In this edition of DEBUNK THE JUNK, we are discussing collagen, the body’s most abundant structural protein. Collagen is an essential component of the connective tissues that make up our muscles, tendons, ligaments, and skin. The body naturally produces collagen, but as we age, collagen production slows down. This begins to happen in our mid-20’s and can ultimately lead to thinning of all three layers of our skin - the epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis - as well as weakening of connective tissue, muscle, bone and hair. 

It’s no surprise then that collagen-fortified skincare products have become a huge marketing tool. Unfortunately, despite many misleading claims, collagen’s molecular weight is too large to penetrate the top layer of skin. While these products may help hydrate, they cannot stimulate collagen synthesis or growth. 

To successfully promote collagen, we recommend supplementing with Vitamin C, both topically with RENEW and through diet. Not only does Vitamin C support the body's natural ability to produce collagen, it defends against damage that may expedite a further breakdown of collagen. 

Glycolic acid, is another topical that plays a role. A smaller molecule than lactic and other hydroxy acids, glycolic is able to penetrate the skin’s surface and stimulate fibroblasts to produce more collagen. Glycolic acid is a key ingredient in our SCRUB face mask. 

While not absorbed by the skin, we can support our skin from within by eating collagen-rich foods like bone broth or through use of a hydrolyzed collagen powder. There are no vegan or vegetarian collagen sources but a healthy diet full of Vitamin-C rich foods, plant-based proteins, and a diversity of fruits and veggies will support the body in its own collagen synthesis. It is equally beneficial to reduce sugar intake and increase the quality of sleep. As always, establishing healthy daily habits is the best long term solution for vibrant skin and a thriving body. 

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