The ABC of Collagen
Collagen is found in almost every cell of our body, and is most commonly known as the ultimate giver of plump and youthful skin! Think of collagen like a scaffold that supports your skin, providing structure and resilience. And it’s not just our skin that needs this precious protein - it’s also found in our bones, tendons, and ligaments. Sadly, collagen production naturally decreases as we get older. (Sad, wrinkly face emoji.)
But don’t despair, there are things you can do to help! Small scale studies have found that Infrared radiation can increase the amount of collagen and elastin produced by fibroblasts (the most common type of cell found in our skin, and critical for healing wounds). A much-cited study published in the Yonsei Medical Journal in 2006 also reported improvements in skin texture and roughness, which led researchers to conclude that Infrared radiation may indeed be useful in the treatment of photo-aged skin. Some other ways we can protect the collagen we already have include wearing sunscreen (always), quitting sugar, and no smoking please.
Heat Healer founder, Lauren Dovey, talks to us about good skin health
Lauren has been a regular user of saunas for the better part of a decade - switching to Infrared heat 3 years ago around the same time as Heat Healer was born. She swears by heat therapy and its multitude of benefits to skin health. Lauren’s top 3 tips for glowing, fresh skin:
1. Keep it simple - ‘I only wash my face once a day to avoid over-stripping my skin and I’m loyal to a small number of active products that work really well for me. These include applying a hyaluronic acid serum, such as the Nimue Hyaluronic Ultra Filler Serum, after my morning shower. In the evenings, I alternate the Sunday Riley’s Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment with the Tatcha Indigo Overnight Repair.
2. Consistency is key - ‘With rare exceptions I use my Heat Healer Infrared sauna blanket at least 3 times a week to improve circulation, help with detoxification and boost collagen production. I really find my skin glows immediately after a session’
3. Find a professional you trust - ‘I see Amanda at Sydney’s Belameres clinic regularly and I love how gentle their signature Fairy Dust Facial is. On my first consultation, she did a high tech facial ultrasound and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that (despite being in my mid-30s) my collagen levels were closer to that of a 20 year old!’
A trusted professional’s perspective on collagen
Carina Gross, founder of Belameres in Sydney’s Double Bay, also told us: ‘Like all my clients, I take good skin health very seriously and all our treatments are founded on solid scientific research. Maintaining collagen production over time is an important way to ensure our skin stays youthful and plump. I have always believed that beautiful skin is created not just from the outside, but also from the inside, which is why I support a holistic approach to skincare - from diet to exercise and, of course, great quality skin treatments’.