Your skin goes through a lot of changes over time. As infants, our skin is as soft as it will ever be thanks to a combination of factors. As children, it is a little less soft, but still remains softer than when we’re adults. There is a simple, gradual shift until our skin just seems to age away from us. Age is a complex problem that people are still trying to figure out how to solve, but we understand what happens to the skin as it ages. Skin stops retaining moisture as well as we age. This is why we use moisturizers routinely. Similarly, our skin gradually stops being able to repair itself quite so well as the production of collagen and elastin stop. Gradually, the youthful firmness and suppleness fade as there are far lesser materials available to keep the skin looking the way we like. Those wanting a better understanding of how aging impacts their skin through collagen loss might want to keep reading.
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is, in essence, one of the most important proteins in your skin. It helps to bind the layers of your skin together as well as offering a means to maintain the structure. Collagen is what keeps your skin firm when we’re young and let the skin heal from wounds by filling back in damaged areas. There is no way to understate its relevance when it comes to our appearance and the health of our skin. Many products exist to nourish your skin with nutrients that boost your skin’s ability to produce collagen. This is because your body has more and more difficulty maintaining the same levels of collagen production as you age. It continues to make it at a steady rate, but the rate slows until the damage to your skin is greater than the skin’s ability to repair the damage. This is when our skin begins to lose its firmness.
Why Do We Eventually Have Trouble Making Collagen?
The difficulty involved in maintaining collagen production is one part of the problem of aging. It is a bit difficult to pin it down to any one cause as the science of aging is, in a way, still in its infancy as people try to figure out how to model the cause of aging. One popular view has it that the problem is related to cell replication in the body. Your cells continually split to replace old, dying cells with new, healthy cells. This is especially true in your skin where a regular turnover rate for cells is key to keeping your skin healthy. Each time the cells split it may be shortening the telomeres in the cells and the cell’s overall lifespan. Collagen needs constant production and, as a result, this may be the cause of the degradation. However, this isn’t the only proposed reason. Others suggest that chronic free radical damage is the cause. The slow damage to the cells from free radicals ostensibly make it harder and harder for the skin to repair both the mechanisms of repair and repair the skin in general. Regardless of the reason, collagen production necessarily decreases with age.
What Can I Do?
Eat right. One of the best things you can do for your skin is to eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetable. Dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale are particularly potent sources of nutrients and antioxidants to help your body. Many of the nutrients are known to help boost collagen production in the skin as well. You can get a similar benefit from carrots, red peppers, citrus fruits, and other colorful foods. A varied, complex, and healthy diet will do wonders for helping your skin and your body over the long term. Additionally, you should look into anti-aging products rich in vitamins A, C, and E to help boost your skin’s overall health. Vitamin C is a particular powerful anti-aging ingredient known to provide a noticeable boost to collagen production.
Your skin will inevitably stop being able to produce as much collagen as you age. This gradual decline is why our skin loses its firmness with age. You can work to age gracefully and prevent the issue from becoming overly obvious while maintaining your skin’s health by taking appropriate actions though. A healthy diet combined with proper product use can help you maintain a timeless look for years to come. After all, you may not be able to stop the loss of collagen, but you can certainly decrease the rate at which you lose it.