Natural Ways to Boost Collagen
In the fight against aging skin, collagen is the key to preventing sagging, fine lines and wrinkles. This naturally-occurring protein begins to deplete after age 20. For those unwilling to gamble on supplements and injections, there are a variety of options to keep up your collagen levels that are as natural as your body is able to produce it. Using these simple lifestyle tips, you can do more to boost your skin’s collagen everyday.
We know that what we eat affects our physical health, but it also plays a huge role in the health of our skin. There are specific nutrients and foods you can eat to boost collagen production. Pay close attention to getting enough vitamin C by eating fruits and veggies like tomatoes, citrus fruits, kiwis, papayas, bell peppers, strawberries, and broccoli. Vitamin C is crucial to collagen production.
When it comes to eating fruits and vegetables for collagen benefits, remember to eat your colors:
- Dark leafy greens and red, purple and blue berries - have antioxidants that protect
- against free radicals that destroy collagen
- Red veggies - are full of lycopene which boosts collagen production
- Orange veggies - contain vitamin A, which restores collagen that’s been damaged
Look for foods rich in sulfur such as onions, cabbage and eggs. Copper is another important mineral in collagen production. You can find it in nuts and shellfish. Other collagen boosting nutrients come from our proteins found in meats, fish, bone broths and dairy products. This can be a challenge for vegans and vegetarians. If following a plant-based diet, look for foods high in glycine, proline and lysine. Black and kidney beans are a great example because they contain
In addition to eating healthy, drink plenty of water. Studies have shown on a molecular level, water is a vital component found in collagen fibers. Removing water molecules from collagen compromises its structure. Think of water as a natural skin plumper. With inadequate water intake, it appears duller and wrinkles and pores appear more prominent. Why is it as important to hydrate skin on the inside as it is on the outside? Our skin is 64 percent water. Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water (two liters) throughout your day so your skin can absorb the water it needs to per hour to stay hydrated and flush out toxins. The healthier your skin is internally, the better the environment for collagen production.
If smoking doesn’t kill you, it will certainly make you look older. Those cigarette puffs activate genes responsible for an enzyme that breaks down collagen. Fibroblasts (collagen-making dermal cells) produce 40 percent less collagen when exposed to tobacco smoke. Is vaping or a night out at the hookah bar more your thing? Unfortunately any form of smoking starves your skin of oxygen and constricts blood flow, which affects circulation and breaks down collagen. Because vaping is fairly new, there’s much to be studied yet on the long-term effects it can have.
Just as exercise is good for the overall health of our bodies, a workout for your face is equally important in stimulating collagen production as it lifts, tones and tightens skin. A massage strengthens facial muscle memory and benefits blood circulation for a youthful complexion. You don’t need an esthetician or dermatologist to perform this simple task. Remember to use upward, lifting movements as you apply a moisturizing product or serum to your face.