- What is collagen?
Collagen is the main protein of connective tissue and is the main component of a whole organism, including skin, of course. Only vertebrata have collagen. It is a renewable substance. In human beings, on average, 30% of all proteins are collagen. Up to 25 years of age, structural collagen production is at a 100% level. Unfortunately, over the years, collagen synthesis is becoming smaller and smaller – hence, the main reason for the overall aging of the organism.
- Collagen cosmetics – are they working?
It depends on which ones. Collagen is an imprecise word. Many different things are hidden under its name. For decades, collagen was added to all sorts of creams, and was extracted by boiling skins and bones of cow or pig. Cow skins were boiled for over a dozen hours until the protein boiled down. We have the same effect while boiling soup – after a longer period of time, there is a white mousse on a surface. It is exactly collagen being boiled down. As we all know, the protein is very sensitive to temperature and at a certain temperature (about 30-45°C, depending on the particular species of being), there is a process of protein shearing (such as eggs on the pan), hence, its denaturation. It is an irreversible process, so boiling for many hours at 90°C or more shears the protein completely and it loses its biological features. Something like this was and is added to creams – normal protein hydrolysate, commonly referred to as gelatin. It is enough for producers to write: “contains collagen”. Moreover, bovine collagen is completely different from this human type. Even if by some miracle, it could be extracted from cow skin without using temperature, it would still be incompatible with man and is much too big.
However, fish collagen is something totally different. This one is obtained by “cold” extraction at the molecular level of development. Fish collagen is identical to the human one – tertiary. Resulting from the technological process, the pure collagen gel, a no-multicomponent cream with 1-2% addition of gelatine, is biologically active. Cosmetics made in this way has a native form of the protein – spiral, and, therefore, is “a fully operational” cosmetic.
- Is there a possibility that collagen will penetrate the skin?
The answer is not clear-cut. Bovine collagen certainly is not. However, in the case of fish collagen, there is such a possibility. Bovine collagen particle, not including its “dead” form and incompatibility, is much too big to penetrate into the stratum corneum – hence, the common knowledge that collagen is too big to penetrate the skin (atomic mass 3-4 MDa).
Fish collagen is many times smaller and fully penetrates epidermis. Human epidermis – pores in the skin – has a size between 500-800 kDa, while the oligopeptide of fish protein has around 65kDa.
- What is the mechanism of collagen gel?
The mechanism of fish collagen is very interesting. After the application of the gel to the skin, its dissolution at body temperature follows. The triple helix (spiral) disintegrates into oligopeptides – “bricks” containing 8 amino acids each. Only they can penetrate the epidermis because even fish collagen is still too big to penetrate into the stratum corneum. The manner which amino acids must overcome takes them around 6-7 minutes. After this time, they are in the fibroblast vicinity.
Fibroblasts are responsible in human organism for the production of structural collagen. The mechanism is that when collagen breaks with age and free amino acids remain behind, fibroblasts detect it and start to produce new collagen.
And this fact is exactly employed by the use of fish collagen gel. After the said oligopeptides reach the fibroblast vicinity, they think that they are derived from the structural collagen breakdown. Because these amino acids are identical to the human ones, the body is somehow misled and production of structural collagens by fibroblasts begins. Thus, the mechanism of fish gel is very complicated, but also very interesting.
Many people, including doctors, say that collagen is too big to penetrate into the stratum corneum and they are right, but they do not know that fish collagen has the above-mentioned mechanism. Fish collagen, and more precisely, its products of dissimilation of chains are fully transdermal. What is important – fish collagen has antigenic compliance, so it is entirely tissue-consistent with human being. Thus, it has a positive response of the immune system.
- How to use?
Before the application of collagen, the skin should be cleaned and rinsed with warm water. The best absorbability results give a gentle patting of gel in the still damp skin. In the case of application to the dried skin, collagen is not as efficient and is less absorbed. Collagen is a very strong humectant, which means it has strong hygroscopic features – it absorbs water.
The transdermality of collagen is greater also in the case of people taking regular exfoliation treatments(peeling). We recommend using collagen for skin of face, neck and décolleté, for the best effect, twice daily, in the morning and at the evening. For the irritated or burned skin, one should apply as much collagen as it is absorbed. The immediate effects, especially with sunburns or rapid drying of dermis from other reasons, are spectacular. The product effect is felt already after about 5 minutes. The lasting revitalising effect yo u have to wait to about the 110th day of systematic use, so the time it takes for the organism to fully replace the collagen matrix in the skin. This process cannot be accelerated through more frequent applications or applying larger amounts of gel.
The skin will absorb the amount of collagen required. Staying with the drying layer of gel on the skin means that too much of it was applied. Proper usage means no excess application – is very efficient.
- What happens if I put too much?
A greater amount of collagen and more frequent applications do not mean better results.
The skin has a limited ability to absorb the protein. If we impose too much collagen, some portion of it will remain on skin, and a dry and white coating will remain. Collagen is very efficient. Literally, a very small amount is enough to cover the whole face, neck and décolleté.
- How much time do I need to use for the effects and what will happen if I would not use it regularly?
Collagen in skin renews itself every 110-115 days. To achieve a long-term effect, fibroblasts must be backed for such a period of time in the production of structural collagen. The fewer the applications will be, the weaker will be the process of renewing collagen matrix.
- Can I apply collagen directly under makeup?
Yes. If we would not put too large an amount of collagen, it will be completely absorbed into the skin. 6-7 minutes is enough for the gel to be completely absorbed into the skin, moisturising and stretching it.
- Do I have to keep the collagen in refrigerator?
No. Collagen should not be kept in refrigerator. Collagen at 4°C will be very dense and difficult to apply. Moreover, collagen is generally applied in the bathroom, so it is better to have it close at hand.
- What will happen if the collagen exceeds 26°C ?!
This is a very import_ant matter. Our collagen gel is a biologically active product. Like every protein, it is very sensitive to temperature. If we will cross that magical temperature, the triple helix will collapse , protein hydrolysis will occur and it will lose its activity. If this happens, we will recognise it by a “dissolved” gel – it will have the consistency of water, not of gel.
- Is collagen likely to cause sensitisation, damage in some way?
No. Collagen has a positive response of the immune system – it has a full antigenic compliance.
- Will collagen help discolouration?
Yes. In our gel, there is a fruit acid (lactic), which backs the synthesis of ceramides and supports naturally keratinised skin exfoliation, thus eliminates discolouration.
- Can I use collagen while I have acne?
Yes. Collagen helps in the fight against acne, both rosacea and youth one. Collagen soothes it, and contained lactic acid, which regulates the energetic metabolism of the skin.
- Is collagen a natural cosmetic?
Yes, in 100%. Collagen contains 4 components, including water. It is not a multi-component cream, it is a pure collagen gel.