This article has been published in the spring edition (#44) of the Dutch magazine LEVEN! – The Hague

Do I have enough collagen?

One of the key building blocks for beautiful skin is collagen. Unfortunately, the production of this naturally occurring protein starts declining once you hit 30 years of age. Thankfully, you can visit a Van Lennep Clinic for a variety of collagen stimulation treatments that actively promote the natural production of collagen.


“I regularly welcome new customers who are suddenly worried that their skin is losing its elasticity due to collagen loss,” says Ludy Holst, a KNMG (Royal Dutch Medical Association) certified cosmetic doctor at the Van Lennep Clinic in The Hague and Oegstgeest.


“Ludy,” they ask me, “do I still have enough collagen for someone of my age?” It’s good that they question this. Collagen molecules are the main protein in the connective tissue that’s responsible for the firmness and elasticity of the skin. If the amount of collagen decreases, you develop wrinkles. Fine lines, as well as deeper furrows. And certain other body parts, such as the neck, hands, buttocks and abdomen, will also start to sag.



So we have to look after our skin. It’s not only aging that plays a role in the reduction of collagen production, but also your lifestyle. Collagen breaks down more rapidly in those who smoke or spend an excessive amount of time in the sun. UV protection is essential, as is regular exercise, healthy eating and drinking sufficient water. Only 20% of collagen degradation is genetically predetermined, whilst the remaining 80% is influenced by external factors. Do you sometimes wonder whether your skin could do with being that little bit firmer or a little less saggy? But are you worried that others might notice that you’ve had some work done? “My motto in life is: if you use all the tools at your disposal in moderation, then you’ll invariably achieve a natural result and resilient skin that improves with age.”


Invest in the future

The optimal skin tightening and firming treatment is not the same for everyone. That’s why we develop a bespoke solution from the numerous collagen-stimulating treatments that are available. Sculptra is an injectable cosmetic filler that delivers lasting results. The injections contain polylactic acid that stimulates the production of your own collagen; a process that begins after approximately 4 weeks.


For those with an aversion to needles, there are of course alternatives, such as a course of connective tissue massage. In this treatment, a specially trained skin therapist performs a vigorous massage to stimulate collagen production. The skin receives a genuine ‘lift’ and it’s an excellent way to improve your overall skin condition. Then there are the Accent XL and Clearlift laser treatments. Amongst other benefits, this laser technology encourages the production of new collagen, resulting in firmer, younger-looking skin. These laser treatments don’t only target your face, but also your neck, cleavage and body. “We want men and women to have a positive body image, because the right balance between taking care of the inside and the outside contributes to a happy life.”


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