Probably most famous in its injection form, collagen has a reputation as solely a lip plumper. However, it actually is one of the most natural ingredients in your body. This structural protein makes up 25 to 35 percent of our connective body tissue and is found in joints, ligaments and even your skin.
Collagen is what gives skin its natural elasticity. It is like the glue that holds all your cells together and keeps them in place so they hold a uniform position. It also is a natural protector, as it can defend against toxins, cancer cells and other damaging elements. It’s one of the many reasons it’s not only found in your skin but also in the protective layers on your organs.
There’s a catch, though — as you age, you’re going to lose a lot of your natural collagen. When you get older, the production of this essential protein begins to slow down. It’s the loss of collagen that fuels many problems that come with aging, whether it’s wrinkles, sagging or even stiff joints.
As you get older, it’s more important than ever to replenish the natural collagen in your body. Here are five ways to preserve your current amount of collagen and boost the amount you have in order to return to your natural supple skin:
EATING RIGHT. A good diet fuels your body as well as your skin, so make sure that you’re getting the right foods that will help speed your collagen production. Foods with Omega-3 fatty acids, such as olive oil, flaxseed and fish, are great for helping your skin fuel the production of this essential protein. Also look for foods rich in antioxidants, such as lycopene and other vitamins, as they help provide the inner nutrients that will help speed up collagen production overall.
PROTECT YOURSELF FROM SUN. Avoiding tanning beds and keeping your skin protected will do wonders for keeping your skin elastic and plump. Studies have shown time and again that wearing sunscreen and protecting your body from UVA/UVB rays is one of the most important ways you can combat not only skin cancer but also overall aging, as sunlight can diminish your natural collagen. Make sure to later on SPF 15 or more before you head outside and wear protective clothing.
SUPPLEMENTS. If you’re not getting the right nutrients in your diet to produce collagen, there are plenty of supplements available on the market. However, ingesting collagen to get more of it may not do you any favors, as once digested your body won’t be able to tell the difference between that any other protein that you would digest, such as meat, cheese or eggs. The key to getting collagen through supplements is looking for those with Vitamin C, as they are the natural mineral that is used in collagen production.
DERMATOLOGICAL HELP. There are different treatments that use ultrasound and radio frequency in order to help stimulate the skin to retain collagen for longer and produce more. Ultherapy, radio frequency treatment and fractional laser resurfacing are all used to help increase collagen production naturally in your skin. For those who may be looking at needles, there is injectable collagen, although the long-term results may not be as promising. Botox can be useful in collagen, but only to preserve your current collagen, not to increase the amount in your skin.
CREAMS. If you’re seeking more natural ways to help increase your collagen production, creams containing this essential protein along with other nutrients can help nourish your skin. Vitamins A, C and E all help in anti-aging, with A providing the start for retinoids, or wrinkle fighters, C helping encourage collagen production and E offering overall protection from UV damage.
What do you feel is the best way to get more collagen in your body? Did you know about how collagen affects your skin? Let us know in the comments below!