Author: Mariel Kennedy, Licensed Esthetician at Ildi Pekar Skin Care
Making up roughly 70% of the dermis, collagen is a fibrous protein that gives your skin firmness and strength. As it is damaged and weakened—from UV rays, environmental pollution, stress, lifestyle, free radicals, and plain old aging—your skin begins to crease and wrinkle where the collagen can no longer fully support the upper layers of your skin. Also working against a youthful bounce and glow, the cells that stimulate collagen (fibroblasts) shift focus once you hit the age of 25; instead of producing more collagen, the cells work to produce more of the amino acids necessary to heal damaged or broken skin. Compound that with the fact that our cellular metabolism and functions increasingly slow the older we get, and signs of aging become more visible. So how do we address the sinking feeling in our heart and face after this harsh anatomy lesson?
Let us introduce you to our new treatment: the Collagen facial.
While topical collagen cannot penetrate into the dermis, hydrolyzed collagen does have the ability to penetrate further into your skin. Hydrolyzed collagen is when the collagen molecule is broken down into the peptides that make it up; these peptides are smaller and easier to absorb topically or digest if taken orally. We begin and end the new treatment by offering a shot of Collagen Elixir (optional), which boasts 5g of responsibly sourced marine collagen peptides. This potent potion also contains a big boost of Vitamin C through its inclusion of acerola berry extract, an antioxidant-rich fruit with a higher ascorbic acid content than an orange or lemon. Not only is vitamin c known for its brightening and antiaging effects but it is also an essential micronutrient for collagen synthesis. Also included are goji berry, aloe vera, and chamomile to protect, hydrate, and relax your body.
If you are a familiar face for our facials, you know all Ildi Pekar facials are customized to your individual needs based on a skin evaluation and conversation preceding your treatment. This is when we will determine the best products and ingredients to clean and exfoliate your skin. The first step to healthy, glowing skin is always a thorough cleansing and removing dull, dead cells.
Now, it’s go time! Based on our examination, we will choose a specific ampoule to combat your biggest skin concern. Ampoules are similar to serums but much more highly concentrated and are kept in single-use glass vials. Once an ampoule to help brighten, detoxify, regenerate, or revitalize is applied to your skin, we penetrate it further with the use of a nanoneedling pen. While the larger microneedle can reach the dermis, it stimulates collagen production by damaging the skin on a microcosmic level, tricking the body into sending healing proteins to reconstruct the damaged area. The deeper needle can result in light bleeding and 24 hours of downtime during which your face will appear redder than usual. The nanoneedle works the same way but is strictly superficial, only penetrating the top layers of the skin and opening them to the potent ampoule.
Next comes masking. At this stage of the treatment, a pure collagen sheet mask is applied to the face. Once you’re covered, we begin Polarisol Polarized LED Therapy, which aids in stimulating collagen production with its deeply penetrating rays. Additional benefits include treating superficial wrinkles or hyperpigmentation, increasing product absorption, and the best sleep you’ll ever have. Again, while topical collagen itself cannot stimulate collagen production, the large and long-chained molecule sits in the surface layers of your skin and binds to water molecules for deep hydration. Moisture and hydration are key to healthy skin, as these are the two main components of the skin barrier or acid mantle. A layer of lipids, sebum, water, and sweat, your acid mantle prevents pathogenic microbes from entering your skin, and something called transepidermal water loss (TEWL), where the water hydrating your skin cells evaporates out of gaps in your barrier. Hydration is also a key function of maintaining healthy collagen, as the fibers are surrounded by molecules called glycosaminoglycans (GAGS) to stay nourished and hydrated; GAGS, such as hyaluronic acid, bind to water molecules and hold them in the skin to maintain hydration.
While you unwind with the mask on, we then get to work on the other areas of your body that can easily show signs of aging: hands neck, and décolleté. The skin on the back of your hands, your neck, and your chest contain fewer sebaceous glands than your face. The discrepancy in moisture content due to this lack of sebum causes the skin to be thinner and drier here, and thus more prone to wrinkles. After a brief cleanse and exfoliation of your hands, we slip on a pair of Collagen Hand Masks, full of nourishing ingredients like niacinamide, rose water, aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and you guessed it, hydrolyzed collagen. Moving up to your chest, we exfoliate before commencing a moisturizing décolleté and neck massage to sink you further into blissful relaxation. Once the gloves are ready to come off, you will receive a hand massage to help any leftover collagen essence absorb.
As always, after we remove your mask, we finish you with I Pekar products and pressurized oxygen to aid absorption and leave you glowing, radiant, revitalized, and hydrated.
Outside of your facial, there are other ways to maintain and stimulate collagen. Using a retinol serum or cream is one of the most effective topicals for stimulating collagen production. You can also ask about ultrasound massage during your next European Deep Cleanse, as the heat and waves created by the ultrasound penetrate into your dermis and create the aforementioned micro-injuries that stimulate an increase in collagen.
Finally, you have to use protection—mainly a strong Vitamin C serum or cream and SPF. Vitamin C is a superstar at scavenging for free radicals in your skin before they cause a chain reaction of chemical damage. And Vitamin C is your SPF’s best friend, bolstering your sunscreen to better perform. Prevention is the best method of treatment, but we have your
back face either way!
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