How do you rate the collagen and elastin enhancers that are on the market? Are any of the topically applied creams really helpful? Or is it all just a bunch of advertising hype? Here are the facts.
The elastic fibers, within the dermis layer of our skin, are composed of proteins, primarily collagen, although elastin is important, as well. Specific cofactors are necessary for the body to produce strong elastic fibers. Vitamin C, for example, is essential. Without it, the entire body suffers.
For many years, researchers have tried to determine if there was a way to stimulate the body’s natural ability to produce new elastic fibers for several reasons. First, it is important for burn victims and people suffering from similar injuries. Second is the decreased production of those fibers that occurs due to age.
Some of the compounds that have been shown to stimulate the production of new fibers include:
Protein bound to small amounts of copper and zinc, also shown to stimulate the production of new epidermal cells, the outer layer.
Avocado oil, due to the variety of antioxidants and other nutrients it contains.
So, when you rate the collagen and elastin enhancers that are meant to be applied topically, those are two of the ingredients to look for. But, a specific kind of protein has proven most beneficial.
The elastic fibers are located six or seven layers deep. The outer layer is composed of keratin-containing cells. For many years, cosmetic companies have attempted to find a way to supplement the skin’s keratin content. The problem is that keratin is hard in nature. Trying to soften it, without denaturalizing it, has been challenging.
When we rate the collagen and elastin enhancers, at least most of them, the proteins that are found in them are denaturalized. The ingredients usually include some form of collagen-gel. While the elastic fibers are primarily composed of that protein, there is no way for those gels to penetrate down through six or seven layers to support or supplement the elastic fibers.
Other ingredients have been formulated to penetrate that deeply and those are a big help. Just recently one research group found a way to soften keratin, gently, without denaturalizing it. Since it is the major component of the skin’s outer layers and is responsible for pulling moisture into the cells, it helps to improve firmness.
But, there is another reason that we always rate the collagen and elastin enhancers containing that type of keratin highly. It contains small amounts of copper and zinc. Research shows that it does stimulate the production of new fibers and new cells.
When you are shopping for “anti-aging creams”, look for the ingredient “functional keratin”. That’s what the manufacturers have dubbed their natural keratin complex.
Some of the better night creams contain functional keratin and avocado oil. From personal experience, I can tell you that they really work. So, that’s how I rate the collagen and elastin enhancers. Hope it helps you, too.