Animal collagen is commonly extracted from bovine (cow) or porcine (pig) bone or skin, and must be kept at cold temperatures to maintain its molecular integrity, and be able to impact cell function. Refrigerated animal source collagen is the most viable therapeutic collagen with all of its properties intact, which makes it superior to plant collagen when treating aging. Animal collagen is commonly used in dermal fillers for facial enhancement, and is used topically for skin rejuvenation.
Cosmetic Applications; Plant Collagen vs. Animal Collagen
Plant collagen is contained in cosmetics and is made by modifying polysaccharides through fermentation of yeast. They are heated and denatured simple proteins in the form of gelatins, (hydrolyzed collagen) which can exist at room temperatures, and are biologically inactive in the skin. In clinical studies, hydrolyzed collagen can actually inhibit fibroblast production of collagen in the skin.
What is Atelocollagen?
Atelocollagen is a purified animal source collagen where the telopeptide has been removed so there is no immune reaction, but must be kept refrigerated in order to maintain its efficacy. Atelocollagen can be used topically, and is ideal in tissue regeneration and to treat aging skin conditions.
Removing the Antigen
In a Type I collagen molecule, there are antigenic formations called telopeptides at the end of the protein which consists of amino acids. This peptide sequence is unique to each individual. Atelocollagen is a purified animal source collagen where the telopeptide has been removed so there is no immune reaction.
Human Collagen Network
Animal collagen such as bovine or porcine is most like human collagen, and is commonly used to treat facial aging. Atelocollagen is a purified animal source that combines hyaluronic acid for synergistic therapy, to stimulate dermal fibroblasts and collagen remodeling.
Challenges of Type I Collagen Penetration
Collagen Type I; pH Restrictions
Type I collagen is typically dissolved in an acid solution of less than pH 4.0. This creates many restrictions for collagen used as a cosmetic material, which requires a pH 5.5 – pH 6.5.
Large Molecule, Lack of Negative Ionic Charge
General collagen is not easily absorbed into the skin by topical application. This is due to its larger molecular size and lack of negative ionic charge.
Normal Skin vs. Aged Skin
Normal skin has a negative ionic charge, while the cellular membrane of aged skin develops an increased positive ionic charge.
Succinylation; Ionization of Collagen Type I Molecule
Researchers have enhanced the hydrophilic properties of Type I atelocollagen through succinylation, deriving a negative ionization of the molecule. Improved osmosis of purified atelocollagen is achieved when negatively ionized collagen creates an electrostatic interaction with the skin. In this way, absorbed negatively ionized collagen penetrates deep into the dermal and basal tissue, increasing proliferation of the body’s own collagen, and helping to activate dermal cell regeneration.
For active, viable collagen to maintain its integrity and structure, it must be kept between 39-50 degrees Fahrenheit. Active collagen loses its therapeutic properties as temperatures increase, causing the amino acids to denature and break down. Most collagen preparations are manufactured at high temperatures and distributed at room temperature. Collagen preparations distributed at room temperatures are called “hydrolyzed collagen” or “gelatin”. Gelatin products advertised as collagen in cosmetic creams and lotions are just simple proteins which may hydrate the skin, but lack the biologically active properties of true collagen. Hydrolyzed collagen actually inhibits fibroblast production of collagen in the skin.
Benefits of Atelocollagen
Normal skin has a negative ionic charge, while the cellular membrane of aged skin develops an increased positive ionic charge. Researchers have enhanced the hydrophilic properties of Type I atelocollagen through succinylation, deriving a negative ionization of the molecule. In this way, absorbed negatively ionized collagen penetrates deep into the dermal and basal tissue, increasing proliferation of the body’s own collagen, and helping to activate dermal cell regeneration.
Topical atelocollagen that has been formulated by the succinylation process can drastically improve signs of aging and is ideal post-operative chemical exfoliation, layered peels, microneedling, or ablative laser procedures.