioxidant reserve. Chronic stress leads to chronic immune dysfunction and increased production of free radicals and DNA damage which are known to lead to skin aging. The exact mechanisms are not entirely worked on.
6. Airborne Pollution
Airborne pollution particle exposure from traffic leads to free radical production, antioxidant depletion, and MMP induced skin collagen breakdown.
Passing through menopause, either naturally or medically, or surgically induced causes a reduction in skin collagen. As much as 30% of dermal collagen is lost in the first 5 years of menopause followed by about 2% per year over the next 20 years.
There are proven diet and lifestyle tips that will help you maintain healthy skin collagen, which in turn will keep your skin youthful and prevent premature skin aging. You learn fragments of the skin collagen-loss story when you shop for skincare products or read health, beauty, and wellness media.
Still, the best way to help the health of your skin collagen is to consult with an expert dermatologist for proper care and treatments, if necessary.
Schedule a derma consultation with us! Call our Patient Care Lines: (+632) 7-368 5238 l (+63) 917 862 7454 l (+63) 921 217 0517 for inquiries, questions, and appointments or talk to our consultants via LiveChat here on our website.