Atelocollagen is used in natural skin care products as a hydrating agent. Atelocollagen works as a hydrating agent by holding in moisture. It also is believed to have anti-aging abilities, such as softening & diminishing the appearance of fine lines/wrinkles.
Atelocollagen is used in a variety of products such as facial lotions/creams, anti-aging serums, eye creams, face masks, sunscreens and lip balms.
Collagen is a protein polymer which makes up one third of the human body’s protein, and makes up 75% of the skin. Collagen is what makes the skin strong, thick, supple, and smooth. As we age, our skin’s collagen production begins to progressively break down, and the result is more wrinkled and saggy looking skin. It is believed that stimulating collagen production can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and improve our overall skin texture.
Recent studies have shown atelocollagen to be an effective delivery agent for proteins, DNA, and RNA. However, neither the delivery of atelocollagen into the skin, nor the ingredient’s ability to stimulate natural collagen production, has yet to be proven. Dr. Leslie Baumann in Cosmetic Dermatology explains how topically applied collagen is too large to penetrate the upper layer of skin (only molecules of weight 5000 daltons or less can penetrate the skin, and collagens have a molecular weight of 15,000-50,000).
Recently, several chemical engineering companies claimed to have discovered a nanotechnology that allows for the successful delivery of full-sized collagen deep into the skin, via topical application. These recent claims have yet to be supported by sufficient scientific evidence. Thus far, atelocollagen has only been recognized as an effective moisturizing ingredient in cosmetic products.
Atelocollagen is a highly purified type I collagen of calf dermis with protease treatment. A collagen molecule has an amino acid sequence called a telopeptide at both N and C termini, which confers most of the collagen’s antigenicity. Atelocollagen obtained by protease treatment is low in immunogenicity because it is free from telopeptides.
Atelocollagen is generally obtainable with a high degree of purity. This feature is due to the protease treatment, which when used to extract atelocollagen breaks down other protein contaminations.
Atelocollagen is biodegradable. Therefore, atelocollagen is used in a variety of fields such as medicine, medical devices and cosmetics as a raw material, and research in cell culture.
Atelocollagen can be engineered into many different physical shapes such as films, sponge-like structure, string-like configurations, powders and gels. It is possible to leverage the special properties of atelocollagen to produce the most appropriate configuration for any application. For example, atelocollagen is normally insoluble in water with neutral pH, but this characteristic can be altered to make it soluble. It is also possible to use atelocollagen equally as a coagulant or as an anticoagulant, and it is also possible to control the rate at which it is absorbed by the body.
Plant collagen is contained in cosmetics simply because it can exist at room temperature. It is made by modifying polysaccharides through fermentation of yeast, which is heated and denatured simple proteins in the form of gelatins, also known as hydrolyzed collagen. Clinical studies have shown that hydrolyzed collagen can actually inhibit fibroblast production of collagen and collagen formation. Products advertised as collagen in cosmetic creams and lotions, are just simple proteins which hydrate the skin, and are biologically inactive in human skin.
The secret to healthy skin is using topical ingredients that are actually bioactive in the skin. Topical atelocollagen is the only bioactive topical collagen that can actually stimulate fibroblasts and collagen renewal.
Atelocollagen is a purified animal source collagen where the telopeptides have been removed from the molecule so there is no immune reaction. Topical purified atelocollagen will increase proliferation of the body’s own collagen, and show dramatic results when treating scarring and aging skin conditions. Synergistically, studies have shown that when atelocollagen is combined with hyaluronic acid, cell renewal and growth factor activity was increased.
In the past, collagen molecules were too large and had to be injected for optimal results. Through a process called succinylation, researchers were able to enhance the hydrophilic properties of animal Type I collagen, by deriving a negative ionization of the molecule. This technology created a topical animal collagen that was able to be absorbed and penetrate deep into the dermal and basal tissue, increasing proliferation of the body’s own collagen, and helping to activate dermal cell regeneration.
When choosing a collagen product, one must decide if you are looking to moisturize the skin (hydrolyzed collagen) or are you looking to stimulate cell renewal and collagen formation in the skin (atelocollagen). Whatever your choice, ask to see clinical studies demonstrating the efficacy of the product. Any ingredient that is biologically active in skin care should have clinical studies behind it.