Collagen Banking: Experts Explain the New Beauty Trend to Know About

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Collagen banking is a new beauty term which keeps cropping up, so we thought we would ask the experts if it could be the key to younger, plumper skin? But what is it? In simple terms collagen is a natural protein found throughout the body – it provides structure, support and strength to our muscles, bones and skin. It is one of the proteins which makes our skin supple, moisturised and firm, which is why it is so important in regards to anti-ageing. It is also worth noting our natural supply starts to decrease after our mid-twenties, with it becoming more obvious as we hit 40, resulting in wrinkles, sagging and dullness.

“Ageing is inevitable,” Dr Dave Reilly, Head Scientist at Absolute Collagen tells POPSUGAR UK. “By the age of 25, you start to lose between 1 to 1.5 per cent of collagen levels per year. Collagen loss means the skin loses its elasticity. This is why you will often begin to see subtle signs of ageing such as fine lines and wrinkles around this time of your life, as your skin is less able to replenish the levels of collagen you once had.”

But is it possible to trick the body into holding on to its collagen, by adding it into your skin care regime as soon as possible? According to these experts the answer is a yes, but it may not be as simple as you think. Read on for their recommendations and how you can benefit from collagen banking.

What Is Collagen Banking?

“Collagen banking is essentially a process to stimulate collagen production in earlier years,” says Dr Tara Francis, dentist and facial aesthetics practitioner. “This should happen whilst our supply is ample, with the idea that this will prolong the ageing process – think of it as a preventative and proactive approach,” she tells POPSUGAR UK.

According to Dr Miriam Adebibe, Aesthetic Doctor and Holistic Skin Specialist, we should think of it as an investment plan for our skin. “I like to use the analogy of a bank account with my patients when it comes to collagen,” shares Dr Miriam. “You want to have enough in the bank to cover any losses. If you’ve been working on collagen stimulation pre-menopause, then you’re likely to have more available in the bank to lose,” she continues.

“Not only this, but as your fibroblasts are more reactive and receptive to collagen production than in your later years, the earlier you consider treatments, while your body has a better capability for regeneration, the better.”

How Do You Bank Collagen?

We asked the experts if it’s simply a case of adding collagen products to your skin care routine. Unfortunately, the answer is not quite, according to Dr Reily. “Collagen banking can be done through a healthy diet, by eating foods rich in vitamin C and amino acids such as citrus fruits, berries, fish and leafy greens,” he explains. “However, I would also suggest considering collagen supplements to give you that added boost. By adding a liquid collagen supplement like Absolute Collagen (£27.99), which also contains vitamin C, into your routine, you can further increase collagen production, supporting healthier-looking, brighter and firmer skin.”

Dr Adebibe believes it is also beneficial to start investing in treatments which stimulate collagen level at a cellular level. “While traditional aesthetics such as Botox and dermal fillers are effective at smoothing and boosting skin, rather than getting to the root of the cause, they paper over the cracks and can leave skin in a state of limbo,” says Dr Miriam. “Instead, look to invest in treatments including Microneedling, Polynucleotides or hybrid boosters such as HarmonyCa for long-lasting results.”

Although skin care alone won’t give you the ability to bank collagen it is worth investing in ingredients like vitamin A, vitamin c, peptides and hyaluronic acid says Dr Francis adding: “Protecting the skin with a broad spectrum SPF is also key.” She also recommends red light LED therapy you can do at-home.

One of the POPSUGAR UK tried and tested recommendations is the Current Body LED Mask (£299), this is safe to use every day and automatically switches off after 10 minutes to ensure you don’t overexpose the skin. It contains 132 LED bulbs, which have been found to boost collagen production, resulting in improved elasticity.

Related: Experts Say Quiet Luxury Skin Is the Next Major Face Trend

What Age Should You Start Collagen Banking?

No one ‘needs’ to collagen bank, but if you’re conscious of maintaining youthful skin for as long as possible, it may be a good idea to start looking into preventative treatment in your late-twenties to early-thirties.

“When it comes to what age to begin, while the earlier the better, the good news is that it is never too late to start taking collagen supplements,” says Dr Reilly. “To gain the maximum benefit, you might want to consider starting collagen banking in your 20s, however, upping your collagen intake throughout your 40s, 50s, and beyond will also ensure your collagen levels are maintained.”

Dr Adebibe also suggests microneedling if you really want to kickstart your collagen production. “It’s an oldie but a goodie, microneedling encourages the skin to work for itself as it kickstarts collagen production into gear,” she explains. “It works by causing microinjury to the skin’s surface with hundreds of tiny pinpricks to the face or body that cause a collagen-making healing response. This creates new tissues that are more even in tone and texture. It also helps to stimulate growth factors and is effective at treating hyperpigmentation, scarring and stretch marks on the body.”

If you’re not ready to splash out on treatments or collagen supplements then the easy way to start banking collagen is by wearing SPF every day. As this will prevent your skin from UVA and UVB rays, which will damage your skin and deplete collagen supplies. For some of our most highly recommended SPFs check out this SPF guide.

Lauren Ezekiel is an associate editor at POPSUGAR UK, where she writes about all things beauty and wellness. With a degree in journalism and 12 years’ experience as a beauty editor at a leading Sunday supplement, she is obsessed with skincare, hair and makeup, and is often found offering advice to innocent bystanders. Her work has been published in Grazia, OK, Health and Beauty, The Sun, ASDA, Dare and Metro.

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