Non-surgical Procedures

How to restore collagen in the face

Article medically reviewed by Dr. Gavin Chan (MBBS, cosmetic doctor, liposuctionist)

Templestowe Lower, Berwick and Beaumaris Clinics

Dr. Gavin Chan has a background in intensive care, anaesthesia, and emergency medicine. Since 2005, Dr. Chan has provided cosmetic procedures, including anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, liposuction and laser treatments. He is a doctor trainer for various dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections. Read More

Collagen – or the lack of it – is often the culprit when it comes to ageing and sagging skin. Essentially, collagen is a protein that acts as the glue that holds our bodies together. It’s produced throughout your lifetime, but naturally declines in production with age.

There are various methods you can use to restore and produce collagen. Here’s how you can reclaim your complexion!

What is collagen?

Collagen is a tough and fibrous protein that holds our bodies together. It is an essential structure and function of the skin, muscles, tendons, bones, and cartilage. When collagen is produced abundantly in the body, it strengthens the skin, elasticity and firmness. As a result, this allows the skin to achieve a firm and healthy complexion. When the body and skin receive adequate amounts of nutrients consistently, you are able to maintain a healthy level of collagen regularly. 

Signs of collagen loss in the face

Collagen loss in the face occurs naturally as we age. When collagen production declines in the body, the ability to strengthen and maintain healthy skin is weakened, which often leads to sagging and wrinkled skin texture. In addition to the collagen decline with the natural ageing process, other factors such as sun exposure, poor nutrition, and poor lifestyle choices such as smoking can contribute to the loss of collagen in the face. 

The most common signs of collagen deficiency in the face include:

  • Wrinkles and fine lines
  • Sagging skin
  • Hollowed cheeks
  • Prominent dark circles and eye bags under the eyes
  • Dry and thinning skin

These signs of collagen loss in the face can be a cause for frustration. But don’t fret, we’ll be going over different methods you can use to rebuild collagen in your face.

Do you need to restore collagen?

Collagen is integral to the healthy functioning of your skin’s elasticity and firmness. As collagen depletes with age, the efficiency of collagen production begins to decline as well. Although there is no complete solution to reverse collagen decline, there are effective ways to help restore collagen in the face. 

Collagen restoration in the skin will help revitalise and nourish the skin’s barrier function, which promotes a healthier complexion. Additionally, collagen restoration can prolong the elasticity and firmness of the skin and keep the wrinkles and sagging skin at bay for longer. 

Although restoring collagen isn’t compulsory, once you don’t have enough collagen, you’ll begin to notice negative effects such as sagging and wrinkly skin. When collagen is not restored, the signs of collagen loss will only become more prominent with ageing. 

The benefits of restoring collagen in the face

The benefits of restoring collagen in the face includes:

  • Reduces wrinkles and fine lines
  • Improves skin hydration
  • Increases skin plumpness
  • Enhances skin texture and tone
  • Supports wound healing

Restoring collagen in the face provides numerous benefits for the skin’s appearance, and overall health and wellbeing. 

How to restore collagen in the face

There are various ways to restore collagen in the face.

Skin treatments

While lifestyle factors and topical solutions can help stimulate collagen production in the skin. The most effective solutions for restoring collagen in the face are skin treatments. With the use of cutting-edge technologies and techniques, skin treatments can restore facial collagen to help you achieve a fresher and healthier complexion. 

Always make sure you are working with a trusted cosmetic professional, so they can help determine which skin treatment is most suitable for you. 

Collagen treatments

Bio stimulators are a non-surgical and minimally invasive treatment used to stimulate your natural facial collagen gradually. It is an injection that uses ingredients that have properties to stimulate facial collagen and elastin. This treatment works by revitalising your natural collagen production for your body to restore its collagen levels gradually. Bio stimulators are generally pain free as you are numbed prior to treatment. 

Similarly to bio stimulators, bio remodelling is another minimally invasive method that helps restore and regenerate facial collagen. These are made from ingredients with properties to help restore facial collagen and elastin. Once applied to the skin, the hyaluronic acid is designed to spread like honey that can support the structures of the uppermost layers of your skin to maintain its firmness and elasticity. 

IPL skin rejuvenation is a non-invasive treatment that promotes collagen growth, reduces wrinkles, and treats unwanted pigmentation. This procedure works by targeting the treated area with intense pulses of light energy. This in turn activates the body’s natural healing process to begin regenerating new and healthy skin cells. In addition, the heat and intense pulsed light generated by the intense light energy stimulates collagen production, further promoting an improved skin texture and overall appearance. 

Skin needling

RF skin needling (also known as Infini radiofrequency needling) is a treatment that uses a combination of radiofrequency and micro-needling techniques to firm the skin up and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. The radiofrequency technique generates heat in the skin to produce new collagen, and when the skin’s natural healing process kicks in, it helps tighten the skin with increased elastin and collagen. The skin needling part of this combination induces micro-injuries to the skin, which prompts the body’s natural ability to grow and repair the skin. RF skin needling is a minimally invasive treatment with minimal downtime. It can help combat skin texture irregularities and tightens loose or sagging skin. 

Micropen micro-needling is another collagen-inducing method to combat skin problems such as sun damage and acne. This technique allows the micropen to lightly penetrate the skin to create micro wounds that activate the body’s healing response. During the natural healing process, damaged or dead skin cells are removed and replaced with fresh and new skin cells that help achieve a firmer and healthier complexion. 

Facial fillers

Anti wrinkle injections can reduce wrinkles and fine lines. The injection relaxes the specific facial muscles to help reduce wrinkles from forming in the treated area. 

Dermal filler is also a type of injectable facial filler, and can be used to replenish lost facial volume by stimulating new collagen production. Dermal fillers can also be reversed with the enzyme hyaluronidase

Skin resurfacing treatments

Chemical peels are a skin resurfacing method that can improve sun damaged skin, pigmentation concerns, wrinkles and overall appearance of the skin. This treatment induces a controlled wound that removes the top layer of your skin, prompting your body’s natural response to generate new collagen and skin cell growth. Enhancing your overall complexion with fresh and smooth skin texture.

Erbium laser is another type of skin resurfacing treatment that uses a laser to target wrinkles, acne scarring and pigmentation. The type of laser is primarily attracted to the water in the skin. During the treatment, minor ablations are induced to a thin layer of the skin, causing the body’s natural healing response to generate new skin cells and collagen. It is a suitable treatment for people with mild to moderate wrinkles, sun damage, or acne scarring.

Similarly to erbium laser, Co2 laser is a skin resurfacing treatment that is also attracted to water in the skin. The depth of penetration into the skin is adjustable to suit different skin conditions. Co2 laser is suitable for treating wrinkles, acne scarring and other skin damages that promotes collagen restoration through your body’s natural healing process.

Topical solutions

The appropriate topical solutions can help restore collagen in the face by providing key nutrients to restore collagen and support the skin’s natural processes. While the topical solutions provide key nutrients, they can also protect the existing collagen in the face from breaking down. 

Strive to include skincare products with the following ingredients.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A or retinol is a powerful antioxidant that is crucial to skin health. It is an essential nutrient that supports cell division and reproduction by increasing skin cell turnover that prompts new collagen production in your body.

When vitamin A stimulates collagen production, it promotes the activity of fibroblasts which are the cells responsible for producing collagen. As the collagen levels begin to increase in the face, the skin becomes firm with more elasticity, which may reduce the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin. 

Vitamin A skincare products and retinol serums can help restore collagen in the face. However, topical use of vitamin A should be avoided during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Pregnancy safe skincare products are great alternatives to ensure your skin continues to receive the appropriate nourishment.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is another important antioxidant required for many functions in the body, including skin health. This key ingredient not only helps to restore collagen in the skin, but also protects existing collagen from breaking down. This results in an overall healthier and firmer skin texture that reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

When vitamin C serums and creams are applied to the face, the potent antioxidant immediately protects the skin from damage that free radicals can cause while also promoting fibroblast activity.

Vitamin C skincare products are great topical solutions for promoting collagen production and protecting the skin’s barrier function to help maintain firmness and elasticity in the face once collagen levels are restored. 

Glycolic acid

Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that’s derived naturally from sugar cane or can be made in a lab. It’s an extremely popular ingredient in skincare products as it is a small molecule that can easily pass through the skin barrier. Once past the skin barrier, its ability to exfoliate the skin and increase collagen production makes it a go-to choice for many skincare products.

Glycolic acid’s small molecular size allows it to penetrate deep into the skin to break down the bonds between dead skin cells. This process not only exfoliates the skin but reveals a fresher and smoother skin underneath. 

In addition, once the dead skin cells are removed, glycolic acid is then able to promote collagen production through an increase in fibroblast activity, the cells responsible for producing new collagen. 

Diet

Your daily diet can be crucial in maintaining healthy collagen levels, and can significantly improve your skin’s appearance and overall health and wellbeing. An abundant diet with the necessary nutrients are the building blocks required for collagen synthesis. So here are some foods that help restore collagen:

  • Protein-rich foods: lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, legumes, and nuts.
  • Vitamin C-rich foods: citrus fruits, berries, broccoli, brussels sprouts, tomatoes, and capsicum. 
  • Antioxidant-rich foods: leafy greens, tomatoes, beetroot, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, and asparagus.
  • Omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods: salmon, mackerel, sardines, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.
  • Amino acids: beef, fish, eggs, dairy, soy, quinoa, and buckwheat.

In addition to consuming a nutrient-abundant diet that promotes collagen production, it’s important to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and avoid processed foods and sugary drinks, which can increase inflammation and cause collagen to break down quicker in your body. 

Lifestyle changes

The focus on lifestyle changes isn’t necessarily to boost collagen production, but to help maintain collagen levels in your body. Lifestyle changes like incorporating enough sleep and stress management techniques can have a profound effect on keeping the body’s collagen at optimal levels. 

Sleep

Adequate amounts of high-quality sleep are essential for maintaining facial collagen levels. Collagen is broken down and repaired while you sleep. Especially during the REM cycle, where a surge in HGH (human growth hormone) helps rebuild body tissues and increases cell production to replace the ones that were naturally lost throughout the day.

Aiming for 7-9 hours of quality sleep every night is important for your overall health and wellbeing. In addition, you should establish a consistent sleep routine and minimise screen time before bed to induce a calming environment that can further improve sleep quality. This simple yet powerful lifestyle change can help your body naturally restore cellular functions, including its ability to maintain collagen levels. 

Stress management

Stress occurs all around us and in our daily lives, as it’s a natural response to challenging situations. And stress can occasionally be beneficial in certain situations to help us stay alert and focused.

However, it can cause a spike in cortisol levels when not managed appropriately. This stress hormone can decrease the production of collagen in the body. Furthermore, when a person is under constant stress, the body redirects nutrients to organs like the lungs and brain, which neglects the skin. This results in the loss of vital resources that could have been used to maintain a healthy amount of collagen.

Stress management techniques such as practising mindfulness, yoga, meditation, tai chi, and deep breathing are effective ways to reduce your stress hormones and improve and maintain healthy levels of skin barrier functions and collagen production. 

Sun protection

Sun protection is vital for maintaining healthy skin and avoiding unnecessary collagen loss or damage. The sun’s UVR (ultraviolet radiation) works against this by destroying collagen and elastin, leading to premature ageing of the skin, wrinkles and pigmentation and even cancer. 

Use sunscreen

Sunscreen protects against UV radiation damage caused by the sun. It protects the skin by absorbing and then reflecting away the sun’s rays.

To promote healthy skin and maintain collagen levels in the face, it’s important to apply sunscreen daily, even on cloudy days, as UV rays can still penetrate through the clouds and cause damage to your skin. Be sure to use a minimum of SPF 30 and reapply it every 2-4 hours, especially when swimming or sweating.

Wear protective clothing

Sun-protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts and wide-brimmed hats are great additions to combat the damaging UV rays of the sun. It protects the covered skin by completely shielding it from exposure to direct sun. However, while any clothing can protect your skin, darker clothes absorb and deflect UV rays most effectively. So be sure to cover out when you step outside next!

Stay in the shade

Staying in the shade during peak sun hours is another effective way to protect the skin and reduce facial collagen loss. This helps to limit exposure to harmful UV rays that can cause premature ageing, sun spots, wrinkles and fine lines if the skin is left unprotected.

By combining shade and other sun protective measures, you can reduce unnecessary damage to the skin and help your skin maintain its collagen levels. 

Tips to prevent collagen loss

Collagen loss is a natural part of ageing, with other factors speeding up or slowing down the process. There are steps you can take to slow down the process and maintain healthy and smooth-looking skin. Some of those tips include:

  • Reduce caffeine intake
  • Stop smoking
  • Reduce alcohol consumption
  • Stay consistent with quality sleep
  • Stay hydrated with water
  • Limit intake of processed food
  • Opt for nutrient-packed wholefoods
  • Limit intake of sugary drinks
  • Maintain healthy diet
  • Incorporate regular exercise
  • Stay consistent with a proper skincare routine, with medical grade skincare

By implementing these additional tips, you can further protect your skin from collagen loss and promote a healthy and collagen-abundant skin. 

How long does it take for collagen to regenerate?

The time taken for collagen to regenerate varies from person to person, and many factors must be considered. For example, the rate of collagen regeneration can be influenced by factors like age, genetics, lifestyle habits and the severity of the collagen loss.

Where to get facial collagen treatments in Melbourne?

Facial collagen treatments are a solution to restore collagen in the skin and reduce damage caused by collagen loss in the face. 

At Victorian Cosmetic Institute, we operate with the latest facial collagen-boosting technologies, focusing on helping maximise the effectiveness of these treatments to help you obtain an abundant level of facial collagen. 

Making the phone call to book your initial appointment may not be convenient, so many people prefer to book online. Alternatively, you can reach our friendly team on 1300 863 824.