Collagen is a protein that naturally occurs in our bodies that is crucial to youthful-looking skin. Our collagen levels begin to deplete naturally after the age of 20. After that, we produce about 1% less collagen every year, which causes loss of elasticity, wrinkles, and thinner more fragile skin. The good news is, there are some measures we can take to boost our collagen, keeping our skin plump and smooth for longer. Here’s how to up our collagen for younger looking skin …
- Facial Massage
Regular massage can stimulate the production of collagen and strengthen facial muscles. There’s even a “face gym” in the UK, a workout studio for your face that aims to lift, tone, and tighten facial skin through massage and facial exercises. Studies show facial massage does, indeed, boost blood circulation and collagen production minimizing fine lines and wrinkles. You can incorporate basic massage into your everyday skincare routine by applying your products in an upward, circular motion. You can also try face yoga, facial rollers, or facial massagers.
- Vitamin C Creams & Serums
Collagen thrives in a well-moisturized environment, so keeping your skin hydrated is key in maintaining younger looking skin. That means staying hydrated with lots of water and plant-based foods, and using moisturizer daily. A good cream or serum is a must for anyone looking to minimize fine lines or wrinkles, but penetrating your skin to stimulate collagen can be a challenge. You need to choose a moisturizer with amino acids small enough to penetrate the layers of your skin. Also, choose a serum or cream that contains active skin-plumping ingredients like vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. Pro-tip: high-quality serums and creams will work best when paired with microneedling (see #1), giving you more bang for your buck!
- Add collagen boosting foods to your diet
In addition to topical collagen treatments, you can also nourish your body with essential collagen-producing vitamins and nutrients. Add foods to your diet that will support collagen production, like beans, cabbage, and garlic. These foods can support collagen formation and help maintain your skin’s pigment. You can also eat foods rich in Vitamin C, like broccoli, spinach, goji berries, and kiwi fruits. Vitamin C supports collagen formation reduces oxidative damage. There are some foods you should cut back on like sugar, which has a tendency to attach itself to collagen, weighing it down with glucose. This can lead to skin that appears dull, dry, and aging.
- Take a daily supplement
Supplements can improve and strengthen collagen production from the inside, out. Protein, collagen, biotin, zinc, and vitamin C-rich supplements can work wonders for increasing collagen levels. When choosing a supplement, be sure to opt for one that also contains vitamin C, or take vitamin C in tandem. Vitamin C is critical in the absorption of anti-aging nutrients, and even the synthesis of hyaluronic acid, which boosts collagen production in the human body. Want to boost your body’s hyaluronic acid levels? Add vitamin C rich foods to your diet, like oranges, red peppers, kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and strawberries.
- Add microneedling to your skincare
Microneedling, Dermarolling, or “collagen induction therapy” involves puncturing tiny needles into the surface layer of your skin to induce collagen production. This method of collagen induction through controlled damage is minimally invasive, can be done at home, and has been proven to stimulate collagen and drastically reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and scars. Professional treatments are available, or you can purchase a microneedling tool if you want to do it at home. Microneedling is also a great way to ensure your serums and creams penetrate deep into your skin giving you the best results (see #4).
Although there’s no way to stop the process of aging, we can slow it down by investing in a good skincare routine, staying hydrated, maintaining a healthy diet, and taking supplements to ensure we’re receiving the proper nutrients and vitamins. These things can go a long way, not only in helping us look great but also in helping us maintain quality of life.