How to Preserve and Boost Collagen in Your Skin
DO YOU KNOW WHAT COLLAGEN IS AND WHAT IT DOES FOR YOUR SKIN? ARE YOU DREAMING OF A YOUTHFUL AND SUPPLE COMPLEXION?
Collagen is a beauty protein that consists of amino acids containing carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. Collagen consists of four kinds of amino acids namely glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and arginine.
Roughly 30% of proteins in your body consist of collagen. It is found in the connective tissues, bones, ligaments, and tendons. Connective tissues mainly consist of collagen, which supports the regeneration of cells and skin elasticity, firmness, and suppleness.
A ligament is a kind of connective tissue that connects one bone to another to provide support and stability. A tendon is connective tissue that connects a muscle to a bone or another structure such as the eyeball. A tendon is also a structure that supports the movement of the bone structure.
Collagen is an integral part of the skin, hair, and nails. It protects the skin from the absorption and spread of pathogens, toxins, microorganisms, and even cancerous cells.
Various structures of the body are strengthened because collagen acts as a bond that holds everything together. Collagen holds together the cells and tissues of muscles, blood vessels, digestive tract, heart, gallbladder, and kidneys.
As we age, collagen production becomes slower resulting in the weakening of cell structures. Starting in your twenties, collagen production diminishes by roughly 1% each year. Other environmental factors such as UV rays, smoking, and other lifestyle habits also contribute to the damage and depletion of collagen.
With that being said, it is important to be aware of how to protect and boost the collagen levels in your body.
Natural ways to boost and preserve your collagen
1. Load up your diet with more protein
Loading your diet up with more collagen-rich or collagen-boosting foods may help produce amino acids that are essential for collagen synthesis.
- Bone broth is rich in bioavailable collagen that can be immediately used by your body
- Chicken meat is a good source of dietary collagen
- Fish and shellfish are also good sources of marine collagen which is easily absorbed by the body. Make note that fish meat contains less collagen than its head, scales, and eyeballs.
- Egg whites are power-packed with proline, an amino acid that is essential for collagen production.
2. Load up your diet with fresh produce
- Citrus fruits: According to research, Vitamin C stimulates the DNA to regulate and sustain intracellular levels of collagen which has an anti-aging effect. The body can not produce collagen without vitamin C so getting enough of this vitamin is highly essential.
- Berries are excellent sources of Vitamin C. Raspberries, blueberries and blackberries contain more vitamin C than oranges. Berries are also rich in antioxidants which protect the skin and prevent collagen breakdown.
- Tropical fruits: Aside from being power-packed with Vitamin C, tropical fruits like guava are rich in zinc, an essential co-factor in collagen synthesis.
- Garlic not only makes dishes more flavorful, but it also contains high amounts of sulfur, a mineral that boosts the synthesis and inhibits the breakdown of collagen. However, be careful in consuming too much garlic, especially raw garlic as it may cause heartburn, upset stomach, and bleeding.
- Green leafy veggies: Chlorophyll-rich vegetables such as spinach, kale, swiss chard, and other leafy vegetables are full of antioxidants that prevent the breakdown of collagen. Some studies also found that chlorophyll accelerates the precursor to collagen in the skin.
- Beans are high in proteins that contain amino acids for collagen synthesis and abundant in copper, another nutrient that is essential for collagen production.
- Cashews: Packed with zinc and copper, both of which supports collagen production
- Tomatoes: Another good source of Vitamin C and lycopene, a powerful antioxidant for skin support.
3. Limit your sugar intake
Too much sugar in your blood causes glycation, the process where sugar molecules attach to protein molecules. This is the inflammatory effect that damages your collagen.
Lifestyle changes and habits that boost and protect your collagen
1. Quitting smoking
Smoking significantly contributes to the aging process by constricting blood vessels and impeding the distribution of oxygen and nutrients to the skin. Smoking also produces free-radicals that break down your collagen and elastin fibers. This speeds up the aging process causing more wrinkles and fine lines.
When you completely quit smoking, blood and nutrients can flow freely delivering the nutrients that your skin needs. Your skin can never fully recover to its original state before you start smoking, but the damage can be improved while collagen and elastin starts to renew.
2. Managing your stress
Experiencing too much stress increases the cortisol levels in your body. Cortisol is a hormone that is released due to stress. Cortisol is an enemy to collagen. Deep breathing, meditation, and listening to music are ways to relax your body to regulate cortisol levels and increase blood flow and oxygen levels.
3. Cutting back on alcohol
When alcohol is metabolized, it produces free radicals that cause damage to the natural antioxidant defense system of your body resulting in the breakdown of collagen. According to The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, people who have eight or more alcoholic drinks in a week are more prone to have fine lines and wrinkles.
4. Getting enough sleep
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get seven to nine hours of sleep every night. As part of your body’s natural repair process, your skin produces collagen while you sleep. The more collagen you have in your body, the plumper and less prone to wrinkling your skin becomes.
Dr. Patricia Wexter, a NYC dermatologist, said that sleeping only five hours a night can double your fine lines as compared to sleeping seven hours a night. Maintaining a regular sleeping schedule of seven to nine hours a night supports the collagen renewal in your body.
5. Engaging in daily exercise
Exercise and other physical activities are ways to fight stress and slow down the aging process. Regular exercise boosts your blood circulation. It nourishes your skin by bringing more nutrients and oxygen to it. Exercise also regulates the healthy levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Too much cortisol in your blood damages collagen.
6. Using sunscreen
A broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher is essential in preventing skin cancer and keeping your skin young and supple. Exposure to the UV rays of the sun causes collagen to break down. Wearing your sunscreen regularly all year round is necessary to protect your skin from the UV rays that are still present even on cloudy days.
Sunscreens only protect your skin for two hours so it is important to reapply it every two hours throughout the day especially when exposed to the sun. Reapply it immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
You should also avoid tanning beds as they have the same negative effect as being exposed to the UV rays of the sun.
7. Staying hydrated
Drinking sufficient amounts of water and staying hydrated is probably the most simple way of boosting collagen production. When you are well hydrated, water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin C can effectively be used to stimulate collagen repair and production. You should drink at least 8 glasses a day to stay hydrated.
Use skincare products with ingredients and supplements that will help boost and preserve collagen
Retinols help increase fibroblasts and stimulate them to synthesize collagen fibers. The results of some studies also indicate that retinol also boosts the production of elastin fibers which provides elasticity to the skin and supports the recovery of skin deterioration.
2. Topical Vitamin C
Besides sunscreen, slathering Vitamin C Serum on in the morning provides the skin with antioxidants that protect the skin and collagen from being damaged by the UV rays of the sun. Vitamin C also stimulates collagen production and stabilizes collagen.
Peptides are compounds that contain two or more amino acids that function as building blocks of proteins. Collagen levels diminish as we age, so incorporating skincare products that contain peptides into your routine stimulates skin cells to synthesize more collagen and elastin. Both are essential for healthy and younger-looking skin.
4. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is famous for healing and soothing cuts and burns because of its cell growth-stimulating property that boosts collagen production. It also contains molecules called sterols that stimulate the skin to produce collagen and hyaluronic acid.
5. Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid functions as a water-binding element of the skin. It supports the production of collagen by surrounding and protecting the skin cells that produce collagen with water.
6. Collagen-boosting supplements
There are many different collagen supplements available on the market today that come in various forms such as capsules and powders that can be conveniently mixed with your drinks. According to the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, collagen supplements enhance skin elasticity and density of collagen in the skin.
YEOUTH anti-aging skincare products contain premium ingredients that boost and preserve the collagen levels in your skin.
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Morning skincare essentials help boost your skin’s natural protection against harmful free radicals that break down our skin’s collagen and elastin which leads to signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. This Daytime Defense skincare bundle helps neutralize the negative effects of the UV rays, pollution, stress, smoke, and other environmental factors that we encounter on a daily basis.
REGENOTIN ADVANCED COLLAGEN GENERATOR ( $51.95 )
It is clinically proven to increase collagen levels and reduce wrinkle depth and skin roughness by 30%. Regenotin also promotes keratin and elastin formation—two major beauty proteins that assist in skin elasticity and hair growth.