Skin care treatment frequently asked questions

    Q. Beautiful summer

    Roll on the holidays! But as tempting as it is to think that life’s a beach right now, overdoing the sun and good times won’t do your skin any favours. Zehra Age Beautifully helps you get through summer beautifully.


    Q. Heal thyself!

    When we wound our skin accidentally or intentionally, we want it to heal in the best way possible. Zehra Age Beautifully is here to help. (more…)

    Q. What is collagen?

    Collagen, the most abundant material in the human body (25–35%), is the elastic net, which makes skin resilient, strong and elastic.

    When asking yourself ‘what is collagen?’ – picture a trampoline. When something heavy is placed on it, the trampoline sinks down a little, but, as soon as the object is removed, the trampoline springs back into its original shape. When a trampoline becomes older, especially if exposed to the elements (sun, rain, etc.), it begins to sag, and eventually is unable to return to its original shape. However, by taking care of it, and therefore maintaining the elastic fibres that give it bounce, the trampoline will remain resilient and elastic.

    Collagen is the trampoline of your skin. With the ageing process, collagen production decreases, making it essential to provide skin with the substances it needs to replenish it. By looking after your skin (both from the inside and the outside), its ‘bounce-back’ ability is maintained, keeping your skin youthful and beautiful.

    Q. What is elastin?

    Elastin is a protein forming part of connective tissue and which is crucial for body tissue, particularly skin, lungs, bladder and blood vessels, to stretch and bounce back to their original shape (like a rubber band). While collagen fibres provide the strength and support, elastin provides stretchability, thus one of the main reasons skin begins to sag and lose elasticity with ageing is due to decreased elastin production. The body’s ability to produce elastin fibres declines after approximately 25–30 years of age.

    The amino acids valanine, glycine, proline and alanine, found in high quantities in Peptan™ Collagen, are required for elastin formation.

    Q. Can I do anything else to boost collagen and elastin in my body?

    Taking Zehra with Peptan™ Collagen is the first step to take in rejuvenating the collagen and elastin levels in your body – essential for firm, radiant skin. But you can also take the following to heart without having to resort to expensive salon beauty treatments:

    • Stock up on vitamin C as it’s crucial for collagen and elastin production[19] – a deficiency has been linked to weak elastin fibres. Vitamin C cannot be made by the body and is increasingly denuded in our food so supplementation is important.
    • Eat enough protein – at least two servings daily – as collagen and elastin rely on sufficient protein in order to be produced.
    • Exfoliating as part of your skin care treatment increases skin cell turnover and increased blood flow to the skin, thus contributing to healthy-looking, glowing skin.
    • Sun damage is one of the primary causes of collagen and elastin breakdown in the skin, plus it encourages free radical formation and potentially cancerous changes.

    Visit our Skin Care Tips page for more information on sun protection.

    Q. What are free radicals?

    Oxygen is crucial to sustain human life. Cells acquire energy by burning nutrients (fuel) with oxygen, much like a fire. When fire burns, by-products, like ash and smoke, are produced. Likewise, as cells utilise oxygen, by-products, including carbon dioxide and free radicals form. Free radicals, first identified by chemistry professor Dr Moses Gomberg in 1900, are unstable oxygen molecules and are, therefore extremely reactive. They interact with other more stable molecules, which then destabilises the previously-stable molecule, leading to further free radical formation. This chain reaction leads to cell damage.

    Dr E.R. Stadtler, age researcher at the National Institutes of Health, Maryland, USA, explains that, “The human life span simply reflects the level of free radical oxidative damage that accumulates in cells”.

    Modern life is characterised by higher levels of free radical-producing substances, including pollution, chemicals in food and the atmosphere, stress, alcohol, smoking, and medication. As the body works harder to process these, more free radicals are produced.

    Q. What are antioxidants?

    These are substances in our food that combat the effects of free radicals on cells, and support immune system function. Antioxidant molecules bind to free radicals, neutralising them so they cannot damage cells, plus they help to repair already damaged cells.

    An excellent example of free radical versus antioxidants is that of a cut apple. When an apple is cut in half, the white flesh begins to turn brown and dry due to exposure to oxygen (i.e. oxidation). However, sprinkling the surface with lemon juice (containing vitamin C) prevents this process, keeping the apple fresh for longer.

    Essential antioxidants are vitamin C, E and D, zinc, selenium, lycopene, zeaxanthin, co-enzyme Q10, and flavonoids (colourful compounds found in certain foods we eat). Antioxidants can be found in higher quantities in bright- and dark-coloured fruit and vegetables, rooibos and green tea, dark chocolate and wholegrains.

    Q. What is HACCP?

    Hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) is a seven-point system of risk-assessment and –elimination relating to food and pharmaceutical safety standards. Initially this system was only applied in the meat and poultry industry, but was later expanded to the entire food industry. HACCP compliance (which is currently voluntary in areas other than food production) indicates adherence to internationally recognised food safety and production standards.

    Q. What are the different layers of the skin?

    Skin is the body’s largest organ, and is composed of three layers – the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous fat. It’s important to understand the basics of how skin is composed and functions in order to understand why the right skin care treatment is so important.

    The Epidermis

    This is the skin you see – the top layer. It can be likened to powder dusted over your makeup. New cells are formed in the bottom layer of the epidermis (the basal layer), and work their way up to the top – around 90–95% of the epidermis is responsible for making these fresh, new cells. This takes two to four weeks, which is why it takes a little time for that inner beauty to become outer radiance.

    The rest of the epidermal cells make melanin – the substance responsible for skin colour. Sun exposure increases melanin production (creating the darker colour of a tan) – this is the skin’s way of trying to protect itself from the sun. However, this isn’t enough to give you true sun protection – sunscreen, covering up and staying out of the sun are still essential to prevent wrinkling and skin cancer.


    Just below the epidermis is the dermis; a constant hive of activity, packed with nerve endings, oil and sweat glands, blood vessels, and, importantly for the appearance of your skin, collagen and elastin. The multitude of blood vessels are crucial for skin health as they bring oxygenated blood to and remove waste products from the skin cells – essential for radiant skin.

    Keeping your skin moist and supple are the oil glands, which excrete sebum (the skin’s natural oil) onto the epidermis.

    Subcutaneous layer

    We’ve all become so concerned with eliminating fat from our diets that we’ve forgotten that some fat is necessary for skin to stay plump and soft. Taking in enough omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and staying hydrated are essential to supporting this layer, which contains fat cells, along with hair follicles and blood vessels.

    Find the answers to your questions about Zehra by visiting our Zehra FAQs page.

    Q. What is ISO22000?

    ISO22000 is a new international food safety and quality management system incorporating GMP, BRC, and HACCP. Compliance to this standard is audited annually.