Collagen is a structural protein that aids in the basic support of cells, tissues, and organs. Like scaffolding, collagen acts as a supporting mechanism, which keeps all of our cells’ structural integrity. Collagen also gives our skin its durability and is responsible for the smooth, plump appearance of young, healthy skin.
Since it plays a vital role in providing the structural integrity of our skin, it is no surprise that as we age, the dissolution of collagen is what causes wrinkles, or the collapsing of that structure. Understanding how collagen works can help you to boost its production in your body, and thus assist in smoothing and plumping your skin. Here are some methods of increasing collagen production in your skin:
A healthy diet can help you lead a long life, with vitality and vigor. Regarding collagen production, eating a diet rich in Vitamin C and adding dark green vegetables such as asparagus, spinach and collard greens will assist in collagen production. While helping produce collagen, they also provide free-radical fighting properties that prevent the destruction of collagen cells.
Another way to increase collagen production is to take oral supplements. Consult with your local pharmacy or health and wellness retailer for the best option for you. Vitamin A is one of these collagen stimulating supplements – it has shown to have collagen-producing properties by providing antioxidants to the collagen production cells.
Other supplements that are thought to stimulate our natural collagen production contain marine collagen, usually derived from shark cartilage or shellfish.
Finally, Vitamin C plays an essential role in the synthesis of collagen, so it is recommended to take at least 300mcg of Vitamin C per day. Ensure that you are speaking to your health care provider or medical aesthetician before taking any oral supplements or medications, and be sure to choose the best product with the highest purity.
Amino acids are also found to be collagen-stimulating, and can be found in certain supplements. Threonine is one of the essential amino acids found in collagen, and it cannot be reproduced naturally by our bodies so it must be ingested. Ways to increase threonine include supplements and eating threonine-rich foods, such as chicken, milk, pork and peanuts. Other foods that help with amino-acid production include certain legumes, chickpeas and asparagus.
Collagen creams applied directly to the skin can help with collagen production, but this can be a very unreliable method as collagen is a large molecule and won’t easily penetrate the skin. Luckily, Vitamin C creams are readily available at most retailers, and as mentioned before, Vitamin C is a necessary factor in collagen synthesis. Speak with your dermatologist or aesthetic specialist to find the right product for you.
Another way to promote the synthesis of collagen is to exfoliate your skin on a regular basis. Exfoliation will help to slough away dead skin cells and stimulate cellular turnover. When choosing an exfoliator, pick one with a hydroxyl acid, such as glycolic acid, as the main ingredient – this will boost your skin’s ability to get rid of dead cells.
Finally, look for products that contain peptides – a popular ingredient and trend in the skin care industry right now. It has been shown that peptides can stimulate the fibroblast cells (the cells responsible for collagen production) to produce collagen.
Live Your Healthiest Lifestyle
By reducing destructive behaviours such as sunbathing, using tanning beds, and smoking, you will not only improve your health but also improve your skin’s appearance by keeping your structural cells healthy. Sun damage, chemical toxicity from cigarettes and tanning beds all cause free radical production, which wreaks havoc on our cells and our collagen.