Fine wrinkles, deep creases, saggy areas around the mouth and neck, is there anything we can do to fight back? Of course there is. A team of scientists at the University of Michigan show there are some existing treatments that effectively counteract the structural breakdown inside our skin so it's possible to stimulate the growth of new, youthful collagen.
After a decade of studying, here's what they found. There are three types of available skin treatments that are effective in stimulating new collagen: topical reinoic acid – carbon dioxide laster resurfacing – injections of cross-linked hyaluronc acid.
A 2007 study looked at Restylane, marketed as a dermal filler, and found that injections of the product caused fibroblasts to stretch, promoting new collagen, and also limited the breakdown of collagen. Fibroblast cells are the key producers of collagen. If you make more collagen go in, it provides an environment in which fibroblasts recover and make more collagen.
Topical lotitions containing retinol, a form of Vitamin A found in many skin-care products were tested and apparently they significantly reduced wrinkles and skin roughness by promoting new collagen.
Other studies have shown why some laser treatments work and some less powerful ones do not. Carbon dioxide laser resurfacing is effective because it removes the aging dermis; in the three-week regrowth process, new, young collagen is produced.
As skin ages, there is increased production of the enzyme collagenase, which breaks down collagen. Then fibroblasts, the critical players in firm, healthy skin, lose their normal stretched state. When they collapse more breakdown enzymes are produced.
Our aging skin is a bad news good news scenario. The bad news - it's a viscious cycle. The good news - there are treatments that can slow down the process.