Hyaluronic acid and collagen: the ultimate ageing support combination
Far from the purely systemic benefits of vitamins and trace elements, collagen is known to be a molecule that accompanies aging.
And it is not the only one.
Hyaluronic acid, which is often used in the context of injection-based treatments, is also often considered to be an active ingredient in the fight against the signs of ageing.
Beyond these commonplaces, the nutricosmetics industry has developed various formulas whose effectiveness has gradually been harmonised with consumer expectations.
Indeed, one only has to search the web to realise the growing wealth of products on offer in terms of food supplements using collagen or hyaluronic acid.
However, some brands choose to go one step further by making these two ingredients work together in a synergy that delivers a different level of results.
How does this work? Is there any scientific evidence to support the increased effectiveness of these two ingredients in combination?
The MyPureSkin team helps you choose from the multitude of treatments by understanding why collagen and hyaluronic acid are the ultimate ageing support combination.
It is because they are naturally synthesised within the body that collagen and hyaluronic acid (HA) are an attractive choice for consumers.
Furthermore, these two active ingredients work together on their own within the human body to give your skin its properties, which makes this combination all the more relevant. But why?
A question of molecular affinity
To understand this relevance, we need to delve into the heart of the specialised cells in which collagen and hyaluronic acid are produced: the fibroblasts.
Synthesised within the Golgi apparatus (a “molecular machine” located there), hyaluronic acid has long been considered mainly for its ability to store large volumes of water (a unit of HA can in fact carry quantities representing almost 1000 times its weight).
It wasn’t until the results of key research such as that conducted by researcher Magdalena Donejko¹, published in 2014, that we began to see hyaluronic acid in a new light.
On that occasion, it was by comparing the impact of caffeine and hyaluronic acid on the collagen molecule that her team highlighted the importance of some of the mechanisms of hyaluronic acid in the synergy that binds it to collagen to make the skin what it is.
Nevertheless, understanding these mechanisms requires some knowledge of what collagen and hyaluronic acid are.
Background on collagen: where is it found in the body and what is its role?
Collagen takes its name from the Greek and originally means “glue generator”. This etymology says a little about the use that civilisations have made of it since its discovery and its properties.
Collagen is a major component of the ECM (ExtraCellular Matrix) in which the cells are immersed, and it gives the skin some of its properties. It is notably thanks to it that :
- Your skin maintains its firmness;
- Your epidermis and dermis remain hydrated.
Although it is hyaluronic acid that stores water, it is mainly collagen that maintains the molecules necessary for hydration in the ECM so that they are available for the nutrition of the cells within.
This detail is of capital importance since it allows us to understand that if collagen has its own properties, it is through a collaborative work with other molecules such as hyaluronic acid that it becomes capable of assuming its roles.
Hyaluronic acid: from its synthesis in the golgi apparatus to its use in the ECM
The second most important component of the ECM, hyaluronic acid is produced by a process in the Golgi apparatus.
It is best known for so-called “filler” injections, which provide the skin with increased volume, as shown in the diagram below.
Its synthesis process is relatively complex as many steps are necessary for its creation.
Indeed, to obtain it, the body needs to transform other molecules called “precursors”.
The production of hyaluronic acid therefore goes through the following phases:
- Synthesis of glucoronic acid (precursor 1) from a sugar: glucose;
- Synthesis of udna (uridine diphosphate N-acetylglucosamine, precursor 2) from another sugar: fructose-6-phosphate (itself obtained from glucose);
- Combination of glucoronic acid and udna which react to give rise to hyaluronic acid.
It is because hyaluronic acid contains elements from the structure of glucoronic acid and udna that hyaluronic acid has a certain molecular affinity with collagen.
Furthermore, thanks to research such as that carried out by the team of S.T. Kreger’s team in 2009³ on the modification of the properties of a collagen matrix in culture, we now know two important things about the interactions between collagen and hyaluronic acid:
- Increasing the concentration of hyaluronic acid has the effect of improving the mechanical properties of collagen fibrils (by increasing both the viscosity and elasticity of the fibril network formed by collagen molecules);
- This addition of hyaluronic acid does not affect the fibroblast cells (in other words: hyaluronic acid alone does not stimulate collagen production).
Finally, this study reveals that in general the structure of the network is not qualitatively altered. This allows the collagen to retain its properties.
What does this mean in plain language?
In Kreger’s study, key data is provided, offering engineers in the nutricosmetic industry essential elements for the composition of effective formulas based on collagen and hyaluronic acid. The key points are as follows:
- The addition of hyaluronic acid increases the resistance of collagen molecules to compression. In other words: the collagen networks are less likely to tear, making the skin firmer to the naked eye when it is stressed by movements, such as certain facial expressions, the gestures involved in practising a sport, etc;
- The morphology of the collagen, its quantity and quality are not modified. In other words: it is possible to add other active ingredients, allowing the formulas that incorporate these ingredients to offer other benefits to the skin.
How can we make the most of these mechanisms?
To enable your skin to get the most out of collagen and hyaluronic acid, you can :
- Improve the level of absorption in your digestive system for these elements;
- Accompany their effects to enhance your skin by using other active ingredients known to work synergistically with them.
In particular, by choosing active ingredients such as collagen peptides instead of a classic collagen macromolecule (thus decreasing the “size” of the molecule), it is possible to increase the number of collagen units that pass through the meshes of your digestive system’s “net”.
This means that it becomes possible to increase the bioavailability of a food supplement (its propensity to be assimilated by your body), thus limiting losses during the digestion process to maximise the desired effects.
Moreover, the addition of ingredients such as organic silicon, ceramides or vitamins (C and E in particular) creates an even more interesting synergy, increasing the protection of collagen fibrils against certain agents that cause their degradation (such as oxidative stress caused by prolonged exposure to UVs for example).
In this way, the ageing process (which is characterised by a slowing down of collagen production, among other things) can be modulated, so that the signs of ageing are attenuated since the skin ages… less quickly!
MyCollagenLift: a food supplement for ageing
All these considerations are not lost on our staff.
It is by calling upon a lot of Swiss knowledge and know-how that the MyPureSkin laboratory team fulfils its mission on a daily basis: to accompany you in your efforts to accompany ageing.
Through a formula with ingredients of 100% natural origin, MyCollagenLift proposes to attenuate and prevent the signs of ageing to which your skin is subjected by respecting and stimulating the mechanisms of generation and preservation of its collagen.
Our dietary supplement is thus in the category of premium products, as the IEA (European Institute of Antioxidants) has pointed out by evaluating MyCollagenLift as an “exceptional quality product”, particularly in the fight against oxidative stress.
Such a cocktail helps you preserve your skin’s integrity over the long term.
To achieve this, MyPureSkin has composed its nutricosmetic from the following ingredients:
- Marine collagen peptides whose molecular weight allows them to be highly bioavailable (i.e. easier to assimilate by your body);
- Hyaluronic acid to help you achieve a good level of hydration;
- Wheat oil ceramides to complete this moisture maintenance effort for your skin;
- Vitamin C from acerola fruit to help protect your cells from oxidative stress;
- Vitamin E also acts as an antioxidant;
- Organic silicon to structure your skin while increasing your defences against the harmful effect of free electrons.
Want to trade in your wrinkles for firmer skin? Need a boost of elasticity?
MyCollagenLift offers you to start a first 3-month treatment for visible results from 4 weeks and progressive effects that will last.
- Studies by Magdena Donejko on the influence of caffeine and hyaluronic acid on collagen biosynthesis: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4206198/
- Research by Kreger on the modulation of the viscoelasticity of a collagen matrix by modifying the concentration of hyaluronic acid: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2766663/