Our first thought when something is in decline in our bodies is how we are going to replace it. When collagen production declines, many of us look to topical skincare products with claims of ‘boosting’ this protein and ‘reversing’ the signs of ageing. However, it is thought that the collagen molecule itself is too large to be absorbed by the skin, rendering most of these products pretty ineffective. Today we’re bringing you the best ways we’ve found to support collagen production, perhaps unsurprisingly, are mostly from the inside-out.
OUR TOP TIPS FOR SUPPORTING COLLAGEN PRODUCTION
As well as the natural ageing process, our diet and lifestyle can have a damaging impact on our collagen levels. Prevention is better than cure, and knowing what can damage collagen (such as UV exposure, smoking, excessive amounts of sugar, not enough antioxidant-rich foods, a diet that causes inflammation, alcohol, stress and also the onset of menopause) can help us to make more mindful lifestyle choices; enabling us to slow down the decline of collagen and elastin in our skin. It’s really important for us to embrace change, especially as we get older, so here are some key factors to consider and our top tips for decelerating that decline…
Diet & Lifestyle
- Stimulate collagen production in your body by eating foods which are rich in antioxidants, vitamins C and A.
- Vitamin C helps protect skin by reversing any oxidative damage from free radicals and supports the process of collagen formation by linking amino acids. Without it, collagen does not produce strong connective tissues.
- Vitamin A interrupts the breaking down process of collagen and prevents some sun damage.
- Dark, leafy greens, citrus fruits, berries, red peppers and tomatoes are all packed full of vitamin C, while you will find vitamin A in sweet potatoes, carrots, cod liver oil, spinach, broccoli and mangos.
- Adding hyaluronic acid to your diet can also boost collagen levels by strengthening the skin barrier, maintaining moisture levels, plumping up the skin, aiding wound healing and promoting healthy cell regeneration. This can be found in foods rich in amino acids such as egg whites, meat, cheese and white cabbage.
- Eating foods rich in sulphur (beans, cabbage, leeks, chives, garlic, onions) also aids the forming of collagen and maintains the skin’s natural healthy pigmentation.
- Omega 3 fatty acids found in fatty fish such as salmon, walnuts and seeds also provide the skin and body with the nutrients it needs to boost collagen levels. They are great anti-inflammatories and help to seal in moisture by supporting the lipids in the skin barrier.
- Zinc and copper are both minerals which activate molecules that are required for collagen synthesis (the formation process). Copper is found in shellfish, nuts and red meat while Zinc in most seeds and nuts. Oysters are perfect for providing both!
- Cut back on sugar. Consuming a high sugar diet leads to the glycation process kicking in where collagen and elastin are weakened, meaning they cannot perform their roles and their production levels decline. This results in premature ageing.
You might also like to read: How Sugar Impacts Our Skin
- Exercise regularly as this increases oxygen and blood supply for healthier skin.
- Try to reduce stress and embrace slow living to ultimately improve your sleep habits. This will help prevent excessive cortisol levels which can decrease collagen levels.
- Keep skin hydrated – drink lots of water, eat a healthy, well balanced diet and use hydrating skincare products.
- Cleanse daily and exfoliate 2-3x per week – or once if you have sensitive skin – to protect collagen.
- Look for ingredients in skincare which help stimulate collagen production, such as vitamin C and A. Rosehip oil is naturally rich in vitamin A, marula seed oil is naturally rich in vitamin C and pomegranate seed oil is clinically proven to stimulate collagen synthesis. All three can be found in our face oil and eye oil, and are specially selected for their skin regenerating properties.
- Give yourself a regular face massage, to stimulate blood circulation and oxygen to the skin, which brings with it nutrients too.
- Use products with ginseng – this increases the amount of collagen in the bloodstream and also has inflammatory and anti oxidative properties.
- Wear SPF daily, no matter what the weather is as ultraviolet (UV) rays cause collagen to breakdown more rapidly.
HOW DO YOU SUPPORT COLLAGEN PRODUCTION IN YOUR SKIN?
We’d love for you to tell us in a comment below!