As the largest organ in your body, skin is tasked with containing and protecting virtually all other systems in your body. It makes sense, then, that more than 80% of your skin’s composition is made up of a protein that helps provide structure and connect your skin. It’s called collagen.
Collagen works in conjunction with elastin, another protein, and between the two, they help give skin its supple, youthful appearance. Over time, however, your body naturally makes less collagen, and both proteins are vulnerable to environmental exposure to sunshine and pollutants.
Caring for your skin and avoiding the effects of aging often means supporting and protecting your stores of collagen and elastin. While time eventually wins the battle, you can slow its progression. When you need some aesthetic assistance, Alexis Furze, MD, and his team are ready to help with dermal fillers and Botox® injectables to give your skin a smoothing lift.
Collagen and elastin reside in your skin’s middle layer, called the dermis. This is the thickest of the three layers, accounting for about 90% of your skin’s thickness. There’s a lot going on in this layer, as it’s home to hair, oil, sweat glands, nerves, and blood vessels.
Collagen helps support all of these elements. It normally forms in a matrix of cells called fibroblasts, where skin repair and restoration occurs.
Elastin helps provide this collagen matrix with flexibility. It stretches and contracts, allowing skin to hold its original shape. Between elastin and collagen, your skin is well-protected against the elements.
The effects of oxidation
Ultraviolet (UV) content of sunlight is an enemy of the dermis. Since UV components can penetrate the outer layer of your skin, collagen and elastin are both susceptible to changes caused by such exposure. Exposure to UV content can damage the molecular structure in a process called oxidative stress, or oxidation.
However, UV light isn’t the only thing that can cause oxidation. Smoke, pollution, and chemicals can produce similar effects. Together, these elements can break down collagen and elastin.
Protecting your skin
When it comes to protecting your skin, the goal should be to safeguard the collagen and elastin content in your skin. Toward that end, here are some things you can do.
Use sunscreens and other products with a sun protection factor (SPF), which can help block UV light and thereby limit its ability to break down tissue in the dermis. Moving to higher SPF values can offer even more protection.
Furthermore, some antioxidant skin care products can improve the efficiency of SPF products and also limit the damage that oxidizers can create. Vitamin C products are among the most researched and trusted.
Also, get plenty of restful sleep. Why? Because the fibroblast network in collagen helps restore skin naturally as you sleep. So keep a good sleep schedule, as this can help protect the integrity of your dermis layer.
And, if you want to see if aesthetic injectable treatments can help your skin, we have you covered. We can go over your treatment options to help your skin look its best. To learn more, call 949-205-7745 to book an appointment with the practice of Alexis Furze, MD, today.