Finally, the day has come, and you’ve decided to take the leap to rejuvenate your ageing skin and invest in a non-invasive aesthetic treatment.
Your hopes are high; you’ve done your homework, and it’s come down to three devices recommended for the task at hand; more youthful skin.
Of course, in your search for an aesthetic device that reverses the signs of ageing, collagen, the protein responsible for strength, support, and elasticity, is in the spotlight, as when collagen naturally declines with age, the skin begins to wrinkle and sag.
For an aesthetic device to be worth the money you invested, it must stimulate new collagen, which is done by rebuilding it through collagen denaturation and remodelling.
However, before considering any aesthetic device to turn back the hands of time, taking the necessary steps to achieve optimal results should be part of your treatment plan.
In this article, I’ll discuss three commonly recommended aesthetic devices, what’s happening to your collagen as it denatures and rebuilds, the essential role of fibroblast cells in laying new collagen foundations and the crucial role of skin nutrition, specifically vitamin C and how to choose vitamin C skincare.
Let’s explore these aesthetic devices.
Three aesthetic devices designed to rejuvenate the skin and initiate new collagen are:
Laser devices, such as Fractional Lasers or Intense Pulsed Light, utilise energy to induce trauma and activate the healing response in the skin to build new collagen, enhancing rejuvenation and improving skin texture.
High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) devices utilise focused ultrasound energy to denature collagen in the SMAS layer, stimulating new collagen production to tighten and firm the skin, often called a non-surgical facelift.
These aesthetic devices offer remarkable potential for collagen enhancement; which one you choose will depend on your specific needs, the condition of your skin, and the type of results you and your skin care professional want to achieve.
Despite the efficacy of these aesthetic devices, there’s more to all this than simply turning up for your appointment and hoping you’ll achieve optimal results, so let’s look a little deeper at what’s happening to your collagen.
But before we delve into the role of fibroblast cells and vitamin C in rebuilding collagen, let’s take a moment to grasp the concept of collagen denaturation.
Understanding Collagen Denaturation.
When denatured, collagen loses its structure, where individual collagen strands were once tightly coiled together; instead, the collagen fibres unravel and become disorganised.
During a non-invasive aesthetic treatment, controlled denaturation of collagen is triggered when heat or energy emanates from the device, which then initiates a healing response within the dermal layer of the skin, producing new robust collagen fibres.
It might help to visualise denatured collagen as a frayed and unravelling rope. It might sound like something to avoid, but the body noticing the problem quickly swings into action to remodel the collagen into newly organised fibres.
This natural process of remodelling collagen improves skin texture and reverses visible signs of ageing, such as lines, wrinkles and sagging skin.
And while collagen denaturation and remodelling play a crucial role in the process, another often overlooked element is the role of vitamin C.
L-ascorbic acid is one form of vitamin C that should have a starring role in supporting skin rejuvenation and new collagen, especially pre and post-treatment, as it provides the essential nutrition required for the fibroblast cells responsible for new collagen production.
Fibroblast cell and collagen production.
New collagen doesn’t just happen because it’s been denatured; the process of renewed collagen involves the activity of specialised fibroblast cells found in the dermal layer of your skin.
Fibroblast cells play a crucial role in wound healing and collagen production, regulating inflammation, the skin’s immune response, and maintaining the skin’s extracellular matrix – the network that supports cellular health.
So, yep, they’re quite the busy little cells, requiring various nutrients for optimal health and function, including vitamins C, A & E, the trace minerals Zinc and Copper, a good source of protein and fatty acids from Omega 3.
While all these nutrients are essential to promote the proper function of fibroblast cells, in this article, I want to linger a little longer on the role of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and how it can improve the results before and after an aesthetic skin treatment to rebuild collagen and lay down new foundations in your skin.
It might help to visualise denatured collagen as a frayed and unravelling rope. It sounds like something to avoid, but the body, noticing the problem quickly swings into action to remodel the collagen into newly organised fibres.
The role vitamin C has to play in building new collagen.
Among all its virtues, vitamin C supports the skin’s protective barrier function and minimises the activation of blotchy pigment and sun damage, reduces lines and wrinkles and enhances collagen production.
When it comes to building collagen, if a vitamin C deficiency occurs, your fibroblast cells will be compromised, and all their usual activities, including collagen production, will fall below par as the fibroblast cells become dysfunctional.
So, if you want a robust network of new collagen activated by laser, radio frequency or HIFU, a healthy diet rich in vitamin C and a topically applied formulation in your skincare will be an essential part of your skincare game plan.
While you may believe that you consume enough fruits and vegetables to nourish your skin, during stressful periods, extensive exposure to the sun, or alcohol and cigarette smoke, vitamin C can be depleted. As a result, your body may redirect what it has to other essential organs, leaving your skin lacking in this crucial nutrient.
Not all vitamin C is created equal.
As we enter the realm of vitamin C in skincare, it becomes evident that ascorbic acid, the natural form of vitamin C, is water-soluble and prone to stability issues.
Its shelf life is limited, leaving topical skincare serums or creams under scrutiny for their efficacy. This has led to the emergence of numerous derivatives as substitutes for ascorbic acid in the skincare formulations.
Among the commonly used derivatives in skincare formulas, Ascorbyl Palmitate, a fat-soluble option, provides better skin absorption. At the same time, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate and Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate are water-soluble and provide antioxidant support, skin brightening, and potential anti-inflammatory benefits. Ethyl Ascorbic Acid is a stable ethyl ester typically used in skincare products targeting hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone.
Additionally, Ascorbyl Tetra Isoplamitate and Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate offer improved skin penetration and stability and are known for their brightening effects, antioxidant properties, and ability to stimulate collagen production.
These derivatives offer advantages such as antioxidant properties, skin-brightening effects, and improved stability. However, they appear to play a lesser role in collagen creation than the pure form of vitamin C, L-ascorbic acid.
Secondly, while derivatives offer overall skin health benefits, they all require conversion to ascorbic acid within the skin; ascorbic acid is the natural and most bioavailable form of vitamin C for the skin and opting for a stable formula with ascorbic acid might be the most suitable choice if your primary goal is collagen creation.
My final thoughts?
I repeatedly return to L-ascorbic acid because of its optimal support for new collagen and because my skin responds better to vitamin C in its natural form.
Although my opinion is based on personal experience, scientific evidence supports the significant benefits of L- ascorbic acid when topically applied to the skin, including improving sun damage and reducing lines and wrinkles.
When deciding on a topical vitamin C option, it’s crucial to consider your specific goals and preferences.
Many believe, myself included that L-ascorbic acid remains the optimal choice for achieving the topical benefits of collagen production.
Pure vitamin C, aka L-ascorbic acid, remains a powerful choice for collagen production, and of the many brands offering a natural ascorbic acid formula, those that have developed formulations to address stability issues, such as ascorbic powders or anhydrous (water-free formulations) and pH balanced serums, make them an excellent choice if optimal results in collagen synthesis are your ultimate goal.
By adopting a well-rounded approach that includes sun protection, proper cleansing, a well-designed skincare routine and a nutrient-rich diet, alongside the power of vitamin C, it’s possible your skin will defy the passage of time.
See you next time,