Exfoliation, ageing and collagen synthesis

Anti Aeging is the holy grail of the skincare world.

But I’d love to let you into a little secret.

By introducing regular exfoliation into your beauty regime, you can help to prevent premature ageing.

That’s right, exfoliation can actually boost the collagen synthesis in your skin.


So how does this takes place, on a cellular level?

Your skin is a fascinating inter-cellular communication system, it completely renews itself every 28 days.

But as we reach our 30’s, this cellular renewal process slows down, and during this time, other metabolic changes also occur:

  • Skin becomes visibly dull and sallow
  • Lines and wrinkles begin to appear, as collagen synthesis decreases
  • There is a reduction in sebaceous activity, which dries out the skin
  • The skins natural process of desquamation, begins to slow
  • Skin starts to sag, as the once resilient and flexible elastin in the dermis degenerates

The great news is, that it is possible to boost this renewal process, by introducing some gentle exfoliation into your beauty regime.

You can help the skin return to its normal rate of desquamation.

  • Stimulate collagen synthesis
  • Plump out the skin’s tissues
  • Improve the integrity of the skin
  • Improve skin tone and texture

All of which, will help to restore it to its natural, youthful glow.


So lets look at how collagen synthesis occurs in the skin.

In order to do this, I need to take you on a journey through your skin, to the dermis.

As you age, the rate of collagen that is produced in your skin starts to slow down, but the very action of forced exfoliation creates a mild trauma in the skin.

Quite literally, kick starting your collagen.

Your collagen is given a boost in response to being wounded, this in turn activates the fibroblasts, so even more elastin and collagen is synthesised in the dermis.

So how does trauma affect your skin?

When your skin is injured, histamine is released by mast cells which triggers an inflammatory response.

Blood plasma which contains nutrients, oxygen and macrophages, rush to the site of the injury, stimulating the wound healing process.

By the third or fourth day, the fibroblasts also begin to synthesise collagen fibres.


I am going to play devil’s advocate here however.

Although the role of collagen synthesis is important, as a formulator of sensitive skin care, I do have to question the efficacy of forced exfoliation.

If we are forcing the dermis to synthesise collagen due to trauma, exactly how much of this collagen actually regenerates the skin?

And what damage is being done, to an already impaired skin?

In my professional opinion, if there are signs of sensitivity or inflammation, any form of exfoliation be it manual, chemical or electrical, must be avoided at all costs.

As part of a home care routine, I would also recommend against being over zealous!

An over exfoliated skin, will strip the protective barrier and acid mantle.

Which can cause irritation, sensitivity, inflammation and infection.


2 thoughts on “Exfoliation, ageing and collagen synthesis

  1. Pingback: Get Rid of Those Dark, Puffy Circles

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