Argan Oil, Collagen & Healing Scars
Collagen makes up around 74% of our skin.
It holds us together and heals damage to the skin. Commercial products often use Retinoids to try an increase collagen.
Although they can increase skin thickness over time they thin the stratum corneum. This is an important barrier which holds in moisture. This thinning is called Xerosis – dry skin.
Prolonged use of retinoids can decrease the ceramide levels in skin which are essential for making collagen!
But is there a solution that will increase collagen production in the long term but without side effects?
Topical Creams to Boost Collagen?
It is the collagen in our skin that keeps it soft, supple and taut.
Collagen is what keeps our skin looking young, prevents sagging skin, lines and wrinkles from forming.
In fact lower Collagen levels are simply the main signs of skin aging.
Exposure to sun, hormone changes or smoking all accelerate skin aging. In these cases the degrading of collagen in the skin is caused by oxidative stress in the cells.
This is where the use of vitamin supplements, in particular essential fatty acids, and the use of external products can be of help.
For women an important cause of collagen loss at menopause is lower oestrogen levels. Oestrogen actually acts as a powerful natural anti oxidant that protects loss of collagen.
Maintain Hydration & Combat Aging
Skin hydration is important for maintaining skin elasticity and youthful looking skin.
Lipids in outer layers of skin play a vital role in hydration. These molecules are the building blocks of cells within the body.
Lipids are synthesised from fats in the diet in particular Oleic fatty acids. The membranes around your cells are actually made up of proteins and up to 80% lipids.
Studies were made into skin aging and how Argan Oil led to a significant improvements in hydration.They discovered that a diet rich in oils rich and linoleic acid and external application of nutrient rich oils had a positive impact on skin dryness cellular health.
This Argan Oil study discovered a decrease in transepidermal water loss and a significant increase in water content of the epidermis 
Another study researchers found that a food supplement containing lipids and ceramides derived from wheat restored hydration in patients suffering from dry itchy skin 
It was this research lead to the production of a product for dry skin which is called Lipowheat. This is said to be of benefit in cases of very dry skin conditions such as Eczema.
Lipid replacement therapy research concluded that: “Membrane lipids are essential to cellular membrane function and cells. Their restoration by exogenous membrane lipids is a useful approach for maintaining and restoring cellular membrane function.” 
Anti Oxidants, Skin Cell Renewal & Healing Skin
Anti-oxidants are essential to support collagen production by neutralising “free radicals” in the body.
Two of the most potent anti-oxidants are vitamin C and Vitamin-E, which is found in high levels in Argan Oil. But why is protection against free radical damage important and why are anti oxidants so important?
Free radicals are atoms or molecules that are very chemically reactive. Their destructive power is concentrated in the place where they are created, which is mostly in the cells’ mitochondria – cells in your body or on the surface of the skin.
Free radical molecules seek opportunities to “steal” electrons which they are missing. To get these missing “electrons” they will attack any nearby chemical compounds.
This includes biological chemical compounds that are involved in important reactions in your body, or even a part of a DNA molecule. They leave behind damaged cells throughout the body – in heart muscle cells, nerve cells, and the skin.
Free radicals damage collagen by stealing an electron from one of the proteins in a strand of collagen. This causes a change in the chemical structure of the collagen at that point, creating a tiny break in the strand.
Once a bundle of collagen has multiple points of damage that occur over the years, it becomes damaged and disorganised.
As a result, our skin begins to get that familiar sag and wrinkled effect.
Skin has cellular enzymes and other metabolic processes to deal with this oxidation damage. However, environmental stresses like sunlight, smoking, and pollution, can eventually overpower these protective controls.
Applying a antioxidant like vitamin C in combination with Argan Oil which is also rich in anti oxidants, Vitamin and Linoleic Fatty Acid ( G.L.A.), is a very effective way to boost the skin’s natural collagen for protection against free radical damage over the long term.
Vitamin C contributes to reducing damage from the sun and promotes healing of scars.
Several clinical trials have discovered that topical vitamin C has these beneficial effects on aged and photo-damaged skin. A placebo-controlled study performed in 25 volunteers showed that those who topically applied a topical formulation of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) experienced a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles in aged skin after a relatively short time period of 12 weeks. 
Vitamin E is one of the most powerful anti oxidants.  It is available topically in very high levels in Argan Oil. In addition taking it as a supplement can slow skin aging and aging of the body in general.
Natural Oils & Herbs that Boost Collagen & Heal Scars
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Argan Oil is a complex blend of essential fatty acids, Vitamin E, Ursolic Acid, Carotenoids, Polyphenols, Ferulic Acid, phytosterols, Squalene all of which are active in maintaining healthy skin cell growth.
Comfrey ( Allantoin )
Comfrey roots and leaves contain a rich variety of nutrients including allantoin which is known to stimulate skin cells growth.
Research studies tested the benefits and effects of extracts of Comfrey for the healing of wounds and damaged skin. A study with 278 patients was made using a 10% topical preparation. After 3 days researchers noted a faster reduction in the size of wounds of 49% +/- 19% with Comfrey versus 29% +/-13% in the size of wounds. It also accelerated the healing time by nearly 3 days. 
Rose Hip Oil
Rose hip Oil is also full of antioxidants and high in vitamin C. Rose hip oil is very rich in beta carotene which is known to promote a healthy skin as well as other anti-inflammatory components. Rose hip nutrients work on a cellular level too to rejuvenate the skin.
The high vitamin C content of Rose hip Oil means it may also have beneficial effects for treating melasma, hyper pigmentation or dark patches on the skin.
Calendula is a wonderful herb. Rubbed on the skin it is thought to help reduce wrinkles by stimulating collagen production. The University of Maryland discovered that calendula cream can assist in healing wounds. A study in Brazil also found “a significant increase in the collagen amount” in their test groups when compared to the control group. 
Aloe is proven to help heal wounds by increasing collagen production. University of Colorado-Denver discovered that when using aloe, production of collagen may increase 90% or more. 
Gotu Kola ( Centella asiatica )
Gotu Kola, like Argan Oil, is rich in Vitamin A, amino acids, fatty acids, phytochemicals and triterpenoid saponins. In traditional medicine extracts of Gotu Kola are used to calm inflammation, improve wound healing, heal scars, repair veins and strengthen skin. It also stabilises and balances connective tissue formation in skin problems such as Scleroderma. 
So it clearly has strong anti aging potential for improving skin firmness and quality. Scientific studies also show that the Gotu Cola extracts are able to penetrate the skin to achieve these results. 
The chemical make up of Echinacea extract was examined to test the reported effects on skin.  Polyphenols were isolated from Echinacea and tested for reducing collagen degradation by slowing oxygen radical damage. Research found that topical use of Echinacea extract can help slow or prevent UV induced collagen damage.