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Collagen is a protein that's important for the skin 1. There are a number of different types of collagen. The amount and quality of collagen in your skin significantly affects your appearance. Soluble collagen is designed to easily pass through the skin’s pores.
Collagen is a mesh of fibers in the skin 1. It has high quantities of four amino acids, proline, lysine, hydroxylysine and hydroxyproline, according to Smart Skincare 2. There are 12 different types of collagen throughout the body. Type 1 and 2 are the most abundant in the skin. The amount of collagen in your skin begins to decline as you age. Skin collagen Type 2 begins to decline as the body stops growing, but Type 1 increases until age 35. Then Type 1 also starts to decline.
Collagen is an ingredient in many face lotions and creams 2. Their manufacturers often claim that these creams firm the skin and reduce the effects of aging as the collagen is absorbed by the skin 2. Actually, the collagen molecules contained in most of these creams are much too large to pass through the skin’s pores and so are unable to penetrate the surface of the skin, says Smart Skincare 12.
Some cosmetics include soluble or hydrolyzed collagen. In this case, the collagen molecules have been broken down into much smaller fragments, which are able to penetrate the skin’s surface. According to Smart Skincare, even when this form of collagen enters the skin, the molecule fragments are too small to be able to integrate with the skin’s own collagen 12.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the most effective way to supplement the skin’s collagen is by means of collagen injections. The collagen contained in these injections may come from a number of sources, such as cow skin, pig skin or human skin. This type of treatment is used to repair acne and scars on the face. I most cases the collagen remains in the skin for about six months and is then absorbed by the skin, and its effects slowly disappear.
Side effects of collagen injections may include sore red bumps on the skin, skin ulcerations and permanent scarring 4. These types of effects happen to about 2 percent of people who have collagen injections, according to A Board Certified Plastic Surgeon 4.
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