If you have ever bought an anti-aging cream, there is a high chance that it contained collagen. Because of the role it plays in keeping our skin shiny and healthy, collagen can be found in all types of beauty products meant to keep our appearance youthful – oils, creams, or pills.
Though your body produces collagen naturally, it becomes more and more difficult to keep the right levels of these proteins as you get older. And losing collagen is one of the main reasons why your skin gets saggy and wrinkled.
If restoring the glowing look of your skin is a top priority, you should consider some methods of boosting collagen production in your body, such as the ones listed below.
What Is Collagen?
Before we delve any deeper, let me first explain what collagen is. Although most people think of collagen as the protein that is beneficial to the appearance of the skin, it actually plays many different roles in your body.
Although most people think of collagen as the protein that is beneficial to the appearance of the skin, it actually plays many different roles in your body.
It can be found in tissues comprising tendons, muscles, skin, or even bones. Without it, your body would lose its structural integrity. That’s why if the amount of collagen in your body increases, your skin will look tighter, effectively making you look healthier.
Apart from making your skin look more youthful, collagen is also often used by people with joint or back problems. That’s because collagen is essential to increasing the density of your bones. As we age, their collagen content decreases, which can be remedied by such things as taking collagen supplements, like the ones that can be found at Primal Harvest, or following the right diet.
How to Maintain Healthy Levels of Collagen in Your Skin?
Though around 80% of the skin is made of collagen, apart from our age, several other factors could have a negative impact on the collagen content in the skin as well:
- A poor diet can make your skin age prematurely. Eating foods high in sugar will increase your blood sugar levels and lead to inflammation in your body. This, in turn, can make your skin look saggy and wrinkled. Apart from avoiding too much sugar in your diet, you could also increase your intake of antioxidants, which would reduce the negative impact of sugar on the looks of your skin.
- Stress is another factor that can somewhat surprisingly affect the appearance of your skin. That’s because when you are stressed, your cortisol levels spike. Unfortunately, high cortisol levels inhibit the synthesis of collagen. In other words, stress can make your skin age sooner. If avoiding stress is not a viable option, you should try incorporating physical activity, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation into your daily schedule, as all of these are scientifically proven to reduce stress levels.
- If you are an avid traveler or frequently go on business trips, you should know that flying on an airplane can be bad for your skin. Why? UV rays can be harmful to your skin, which is why it is recommended to use sunscreen when going outside on a sunny day.
However, what might surprise you is that if you are on an airplane, you are subjected to more powerful UV rays than when on the ground. That’s not all – you don’t even need to fly anywhere; UV rays are even more harmful when you are in high mountains. Although it won’t solve the problem entirely, you should consider taking a moisturizer on a flight with you and drink a lot of fluids.
Regardless of whether your skin shows the first signs of aging and you would like to restore its looks, or if you would like to prevent it all in the first place, you should know that there is a great number of ways to boost your collagen levels.
Apart from being great for your body for a number of reasons, including helping your body grow body tissues, boosting your immune system, and helping you absorb iron, vitamin C is essential in the synthesis of collagen. It means that if there’s not enough vitamin C in your diet, your body won’t be capable of producing the right amounts of collagen. This will hurt the looks of your skin, and you might start having joint pains too.
However, vitamin C is also a great antioxidant, and as such, it protects your skin from pollutants and the harmful effects of free-radicals. Because of that, if you include citruses, broccoli, or even potatoes in your diet, all of which are excellent sources of vitamin C, you will slow down the aging of your skin. Apart from foods, creams with added vitamin C are also worthy of consideration, as they too will have a positive impact on the skin’s elasticity and firmness.
Aloe vera plant is known for its numerous properties, such as healing of burns and having a positive impact on oral hygiene and the digestive system. But did you know it can also significantly increase the amount of collagen produced in your body? Aloe vera products work both when applied topically and when consumed, which is why you may want to try using it in both of these methods.
Studies show that when taken orally, aloe vera can lead to a severe reduction in facial wrinkles, making products containing aloe vera an interesting option for people wanting to restore the looks of their skin.
Ginseng products have been found to improve the condition of skin thanks to several of its properties. Ginseng has been used for many centuries, and all for good reason. Ginseng is a powerful antioxidant that protects cells in your body from being damaged by free radicals.
If you smoke cigarettes, eat processed food, or breathe in air pollutants, your body will be under constant attack from unstable molecules that could make you ill or speed up the process of aging. It also applies to your skin. Ginseng’s antioxidant properties can reduce the harm done to your cells. Additionally, it can negate the impact of free radicals on the aging of your skin.
Red Light Therapy
Collagen creams, gels, or supplements are worth considering if you want to increase the amount of collagen in your skin; however, you could choose an alternative approach, like red light therapy. Most people who want to increase collagen levels in the skin cells aren’t willing to undergo complicated treatments like laser resurfacing. Plus, it’s not cheap, with pain being a notable factor, as well.
However, red light therapy is neither particularly costly nor painful, and you don’t need to visit a medical expert’s office to try it out – you could buy a red light therapy kit and undergo therapy in your home. What’s best, red light therapy has no side effects, which means that you don’t have to worry that you’ll inadvertently hurt yourself in the process.
The list of possible effects that you might expect include increased elasticity of the skin, a boost in collagen production, as well as tissue repair and wound healing.
Drink a Lot of Water
Water is responsible for more than half of collagen’s weight. If you don’t drink enough fluids, your body will get dehydrated, which will make your skin look worse. That’s because collagen needs water to function properly and maintain the skin’s natural moisture.
Stay Away from Cigarettes
Cigarettes are bad for your health for a variety of reasons, but if you want to increase collagen levels in your skin, you should definitely stay away from smoking. This is because cigarettes can have a direct harmful effect on the collagen in the body by damaging its cells, which in turn will make your skin lose its elasticity.
People who smoke regularly should expect to notice wrinkles on their faces at a younger age than non-smokers. Additionally, smoking cigarettes has a dehydrating effect on your entire body, which means that there won’t be enough water in the skin cells on your face either. As a result, collagen won’t function properly, thus making your skin look worse.
However, that’s not all. Smoking also reduces the ability of your skin to absorb vitamin C. That’s terrible news, as the antioxidative properties of vitamin C can protect it from the damage done by free radicals. Additionally, smoke from cigarettes contains free radicals. If we take all those factors into consideration, it is no surprise that health experts discourage people from smoking if they care about the appearance of their skin.
Collagen serves multiple functions in our body, including joint health and bone density, though most people associate it solely with the condition of their skin. That’s because collagen makes up around 80% of it, which is why you should pay attention to your collagen levels if you want your skin to retain its youthful looks.
If you would like to boost the collagen production in your body, you could start thinking more about what you eat. However, you don’t need to transform your life completely to increase the collagen levels – simply drinking more water and stopping smoking may be enough. This alone will certainly be worth it.