Wrinkles are the most commonly described feature of skin ageing because they are easy to see. However the deterioration in the skin’s firmness and elasticity also plays a huge part in our appearance, but the changes are more subtle. Gradually the skin loses its plumpness, it becomes thinner, and it sags and generally looks drier. Moisturisers can help a bit, but it is the underlying layer, the dermis, that needs help. And the only way to get it that help is from within, through the network of tiny capillaries.

Why elasticity deteriorates
As we age our bodies produce less collagen and elastin fibres, so the balance between the breakdown and renewal of these protein fibres changes for the worse. This is compounded by extrinsic factors, particularly sun damage.

Sunlight damage
Sunlight causes production of free radicals as well as localised inflammation, and this in turn ‘switches on’ the body’s own enzymes called Matrix Metalloproteinase (MMP’s), that breakdown collagen and elastin. So in effect, sunlight causes the body itself to speed up the destruction of its collagen and elastin.

What can be done?
Obviously, staying out of the sun and liberal use of suncreams is the best approach. But research has also shown that certain nutrients from plants can ‘bind’ with the MMP enzymes, thus slowing down the breakdown of collagen and elastin.

It gets better!
Several scientific trials have shown that slowing down the action of MMP enzymes can tip the balance between breakdown and renewal of collagen and elastin towards renewal. This means we might be able to actually reverse the loss of these two important proteins from the skin.

Colladeen® Visage Studies
In both studies we measured the level of skin elasticity of the 60 adults, aged 50 to 70 years old, at the start of the studies using a validated method involving an instrument called a cutometer. Half the group then took two tablets of Colladeen® Visage a day; the other half took identical looking ‘dummy’ placebo pills. We then measured skin elasticity at 4 weeks, 8 weeks and at 12 weeks (also at 24 weeks in the second study) and compared the results between the two groups.

What we found
The group taking Colladeen® Visage showed a statistically significant increase in skin elasticity compared to the group taking the placebo by the end of 24 weeks. Measurements at 4, 8 and 12 weeks show that the improvements were increasing over time and were statistically significant at 12 weeks.

What this means
This shows that in a mixed group of adults, Colladeen® Visage can bring improvements in skin elasticity and that these results are seen after a 12 week period. Of course the results will vary greatly between individuals, and will be determined by their age, the level of pre-existing sun damage, skin type and their diet. When collagen and elastin production declines the dermis will start to lose its elasticity and become thinner. There is also a reduction in hydration caused by a decline in the network of tiny blood vessels. As a result folds, or fine lines, start to appear on the skin surface and are initially only visible when a muscle moves. But these lines develop into wrinkles that eventually turn in to the dreaded furrows, which are permanently visible.