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Your skin is a highly efficient network of parts, all of which work together to keep your skin glowing — that being said, collagen does more than just pull its own weight. It's an essential building block that keeps skin visibly firm and plump while shielding it from the look of wrinkles and fine lines.
But how exactly does collagen do all that for your skin? And what's more, how does it factor into the myriad lotions, creams and serums that line beauty aisles? Here's a breakdown of collagen benefits for skin — and we're diving beyond skin deep.
Collagen is a structural protein that your body produces naturally. If you think of our skin as a mattress, collagen would be the springs and internal framework on which everything else is built — take away this supportive base framework, and your mattress will sag and lose its cushioning.
Similarly, collagen's long, rope-like fibers are woven together to form a mesh-like structure that helps keep skin visibly firm and supple. As this structure degrades, skin begins to lose its cushioning and has a harder time bouncing back from small, repeated movements such as laughing and blinking. This leads to the look of fine lines, wrinkles, crepey areas and sagging over time.
Most experts agree that natural collagen loss begins as early as age 20. Sun exposure, smoking and a poor diet can speed up this process even further. So, what's one to do?
In an ideal world, skincare formulators could deliver collagen molecules deep within skin's surface with a topical product — like they can with hyaluronic acid or vitamin C — and live happily ever after. Unfortunately, collagen molecules are simply too large to absorb within skin's surface, meaning that topical skincare products enriched with collagen physically cannot deliver deep within skin's surface.
Since conventional collagen molecules are too large to absorb within your skin's surface, some products use hydrolyzed collagen — collagen that has been enzymatically broken down into smaller fragments. In addition, other skincare ingredients are needed to target collagen depleted skin for younger-looking skin.
Try adding a product like Neutrogena Rapid Firming™ Collagen Triple Lift Serum to your routine to deliver pure low molecular weight collagen to the skin. This product contains a Triple Action Collagen Formula that combines pure low molecular weight collagen with AHP amino acid and an amino sugar to complement skin's natural firming support and visibly restore skin's taut, youthful appearance.
Collagen works most effectively as a team player. Take vitamin C and retinol — rather than delivering collagen to your skin, these powerhouse ingredients help keep your skin looking healthy by targeting the visible effects of collagen depleted skin.
All of this ties back to good skincare habits. Remember to lean on the protective powers of antioxidants and sunscreen, both of which are crucial in slowing down the visible signs of aging. Prevention, as always, is easier and more efficient than the cure!