There are some proven ways to boost collagen and stay young longer. But first, you must know what collagen is and how it acts on your skin and body.
Collagen is a protein that your own body produces. This protein is essential for the skin, bones, and joints.
The bad news is as you age, your body is no longer efficient at producing collagen.
Experts say that after we reach twenty years old, the body stops producing 1% of collagen per year.
This decrease in collagen levels brings some consequences.
We begin to notice the first signs of aging, such as the dreaded wrinkles, dehydration, and saggy skin.
Fortunately, some research indicates proven ways to boost your collagen and stay young longer.
It is good to know that you can naturally boost collagen growth in your body.
How does collagen influence the appearance of the skin?
Collagen works together with elastin, another essential protein present in the body. Both are responsible for giving the skin a youthful, smooth, and hydrated appearance.
Some typical signs of aging and low levels of collagen are:
- Wrinkles and sagging skin
- Joint pain/osteoarthritis
- Rigid tendons and ligaments
- Weakening of muscles
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Dehydration of the skin
- Hair loss
- Brittle nails
Why do we lose collagen as we age?
The cells responsible for producing collagen are called fibroblasts. Over the years, the collagen production of fibroblasts becomes more deficient and slows down.
Fibroblasts no longer have the same ability to replace broken collagen, leading to aging signs.
Collagen and elastin fibers deteriorate over the years, causing the skin to become less firm and elastic.
Other important reasons for the loss of collagen are:
- Free radicals
- Bad eating habits
- Excessive consumption of sugar
- Careless exposure to UV rays from the sun
- Environmental pollution
Proven ways to boost collagen and stay young longer
As we already established, it is entirely possible to restore and grow collagen levels in your body, according to scientific evidence. And best of all, you can do it naturally without injections or expensive supplements.
Here are the proven ways to boost collagen and stay young longer.
Foods and drinks that contain antioxidants are the number one way to help increase collagen naturally.
Antioxidants are substances that fight free radicals.
These free radicals are molecules that can accumulate in cells and cause aging, DNA alterations, and disease.
Among the foods and beverages with the highest amount of antioxidants to fight against free radicals are:
- Green Tea
- Dark chocolate
- Yerba mate
2.- Foods that reinforce collagen
Some foods can help you produce more collagen or help you retain what you have.
Including these foods in your daily diet will benefit your skin, bones, joints, and overall health:
- High-quality lean protein
- Fruits and vegetables
- Leafy greens
3.- Vitamin C
Vitamin C is essential for healthy skin; thanks to its antioxidant property, it is a well-known ingredient in face creams.
Some research suggests that vitamin C helps increase collagen protein synthesis to repair damaged skin.
Our body does not produce vitamin C by itself; hence we must obtain it from food or supplements.
You can also apply it directly to the skin in the form of facial creams or serums.
Citrus fruits, broccoli, strawberries, and papaya are the highest vitamin C content foods.
Retinol is vitamin A in the form of an active cosmetic. Its benefits for the skin are widely known and studied.
Retinol certainly ranks high when preventing wrinkles and giving skin a shiny, smooth appearance.
In addition to helping increase collagen levels in the skin, retinol also helps block certain enzymes that destroy it.
5.- Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a plant with many nutrients and properties for skincare.
This plant can penetrate the dermis, which is the deepest layer of the skin.
Its benefits include eliminating dead cells, being a great healing agent, and promoting tissue health.
Aloe vera stimulates and strengthens collagen and elastin fibers, whether you apply it directly to your skin or ingest it.
6.- Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally present compound in our body, especially the skin.
This ingredient, whose molecule can contain up to a thousand times its weight in water, is well-known for keeping the skin hydrated.
Hyaluronic acid facilitates cell repair and is a vital component of collagen in the skin.
You can find it in foods rich in amino acids such as soy and beans. Besides, it is also achieved as a supplement or in creams for direct application on the skin.
Ginseng is a medicinal plant that helps increase collagen production in the middle layer of the skin, making it firmer.
The most common type of this plant is Panax ginseng. You can take it orally or apply it topically.
Ginseng has a sheer amount of anti-aging benefits.
One of them is helping the skin fight against free radicals that accumulate due to sunlight and environmental pollution.
Cilantro (coriander leaf) is a popular herb for kitchen recipes.
But did you know that cilantro contains vitamin C, a valuable ingredient in collagen production?
Cilantro or coriander also contains linoleic acid as if that weren’t enough.
This linoleic acid fights free radicals in your body, responsible for damaging healthy skin cells.
9.- Stay hydrated
Surely you know the importance of hydration so that the body can fulfill countless vital functions.
A properly hydrated body can help prevent toxin build-up and repair itself.
Collagen and hydration go hand in hand, as collagen can bind to water to help the skin maintain its moisture levels.
Other essential actions to boost collagen
1.- Stay away from sugar and refined carbs
The excessive consumption of sugars and refined carbohydrates is one of the main enemies of a healthy and youthful appearance.
High glucose levels in the blood increase the levels of inflammation in the body.
The inflammation then leads to the breakdown of your skin’s collagen and elastin, bringing with it the signs of aging.
2.- Always use sunscreen
Indiscriminate exposure to UV rays from the sun destroys collagen and elastin fibers in the skin.
Sunbathing without protection is the leading cause of aging and premature wrinkles.
Never leave the house without protecting your skin with a sunscreen of at least 50 SPF.
3.- Avoid a sedentary lifestyle
Exercises are not negotiable. A proper workout routine provides countless benefits for your health, body, and skin.
Physical activity helps to activate your blood circulation, which provides your skin with more oxygen and nutrients.
The skin will have better color and a smoother and healthier texture by increasing oxygenation.
Another proven benefit of exercise is that it helps reduce the stress that wreaks havoc on your skin.
4.- Get plenty of rest
The appropriate rest is undoubtedly another of the great benefactors not only of your skin but of your health in general.
When it comes to the skin, some of the most important benefits of getting a good night’s sleep are as follows:
- Deeper cell regeneration
- During the night, the body activates systems to remove impurities and toxins from the skin
- The bags and dark circles disappear because rest improves circulation, and the skin is oxygenated
- Proper rest contributes to the production of collagen and elastin
Sleeping at least 7 hours every night boosts collagen and helps with keeping freshness in your skin.
5.- Don’t smoke
Smoking is another of the deadly enemies of youth and beauty. Nicotine inhibits the production of collagen, which makes your skin appear dull, lifeless, and dehydrated.
Also, smoking reduces the flow of blood and oxygen to the skin.
If having radiant and smooth skin is vitally important to you, steer away from cigarettes.
6.- Massage your face
Some dermatologist experts claim that massaging your face can help activate collagen production.
A facial massage can favor muscle relaxation and stimulate the production of fibroblasts.
The result of being consistent with these massages is that the skin becomes firmer, and wrinkles become less visible.
Do collagen supplements work?
Manufacturers of collagen supplements claim that their products provide many benefits for the skin, bones, and joints.
Collagen supplements come from pigs, cows, and certain fish.
The composition of these supplements can vary. However, there are mainly three types of collagen present in them: I, II, and III.
Research is still pending to determine the effectiveness of these supplements.
However, the results from using collagen supplements are pretty promising, so it is worth giving them a try.
Most common skin resurfacing treatments
We have already established that it is possible to naturally restore and increase collagen in the skin.
However, you have decided that you want something a little more dramatic and can afford to get it.
No problem. Next, you list some of the most popular dermatological procedures to rejuvenate the skin.
Some in-office treatments can be more aggressive to the skin and less effective than others. Therefore, it is convenient to choose the procedure that best suits your needs.