Isn’t it amazing how technology is continuously evolving, all with a singular focus: stimulating collagen. This progress is all aimed at helping us achieve and maintain youthful skin, emphasizing just how crucial collagen is.
Why is collagen so important? What is collagen?
Collagen is a fundamental structural protein present in various tissues throughout our bodies. It has a presence in our skin, hair, nails, tendons, cartilage, and bones. Together with other essential substances like hyaluronic acid and elastin, collagen plays a pivotal role in preserving the elasticity, volume and hydration of the skin. Furthermore, it contributes to the formation of key proteins such as keratin, which are vital for the constitution of skin, hair and nails.
In our skin, most of the collagen is located within the dermis, which is the second layer of skin situated beneath the epidermis. The dermis is not only the primary location of collagen, but also where it is naturally produced. Specialised skin cells known as fibroblasts within the dermis are responsible for the synthesis of collagen.
Our bodies have a natural mechanism to produce collagen by utilizing amino acids derived from protein-rich or collagen-rich foods such as bone broth, meat, and fish. However, factors like the aging process, exposure to the sun, smoking and alcohol consumption can all impede the body’s collagen production.
We lose between 1 to 1.5% of collagen every year after the age of 20. Hence, in your late 30s to early 40s, you have 75% of your peak collagen levels. This explains why fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin become more apparent as we grow older.
Throughout time, people have been exploring various methods to enhance collagen production as a means to maintain youthfulness. Two widely available and frequently considered options are collagen skin care products and oral collagen supplement. However, the question remains: do they deliver on their promises?
Collagen skin care?
There is no scientific evidence to suggest that applying collagen topically can promote the synthesis or development of collagen within the skin. This is primarily due to the fact that collagen molecules are complex.
They are too large to effectively penetrate the outermost layer of your skin, the epidermis. They are even less capable of reaching the dermis, where true skin rejuvenation occurs. While collagen creams may provide a pleasant moisturizing effect and leave your skin feeling soft temporarily, their benefits are limited to the skin’s surface and are not long-lasting.
To address the challenge of collagen molecule size, many modern skin care products that promote collagen as a key ingredient typically feature hydrolysed collagen or collagen peptides. Hydrolysed collagen undergoes a process where it is broken down into smaller chains of amino acids known as peptides.
Do oral collagen supplements work?
The effectiveness of oral collagen supplements is a topic of ongoing research and debate. The idea behind collagen supplements is to provide your body with the building blocks it needs to produce collagen. These supplements typically come in the form of pills, capsules, powders or even drinks.
Some studies suggest that oral collagen supplements may have benefits for skin health. They have been associated with increased skin hydration, improved elasticity and a reduction in the appearance of wrinkles in some individuals. However, the results can vary from person to person, and not all studies have shown significant improvements. In other words, there is not enough evidence to suggest that taking collagen supplements will make a difference.
Keep in mind that collagen is a large molecule, and our bodies cannot absorb collagen in its whole form. When you consume it orally, it needs to be broken down into peptides so it can be absorbed through your gut and enter the bloodstream. These peptides may be broken down further into the foundational components required for creating proteins like keratin, which help form skin, hair and nails. Alternatively, these peptides may form collagen, which can be deposited in various bodily structures, including cartilage, bone, muscle, or tendons. To date, scientific research has not definitely demonstrated that orally consumed collagen will end up in your skin. Also, there are multiple factors that can influence the effectiveness of collagen supplements including the type of collagen used, the dosage, and the individual’s age and overall health.
If your aim is to enhance skin texture, boost elasticity, and reduce wrinkles, your most effective strategies involve prioritizing sun protection and incorporating topical retinoids or retinol into your skin care routine as substantial research has consistently shown the effectiveness of these approaches. Another tip to support collagen production in your body is by eating a balanced diet rich in vitamin C, which is essential for collagen synthesis.
Nevertheless, lifestyle and dietary choices may not offer the sustained support required to preserve optimal collagen levels. Besides, the natural aging process can impact fat distribution and bone structure, leading to noticeable changes in your facial aesthetics. This might include a reduction in volume in areas like the cheeks, temples, and forehead, along with the emergence of more pronounced wrinkles and fine lines. Or perhaps, if you have always been concerned about certain facial features and wish to refine or enhance them, why not consider addressing these areas by both enhancing volume and stimulating collagen production at the same time?
In the world of non-surgical cosmetic enhancements, we are truly spoiled for choice with a diverse range of injectable treatments. When people discuss dermal fillers, there is often a misconception that all dermal fillers are identical. In fact, these fillers, come in a variety of types, each with its own unique composition.
You have probably heard quite a bit about hyaluronic acid fillers, and for good reason. They are a go-to choice for many, and there is significant advantage to them- safe and reversible by hyaluronidase, which is an enzyme that is able to break down hyaluronic acid when needed.
Now, let’s get to the exciting part. Beyond hyaluronic acid fillers, there is a whole other category of dermal fillers that don’t just stop at “filling”. They bring a little something extra to the table- rejuvenation. In this blog, we are going to shine a spotlight on Radiesse and Ellansé.
Radiesse as Collagen Stimulator
While the majority of dermal fillers are composed of hyaluronic acid, Radiesse utilizes a unique ingredient called calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA) microspheres that are suspended in a gel-like solution. The microspheres are similar in composition to minerals found naturally in human bones, rendering it safe for use in cosmetic procedures.
What sets Radiesse apart from other ordinary dermal filler is its dual action, combining instant gratification with extended and progressive benefits. It is FDA-approved for its immediate results plus long-term improvement.
The process begins with the immediate plumping effect of the filler, providing instant volume to the treated area. CaHA particles integrate into your skin and create a "scaffold" that provides mechanical stimuli, triggering fibroblast to produce collagen and elastin. Over the course of time, the CaHA microspheres gradually break down, while collagen and elastin production continues to increase, replacing the correction provided by the gel carrier. As a result, natural and sustained rejuvenation is achieved with lesser fine lines and renewed skin structure.
Radiesse offers flexibility in its application. It can be administered in both undiluted and diluted forms, each serving a distinct purpose. Undiluted Radiesse excels in plumping and smoothing the skin. On the other hand, when employed in a diluted form, its primary role shifts to skin rejuvenation. This means that if you prefer to avoid the pronounced ‘filling’ effect, Radiesse for skin rejuvenation remains a highly viable and sought- after treatment choice.
Is it less likely to migrate, cause foreign body reactions, or make your skin inflamed compared to other dermal fillers. Plus, Radiesse is less painful because it has a small amount of lidocaine in it.
Here are some of the uses of Radiesse:
Smoothing moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds
Radiesse is effective in addressing facial wrinkles and deeper folds, including nasolabial folds, the prominent creases that extend from the corner of your nose to the corner of your mouth.
Enhancing cheek volume
It is a favored choice for augmenting and rejuvenating cheek volume, reinstating youthful contours to the midface.
Correcting volume loss in the back of hands
Beyond facial applications, Radiesse is uniquely suited for restoring volume loss in the hands, effectively combating the telltale signs of aging on this often- neglected area.
Forehead and temples
The appearance of aging can be exacerbated by a sunken or hollowed look in the forehead and temples. Radiesse provides a solution by allowing for injections that effectively restore volume in these areas. Forehead fine lines can also be improved due to increased collagen production induced by Radiesse.
Radiesse offers a versatile solution for refining and sculpting the jawline, aiding in achieving a more defined facial profile.
Combatting acne scars
Atrophic acne scars develop when there is significant destruction of collagen in the dermis caused by inflammation. Radiesse, with its capacity to stimulate collagen production, proves to be a valuable adjunct in the treatment of atrophic acne scars.
Neck and décolletage
Similarly to the back of hands, Radiesse can be injected to these easily neglected area for rejuvenation.
Once administered, it is not dissolvable and provides lasting results, typically spanning a duration of 12 to 18 months, making it a compelling choice for those seeking enduring and natural-looking enhancements.
These are the before and after photos of some of our clients:
The images displayed above depict the condition of the hand before and after undergoing Radiesse treatment. In the initial photo, you can observe wrinkled skin and noticeable loss of volume, which emphasizes the visibility of veins and tendons. However, in the subsequent photo, taken following a single Radiesse treatment, you can appreciate a significant enhancement in both volume and skin quality of the hand. The after photo undeniably presents a rejuvenated appearance, resembling that of a younger hand.
This is the comparison of nasolabial folds before and after Radiesse treatment. It shows noticeable reduction in the prominence of folds.
The lady above experienced a loss of volume in her cheek area, accompanied by sagging of superficial fat pad and skin laxity, which contributed to the prominence of her nasolabial fold, marionette lines, and jowling. A combined treatment approach involving Ultherapy and Radiesse synergistically produced a rejuvenating effect, resulting in a more lifted facial appearance with reduced prominence of folds and lines.
Ellansé as Collagen stimulator
Ellansé is another brand of filler that combines a unique ingredient- polycaprolactone (PCL), a bioresorbable polymer known for its ability to stimulate collagen, with a carboxymethylcellulose (CMC)-based carrier gel. Ellansé delivers immediate results, offering a visible lift and volume to the treated areas while activating body’s collagen production mechanisms. As time progresses, the polycaprolactone microspheres in Ellansé gradually degrade. Yet, what lingers is a rejuvenated and collagen-rich foundation within the skin’s structure. This natural replenishment of collagen is the reason behind Ellansé’s long- lasting results.
In terms of longevity, Ellansé S provides result that persists for up to one year, while Ellansé M takes it a step further, offering result up to two years.
Now, you might wonder, how does Ellansé differ from Radiesse?
Unlike Radiesse, we lack the option to dilute Ellansé to mitigate its plumping effect. In essence, Ellansé behaves much like other dermal fillers, delivering that sought-after plumping action, but with collagen stimulation.
To conclude, both Radiesse and Ellansé are dermal filler and biostimulator that offer natural-looking, long-lasting results. If you are looking to rejuvenate your appearance without surgery and enjoy the benefits of increased collagen production, Radiesse and Ellansé could be the solution you have been seeking. However, eventhough Radiesse and Ellansé are versatile treatments, they may not be suitable for every area of the face. We value your individual needs and during your consultation with us, we will carefully assess your facial features to create a tailored plan that best suits you.
Many individuals mistakenly believe that biostimulators are solely for older individuals. In fact, even at a young age, you can invest in preserving your collagen because collagen depletion begins as early as the age of 20.
Age is just a number, and beauty is timeless. With technology at our disposal, why not embrace and relish its benefits?