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How would you define collagen banking? 

The essence of the term “Collagen banking” is seen as a forward-thinking approach to skincare that involves investing in treatments and lifestyle habits that boost the body’s production of collagen, the protein that gives our skin its youthful firmness and elasticity. The concept is similar to financial savings—the earlier you start depositing, the greater the long-term benefits. It’s about proactively preserving and enhancing the skin’s natural collagen reserves through various methods, from topical treatments and supplements to minimally invasive procedures that stimulate collagen synthesis. This proactive approach can help maintain the skin’s youthful appearance and delay the signs of ageing.

Do you personally think it’s something helpful for ‘pre-juvenation’ of the skin? 

The term ‘Collagen Banking’ might conjure up images of a biological savings account, where one can deposit and store collagen for future use, insinuating that a surplus can slow its depletion over time. However, the scientific validity of such a claim isn’t robustly established, While the term itself might seem like a contemporary marketing buzzword without extensive research backing it, the principle behind it is rooted in a clear biological truth. Collagen synthesis is a continuous process, and while we do lose about 1% per year starting in our mid-twenties, the idea of stockpiling collagen to tap into later oversimplifies the complex biology of our skin. The skin’s metabolism and collagen’s lifecycle don’t necessarily support a ‘more in, less out’ hypothesis. That said, I support and encourage practices that sustain and stimulate the skin’s own collagen production, and it’s an unarguable fact that maintaining skin health early on can preserve skin quality and delay the inevitable tide of ageing.

In essence, while ‘Collagen Banking’ as a buzzword might warrant scepticism, the underlying strategy it represents—prioritising long-term skin health—is both sensible and scientifically sound. It’s a modern ‘pre-juvenation’ approach to skincare, aiming to preserve rather than just correct, that I see as beneficial.

Adding to this discussion is a note of caution: the conversation around ‘Collagen Banking’ starting at 25 could inadvertently nudge teenagers towards premature and invasive treatments. While championing skin health is crucial, it’s imperative we navigate the age of social media influence responsibly, ensuring the younger generation is informed and not swayed by trends over medical advice. After all, the goal is to foster well-being and confidence without compromising the natural course of youth.

Who is the best candidate for focusing on this? 

The ideal candidate for a proactive collagen-boosting regimen is essentially anyone who’s keen on maintaining their skin’s youthfulness before the signs of ageing become pronounced. Those in their late twenties or early thirties are particularly well-positioned to benefit from such ‘prejuvenation’ efforts, as this is when natural collagen production begins to wane. In my clinic, I am seeing an increase in patients coming to me earlier to discuss ‘prejuvenation’ as part of a holistic healthcare journey. However, it’s never too early or too late to start; even younger individuals can adopt preventive measures, while older adults can still see improvements in skin health and elasticity.

People with lifestyle factors that predispose them to premature collagen breakdown, such as smokers or those with high sun exposure, are also prime candidates for collagen-focused care. Ultimately, anyone invested in their long-term skin health and interested in minimising the need for more invasive procedures down the line would be wise to consider collagen conservation strategies as part of their regular skincare routine.

 

In your opinion, what are the best in-clinic treatments for collagen banking? 

In the pursuit of ‘pre-juvenation,’ or pre-emptive skin care, the aim is to encourage the skin’s natural collagen production before the signs of ageing become apparent. Among the top treatments fostering this proactive approach, my standout go-to for deep hydration and collagen synthesis is Profhilo, which is clinically proven to enhance the skin’s regenerative and healing properties through a unique regenerative cascade called bio-remodelling and it’s long-lasting regenerative effects.

Other combination treatment choices include Mesotherapy for its revitalising benefits, using a cocktail of vitamins, enzymes, hormones, and plant extracts to rejuvenate and tighten skin. Polynucleotides are a step further into bio-revitalisation. These powerful molecules support skin regeneration and repair, signalling cells to produce more collagen and elastin. Radiofrequency is another effective modality, delivering heat energy to the skin to tighten and promote new collagen growth. Let’s not forget micro-needling, this treatment creates micro-injuries that trigger the skin’s healing response, leading to new collagen synthesis.

To these treatments, I add a holistic layer—fortifying the skin’s barrier function with options like medical grade HydraFacial, which not only cleanses and exfoliates but also infuses the skin with essential nutrients. Tailored skincare routines complement these in-clinic treatments, ensuring each patient’s skin is optimally harmonised.

By embracing a multi-modal approach, combining the power of injectables with other aesthetic treatments and daily skincare, we’re not just targeting ageing symptoms; we’re creating a robust foundation for long-term skin health and vitality.

Any at-home skincare or products that help? 

For at-home skincare that supports collagen levels, the market is flush with serums and sunscreens that combat free radical damage from UV rays and pollution. Topicals like professional-grade retinol and vitamin A, peptides, growth factors and vitamin C, are pivotal, encouraging our skin to ramp up collagen production. Beyond topicals, I strongly advocate for a holistic approach, one that considers internal wellness as a pillar of skin health. Collagen supplements and nutrient-rich diets, brimming with vitamin C and amino acids, are essential. Foods such as citrus fruits, berries, fish, and leafy greens are key players in this internal support system.

Currently, my research into the effect of nutraceuticals on the skin is examining the potential skin health benefits these supplements may offer. We’re also excited about trialling a new skincare line that harnesses the power of the microbiome.

In the broader scope, understanding gut health and its connection to the skin, monitoring glucose levels, and even exploring specific DNA testing for skin ageing factors are all part of a truly holistic approach to skin health. It’s about creating a synergy between science-led skincare practices and the natural processes of our bodies to maintain a youthful complexion from the inside out and the outside in.