When we’re young, our skin has a youthful-looking firmness, something that gradually gives way to laxity as we age. This is also when wrinkles start to set in and all have to do with collagen.
A protein that occurs naturally in our bodies, collagen exists in our bones, muscles, tendons and skin. We have a lot of collagen when we’re younger, but our supply begins to dwindle as the years march on. Alas, as its collagen that gives our skin its strength and structure, this is why we end up losing tone.
While the gradual decline of collagen is to be expected, there are things you can do to speed up its decline. These include exposing your skin to cigarette smoke, air pollution and damaging free radicals, but the biggest culprit is unprotected sun exposure. This is why it’s essential to wear a high sun protection factor every day, preferably one that includes antioxidants, if you want to avoid premature ageing.
Boost what you’ve got
Preserving your collagen supply is a must, but you can also boost what you’ve got by encouraging your existing stash to multiply, and there are lots of ways to do it.
One is to ensure you’re using firming-focused skincare products that contain proven collagen-encouraging ingredients. These include retinol, vitamin C, glycolic acid, growth factors and certain peptides. This is something you can do at home, although it’s always a good idea to get expert advice so consider popping into Skin Renewal with your current skincare. One of our highly-trained therapists can take a look at what you’re using and suggest more effective medical grade products that will give you more collagen-boosting bang for your buck.
An even bigger boost
The right skin care is essential, but there’s only so much it can do. So, if you’re serious about keeping your skin firm-looking for longer, then you’ll want to invest in our SkinTightening & Anti-Ageing solutions, a selection of in-office treatment packages that will have a much more profound impact when it comes to creating more collagen.
When it comes to skin tightening, one of our most popular treatments that can be used on any skin type is Dermapen skinneedling. Quick enough to do in your lunch hour yet very effective, we perform this procedure with great success and, while we can still needle skin using a roller, Dermapen is our weapon of choice.
As the electric pen’s needle is injected up and down at a rapid pace instead of going in at an angle as it would with a traditional roller, the Dermapen creates more punctures per square centimetre. It can also get into hard-to-reach areas like around your nose and, because the needle length is adjustable, so is the treatment’s intensity level.
Wait! Did you say ‘punctures’?
While the treatment sounds dramatic, it’s not. Creating tiny little wounds triggers your skin to repair itself, and this involves the production of more collagen. However, as these punctures are so tiny, they won’t be visible to the eye and heal within 24 hours. While you might bleed a little bit during your treatment and then leave the office looking as though you’ve been sunburned, this will subside within a day or two.
Another thing you don’t have to worry about is pain as we apply a topical anaesthetic beforehand. You can also wear make-up the very next day but, if you don’t want to leave the clinic without a bit of coverage, we can apply a little Lycogel, a soothing, ‘breathable’ post-treatment foundation that minimises redness and encourages healing.
A few days after the procedure your skin might feel a little drier or ‘tighter’ than usual and might even develop a slightly rough texture due to micro-scabbing, but don’t worry about it. This phase is incredibly short lived and while you might feel it if you run your fingers over your skin, nobody will able to see it. Within a day - or two at the very longest - it will be gone.
More good news? While skin needling’s collagen-boosting effect is fantastic for improving skin firmness and wrinkles, it can also help minimise the look of acne scarring and pigmentation and be done on any skin type.
More is more
Skin needling is a great way to firm up lax skin but, as we said, it’s not the only way. At Skin Renewal, we believe in taking a 3D approach to problem-solving. If you use several different treatments that complement and enhance one another, you can tackle an issue from multiple angles, and this is what delivers dramatically more visible results.
For this reason, our skin needling treatment forms part of several Skin Tightening & Anti-Ageing solutions and, as these range from mild to intensive, you can pick one depending on the severity of your situation. For example, our Classic Skin Tightening & Anti-Ageing solution includes skin needling and the application of a brightening serum making it an excellent choice for a younger patient wanting to put a bit more collagen in the bank while also minimising the look of pigmentation. Boosting your collagen supply from as young an age as possible is ideal as the more collagen you already have, the more new collagen you can grow.
Still, it’s never too late to make a difference. You’ll just need a more intensive treatment, something like this solution’s Executive version. It includes skin needling plus two other collagen-encouraging treatments - multipolarradiofrequency treatment and carboxytherapy - making it the perfect pick for someone who’s already starting to experience a visible lack of firmness.
The bottom line
As the year's tick by, our skin is destined to lose its natural tone, but there’s a lot we can do to keep it looking firmer for longer. At home, this means preserving our natural collagen supply by avoiding things that degrade it, with the unprotected sun being the biggest offender.
You can also make even more significant strides in the quest for a firmer-looking face by making an appointment to see one of our highly-skilled doctors. They can ensure you’re using medical grade skincare options proven to preserve and improve your skin’s collagen content. Better yet, they can also help you ‘turbo boost’ it via an array of solutions that include skin needling. To learn more about our Skin Tightening & Anti-Ageing solutions, visit www.skinrenewal.co.za.