The Truth About Collagen and Youth
- Collagen and elastin are the two protein complexes that provide structure below the skin surface. Collagen is rigid, whereas elastin - as its name implies - is elastic.
- In youthful skin, the amounts of collagen and elastin allow the skin to be both taught and stretchy, like a rubber band. But as skin ages, the elastin content diminishes, allowing the "steel girder" protein of collagen to play the more dominant role. This is why plastic surgery doesn't replicate the appearance of youth - it only places the skin on stretch. The skin itself is still less elastic than in youth.
- While it is not possible to reverse the appearance of aging in eyelid skin, there are nutritional factors that improve the appearance. Like all nutritional supplementation, it take 2-3 months to build up enough reserves of various ingredients. And once improvement is seen, these supplements have to continue to be taken, since their effects are temporary.
Factors that increase the aged appearance of eyelid skin include:
- Loss of elastin, which reduces the ratio of elastin to collagen
- Hypoxia, or reduced oxygen circulation
- Eyelash loss
- Oxidative damage to tissues
- Pigmentation ("dark spots")
These factors, combined, reduce the youthful appearance of a young healthy eyelid appearance. Creams and cosmetics fail to get below the skin's surface, where aging processes occur, while targeted nutritional supplementation delivers specific molecules via the bloodstream that address the root causes of aging appearance.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin, natural plant pigments called carotenoids, have been shown to not only benefit eye health, but also brain and skin health. They do this by helping to absorb harmful blue and ultraviolet light rays, and to act as antioxidants, which removes harmful metabolic products that would otherwise do more harmful damage. Plants themselves rely on these pigments, which allow growth from the sun's rays while dissipating the excess energy so that it does not harm the plant.