Power of Collagen

What Can Collagen Do For Your Skin?

You might not know too much about collagen, but you really should - it’s an important part of almost every part of your body! It gives your body its structure, supports the minerals that make up and heal your muscles, joints, tendons, and skeleton, and makes up 1/3 of your protein. If your collagen production breaks down, so will your body!

You can thus imagine how important collagen is for your skin. Collagen and essential amino acids are crucial for healthy, strong skin, and supplements can boost your production.

What is Collagen?

Collagen is created by special cells called “fibroblasts”, which uses amino acids and vitamin C to make little subunits called procollagen. This procollagen is then woven together to form a complete collagen molecule, and these molecules come together to create fibrils, which form the fibrous anchors of skin. Collagen is so integral it makes up 75% of the dry-weight of skin, and it has a tensile strength superior to steel. There’s a lot of construction work going on under the surface!

Collagen helps to heal and repair wounds, knit damaged tissue, and keeps your joints and muscles in good shape. This includes your skin, the body’s largest organ and the first victim of a large amount of natural damage. We’re not just talking about superficial damage like bumps and scrapes, though it can help speed up repair and even diminish the look of scars. Simply being out in the sun or sitting in traffic can hurt your collagen production.

Those strong collagen fibres act as a base for new skin cells to replace old and dying ones. As we age, our collagen production significantly declines – 1% per year after around the age of 20, with exfoliation decreasing 28% over the duration of our twenties – weakening the skin’s elasticity and causing sagging, wrinkles, and thinning. On top of that, sun damage from UV rays deforms collagen formation and warp your skin’s “architecture”, causing clumps of elastin (the membrane on which collagen gets its support) to form and causing wrinkles and weaker skin. The two combined can cause many problems both visible and invisible, making it necessary to get enough collagen in your diet to support healthy skin.

The Three Types of Collagen & Vitamin C

It’s important to know the collagen that might be in your supplements, as your body needs different collagens for different things. There are at least 28 types of collagen in your body, made by different processes to do different things. The first three types are the most common, and will probably be the ones you see on any supplement labels. They are:

- Type I: This one mostly makes up skin, tendons, organs, and bones. It’s the most abundant type in your body.

- Type II: This type you’ll find in supplements for joint pain, as it’s found in cartilage.

- Type III: Often paired with Type I, this fibrillar collagen is found in the skin, lungs, uterus, intestine, vascular system, and other connective tissues.

When looking at supplements for your skin, they’ll usually be Types I and III. However, these won’t be enough: you need ascorbic acid – better known as vitamin C – to reduce damage, too! This essential nutrient is found in both the dermis (the tissue that contains nerve endings, blood capillaries, and other structures of which collagen is one of the main parts) and the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin). It’s important because vitamin C is turns three essential amino acids – glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline – into collagen. Without vitamin C performing this important function in your body, collagen creation is disrupted and your basic structure can fall apart.

The best way to get vitamin C? Your diet! Dark, leafy greens, broccoli, berries, tomatoes, cabbage, and (of course) citrus fruits are all great sources of ascorbic acid. Orange juice might seem like the easiest idea, but it’s better to get it from whole food sources, as there’s far less sugar.

Where to Get Collagen

So you’re getting enough vitamin C in your diet easily enough; but what about sources of collagen? You need to find foods rich in the three aforementioned amino acids that are combined to make collagen. These are essential in that they your body can’t make them, and they have to come from your diet.

- Bone Broth: Bone broth has the amino acids necessary to help collagen development, is very versatile, and can be added to other protein sources like soups or gravies to make it complete.

- Meat and Eggs: Organic protein sources are traditional, sure, but they can be the best ways amino acids that make up collagen. Make sure to eat the skin if you’re cooking chicken!

Collagen supplements can be effective. There are two types: bovine collagen and marine collagen.

- Bovine Collagen: This is collagen isolated and broken down into smaller, more soluble proteins (hydrolyzed) from cow bones, skin, and connective tissue. While it does have the same amino acids as gelatin, its chemical makeup is different and thus it provides a different benefit. It’s been proven to help fibrils and fibroblast density, stimulating the production of collagen and improving the condition of skin.

- Marine Collagen: It has been shown to do pretty much what bovine collagen does: enhance fibroblasts and fibrils and stimulate collagen formation to make skin healthier. It doesn’t have all the same effects of bovine collagen in regards to joint health, but it’s still a great skincare supplement. So keep those fibroblasts blasting with collagen and the right proteins! They can be important to strengthen your skin, help it glow, and reduce the effects of aging and environmental damage.

Author: Steve Spriensma is a blogger and researcher with Goodness Me! Natural Food Market. Check out their blog for more information on healthy living!

Aging – Friend or Foe?

Aging – it’s either looked at as a blessing or a curse. We start to lose skin firmness, get grey hairs, we don’t think as quickly as we used to, we’re tired and the list goes on with things we could go days complaining about. No matter how we choose to look at this process of life, it’s going to happen whether we like it or not.

It can sometimes get discouraging when we see someone aging better than us. How do they manage that? What is their secret? We’ll buy into anything anyone who looks good says. Sometimes it’s plastic surgery. Sometimes it’s a part of genetics. Sometimes it is diet and exercise.

So now you’re probably thinking, “Plastic surgery?! I can’t afford that… and it is SO painful!” or “Genetics? I won’t even go there!” or “I do not have 2 hours a day to spend in the gym to look better! There’s 0 hope for me”. But there is. A lot of this comes down to diet. Yep! Diet. Diet is one of the hardest things to stick to, but we’re not talking about fad diets here. Fad diets are trouble and the reason we see all of our lost weight come back, plus more. We’re talking about sustainable, life-friendly diets.

In terms of genetics, a lot of families have, for example, diabetes run in the family. You’re definitely at a higher risk of developing that disease but its mainly determined by your lifestyle choices. The quality of foods you eat, your level of movement, sleep patterns, stress and any supplements you take. I’ve read that only 2% of our genes are fixed and the other 98% can be turned on reversed – how uplifting is that?! Everything in you ingest and environmental toxins have a major impact on your genes.

A lot of our issues come from our gut, believe it or not. Our gut is the second-brain to our health and is directly linked to our brain. It sends signals to the brain and if it isn’t at its highest level of performance, your health will suffer. We need an equal balance of good to bad bacteria in our guts and in today’s world with all the processed chemical and sugary foods we have readily available to us, it is definitely easier to feed our bad bacteria and kill off the good. Another thing that kills off our good bacteria in the gut are antibiotics!

You’re probably freaking out right about now because we are all guilty of eating these processed foods and having to take antibiotics when we’re sick – but fret not! I have a few simple solutions you can follow to help improve your gut and overall daily health! These are called microbiomes.

1. Daily probiotics are key!! Please be sure to consult your doctor or naturopath to see which strain amount is best for your body. I absolutely love learning from Melissa Ramos over at Sexy Food Therapy because she always has so much great knowledge to give about probiotics. Not sure where to really start or which brands are best? Alongside asking your doctor, always do your own due diligence. Melissa Ramos has a great blog post you can check out here that is all about probiotics!

2. Avoid junk and processed foods. They’re full of chemicals not made for our bodies, processed sugars, trans fats, and processed oils which wreak havoc on our guts.

3. Eat locally grown, grass fed meats. If you’re a meat eater, eating local is always best. It is environmentally friendly and usually safer to ingest. Remember, what your food has eaten, you’re eating now, too. So if your food was fed grains that are mixed with things I don’t even want to mention, you’re ingesting that, too.

4. Fermented foods help heal your gut. Kefir (fermented milk), sauerkraut, kimichi or other fermented vegetables are good because they are themselves a source probiotics while also healing your gut’s microbiomes.

5. Prebiotics are just as important as probiotics. Prebiotics are a specialized plant fibre that feeds healthy bacteria. Some foods that are filled with prebiotics are: onions, garlic, tomatoes, leeks, asparagus, radishes and Jerusalem artichokes.

6. Exercise!! You don’t need a fancy gym with equipment to exercise. Yoga, dancing, walks, runs – whatever feels best for your body and feeds your soul.

Author: Catarina, holistic nutrition student and founder of Snug Beauty

Wrinkles Giving Away Your Age?

Wrinkles easily give away our age and sometimes we just want to look as youthful as possible. For moments like this, we have a variety of different fillers that help disguise that.

First up,  we have Botulinum Toxin A (BTX A) aka Botox Cosmetic, Xeomin Cosmetic and Dysport. These wrinkle relaxers fight against wrinkles and is a major staple in many people's anti-aging aesthetic program.

These wrinkle relaxers last 3-4 months by weakening the overworked facial muscles where most common wrinkles occur - crow's feet, the vertical lines between the eyebrows called glabellar lines and forehead frown lines. These treatments are safe and effective when used appropriately and by trained professionals.

Second, we have Restylane. Restylane adds fullness and volume to our skin, correcting moderate to severe face wrinkles and folds just like the lines that start at our noses and go to the corners of the mouth (aka nasolabial folds).

Restylane adds fullness and definition in the lips, giving natural-looking and long-lasting results with one treatment! It's recommended that patients be 21 years or older to get this treatment. It begins working immediately through the addition of volume that smooths away those unwanted wrinkles.

Restylane uses a clear gel formula that's formulated specially to act like your body's own hyaluronic acid, which is a naturally occurring sugar found in our bodies!

Another filler that uses hyaluronic acid gel formulation is Juvederm. It refreshes your appearance by restoring lost fullness by filling in lines and wrinkles to show a smoothed effect.

Juvederm also subtly enhances the lips, so it's perfect for filling in any sign of small lips! Juvederm can last 1-2 years depending on which formula best suits you, according to your doctor. You can see immediate, natural-looking results!

If you're feeling lost and unsure of how to get the results you want and which fillers are best for you, please contact us at the spa 519--751-0359 to book a free 15-20 minute consultation!

Author: Catarina, holistic nutrition student and founder of Snug Beauty

Liposonix

Liposonix is the non-surgical go-to for getting rid of stubborn fat around the waist area. This treatment is an hour long with immediate results showing an average of 1 inch lost - that's one whole dress or pant size down!

Although Liposonix isn't a quick fix alternative to diet and weight loss, it's a great addition to get rid of pesky fat cells that won't go down as quickly as the rest of your body.

Liposonix is a proven, unique and effective aesthetic method using a device that's built on ultrasound technology that delivers custom contouring fat reduction. Liposonix ultrasound energy focuses in on the subcutaneous fat layer beneath the skin which helps eliminate unwanted fat cells that sit around the waist.

This is a much more permanent solution than lipolaser in terms of reaching a target area. Liposonix is similar to liposuction in the idea that fat cells are removed from the area, except this is through ultrasound energy and not surgery. that means you don't have to take time off and can go back to your daily routine immediately!

One hour, one treatment, down one size - what more could you ask for?!

What is expected of me as a client? How do I prepare?

Women will be expected to wear a sports bra (preferably lycra-based with some spandex) and brief-style panties. Absolutely no thongs allowed during this process. Bring a loose fitting t-shirt as well. Additional for men, please wear underwear with spandex. Showers before the treatment are highly recommended.

How do I keep my results?

We most definitely recommend finding time to work out within 2 hours of your treatment to help aid in the elimination process. this will help ensure you get the absolute best results from your treatment!

We also recommend keeping a healthy diet that best suits your health.

What's the recovery time like?

Great news - like we said before, there is absolutely no down-time to this treatment! It's not even painful. Clients leave feeling energized, encouraged and absolutely in awe of their results with their first treatments!

Who shouldn't get Liposonix?

Those who have hypertension, pacemakers or cancer shouldn't do this treatment unless cleared by a doctor. Women shouldn't have this treatment completed during their menstrual cycle. You technically can have treatment on your cycle but you will most likely not see results that you would like to due to a raise in hormones that cause bloating.

Any other pointers for my appointment?

Always arrive early to appointments - we're usually booked back to back and will be unable to extend your 1 hour service. If you don't get your full hour, you risk not getting full treatment and as a result, you won't get the results you're looking for.

  • For full information on our bookings and cancellation policies, you can view them here

All of our services come with a free 15-20 minute consultation. Please call the spa to book your slot!

Author: Catarina, holistic nutrition student and founder of Snug Beauty