Collagen is a naturally occurring protein found in the skin which, with other proteins such as elastin, provides the tightness or turgor to the skin. The molecule looks like three strings wrapped around each other tightly, called a triple helix. Collagen is always being produced and destroyed by the body at the same time. When we are young, the production is more than the destruction, which is why young skin looks firm. As we age the rate of collagen production slows down and collagen destruction speeds up. This leads to fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin such as the jowls. Other factors cause damage of collagen. These include sun damage and free radical formation from smoking. These specifically change the three dimensional structure of the molecule such that it becomes loose. We can protect ourselves by applying sunscreen daily as well as topical antioxidants such as vitamin C. Adding a retinoid such as retin-A or retinol to your skin care regimen will stimulate collagen formation, giving your skin a tight and youthful appearance. In addition to at home products, treatments which stimulate collagen production include Ultherapy (the new and exciting non-surgical facelift alternative now available at A E Skin), chemical peels, laser skin tightening, dermabrasion, and laser resurfacing such as Pro Fractional Therapy. People that get the best results are those that combine a thorough skin care regimen including sunscreen, antioxidants, and retinoids with in office procedures. Contact us for a free consultation with Dr. Alex.Coming soon.