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Collagen Skin Repair, Supplements & Boosting Your Collagen Production

By Valerie Rosenbaum

Thinking of buying a collagen skin repair cream? Maybe, you were thinking of buying one of those supplements that's supposed to be a collagen booster. Either way, you might be interested to know what collagens are and how the fibers are produced.

In a word collagens are proteins. They may exist as molecules or as fibers. Not only do they contribute to the skin's firmness and elastic nature, they are also present in bones, tendons, joints, veins and organs. They make up 25-35% of the total body protein count.

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Collagen skin repair creams contain a processed form of the protein derived from animals, fish or plants. During processing the fibers are broken down into a globular form that is more like other proteins, than natural collagens. The molecules of these creams are too large to penetrate the skin's outer layers, which are primarily composed of the protein keratin. The elastic fibers are located four-five layers below the skin's surface.

A collagen booster supplement may be derived from chicken bones or other animal parts. They were first used to increase protein intake for people that were interested in building muscle. But, since it is not a complete protein, most fitness experts now recommend whey supplements for that purpose.

When collagen booster supplements hit the digestive system, they are broken down into the three amino acids they contain. These are not essential amino acids, meaning that the body can produce them from other amino acids. So, your body may decide to use them or not. No one knows for sure.

A collagen skin repair cream may make a cosmetic improvement in your skin's appearance, because the gelatin dries to a semi-transparent mask that makes your face appear smoother. Creams containing the active form of keratin do the same thing, but also provide additional benefits.

There is only one active form of keratin. It is derived from sheep's wool and the processing methods are patented. Lotions containing it have been shown in clinical studies to increase the production of new cells and fibers, something that normally slows down with age.

Pro-collagens are molecules secreted by the cells that combine with other amino acids to form tropo-collagens. These tropo-collagens self-assemble into fibrils. Bundles of fibrils create a fiber, which then becomes attached to a cell and begins to perform its role in improving firmness. Increased cellular production means increased amounts of pro-collagen.

Increased cellular production, something a collagen booster will not do, also means improved thickness. The skin normally becomes thinner with age. As it thickens the skin's layers, fine lines disappear and wrinkles become less deep.

So, basically a collagen skin repair solution should contain active keratin, as well as other nourishing ingredients. A collagen booster won't do anything except increase your protein intake. A multi-nutrient formula containing a variety of amino acids would be a better choice for dietary supplementation.

Anyone over the age of 30 can benefit from an effective collagen skin repair lotion, but only if it contains the right ingredients.

Dr. Valerie Rosenbaum is a board certified dermatologist who has done extensive research on the way many chemicals used in skin care products do more harm than good. If you have fine lines, wrinkles or damaged skin then visit her website to find out which skin care products she uses and recommends.

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