“Collagen banking” is a catchy way to refer to the process of boosting collagen production so that you maintain more of it in your skin later in life. In search of smooth skin for all age groups has made this term increasingly well-known, especially as millennials grow more aware of how important it is to take care of your skin while you’re young.
Collagen is the naturally occurring structural protein found in skin that acts as a scaffold, providing not only volume, but also smooth, wrinkle-free skin. Environmental factors such as sun exposure, stress, pollution and other toxins can break down collagen over time. Additionally, with age, we lose the ability to regularly regenerate new collagen, starting around the age of 25. Our collagen levels continue to drop with each year that passes, which is what leads to wrinkles, dry and/or sagging skin, and the other typical signs of aging.
Taking a proactive approach to mitigating the loss of collagen production is essential because the earlier you start, the stronger your skin foundation will be. Starting collagen-boosting treatments in your 20s can potentially save you time and money, instead of starting treatments in your 50s, when the signs of aging will be much harder to reverse. Furthermore, collagen isn’t just good for the skin – it supports healthy hair, nails, joints, and energy levels.
Our Suggestions for Preserving and Banking Collagen in the Face
- 20s: Always wear SPF, introduce and protect collagen with a topical vitamin C, never smoke, and stop if you do.
- 30s: Consider treatments such as chemical peels, microneedling, and topical retinoids, which is the gold standard ingredient for topical stimulation of collagen.
- 40s: Ultherapy is the only FDA approved device to bring back your jawline non-invasively. It also produces a burst of new collagen and lasts for up to two years. Pack in some peptides with products that support DNA repair and elasticity support. Load up on the lean protein.
- 50s: Regular skin-care treatments, IPL for pigment, redness and broken capillaries. Keep moving, because exercise is so beneficial to maintain healthy skin and collagen, Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, follow a well-guided skin-care routine, and – yes – keep applying the SPF.
Treatments for Banking Collagen
- Microneedling: Stimulates collagen by producing growth factors caused by the body responding to the tiny needles gently pricking the skin.
- Ultherapy: Ultrasound technology that lifts and tightens skin.
- LED light therapy: Specifically red light therapy; protects existing collagen and encourages new collagen.
Think of your body’s collagen levels starting off as a pristine pond. The pond starts to dry up over time – because of environmental stressors, pollution, and sun exposure – until there’s hardly any water (and clean water at that) left in the pond! Instead of waiting to fix the condition of the pond until it’s almost helpless, start early – do the same with your body’s collagen.
You’ll be thanking yourself years down the road.