How to Naturally Increase Collagen Production in the Skin
It is a well-known fact that collagen (the little fibers that give your skin it’s elasticity and plump, youthful appearance) production and quality decreases with age. Collagen is a structural protein that is a major component in connective tissues, cartilage, and skin (our skin is composed of about 70% collagen). Starting in our 20’s, collagen decreases at a rate of about 1% per year. When collagen degrades, the skin will start to sag, lines and wrinkles form, and we begin to notice the signs of aging.
Collagen can be addressed in numerous ways, through protecting and fighting the degradation of the collagen that you have, working to address collagen health topically through skin care, and through ingesting both collagen rich foods, and foods that promote the production of collagen to combat natural collagen degradation internally.
Keep reading to find out a few ways you can boost your skin’s collagen production to enjoy a plumper and more youthful complexion.
Wear a Good Sunscreen and Limit Sun Exposure
There is such thing as too much of a good thing, that good thing being the sun! While it is important to soak up some rays to promote the body’s production of vitamin D, it is very important to protect your precious skin from harmful rays through sunscreen application and actively limiting sun exposure with physical barriers like hats, sun shirts, etc. For our skin, the majority of aging that we see comes in the form of photoaging (the effects of UV damage). When our skin is exposed to UV radiation, our body increases the production of enzymes, specifically collagenase that break the bonds in collagen. The collagen around the eyes is especially delicate, so sunglasses are suggested as one of the first lines of defense.
Use a Nutrient-Rich Daily Moisturizer
There are many factors that play into how our skin shows age. Estrogen serves an important role for our skin, maintaining skin thickness, plumpness, and moisture. As we get older, and estrogen levels drop, we start to notice skin that our skin is less hydrated and supple. This is where high quality moisture becomes a very important aspect of topical anti-aging. We recommend choosing a daily moisturizer that supplies your skin with not only hydration but powerful, essential nutrients, such as Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vitamin E, and Collagen peptides. One of our favorites is our Complete Daily Moisture. This moisturizer delivers moisture and nutrients to your face and neck daily, promoting skin health, even skin-tone. The natural peptides supply the building blocks necessary for collagen production and promote healing while boosting skin elasticity.
It’s also perfect for everyday wear as it’s light and not greasy on the skin.
Upgrade your Skincare Routine
Support your skin by hydrating, nourishing, and cleansing your skin with a high quality skin care line made with non-toxic, high-quality, and nutrient dense ingredients. Using specific serums that target fine lines and wrinkles, therefore collagen, will go a long way to improve the condition and appearance of your skin. More important, starting now, using products that target collagen will protect the long term health and appearance of your skin – look for products that are designed for what you won’t see in ten years. Kate’s Collagen Booster, is formulated to target all things collagen:
Vitamin C (Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate): supports collagen synthesis when applied topically.
Bosweilla Serrata: inhibits elastase (elastase breaks down proteins) and protects hyaluronic acid from being broken down, promotes collagen synthesis.
Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide): improves uneven skin tone and promotes collagen synthesis.
Antioxidants (Alpha Lipoic Acid, Resveratrol, Mangiferin, Pomegranate): protect the skin from free radical damage.
Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola): improves skin tone and supports natural synthesis of collagen.
Eat Whole, Plant-Based Foods That Improve Collagen Production
The foods you eat can improve natural collagen production in your body, and decrease the compounds that break down already existing collagen. For example, eating foods rich in Hyaluronic Acid, a carbohydrate found naturally in body tissues, will help to build collagen and boost skin cell renewal.
Orange Vegetables – Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, etc. are rich in Vitamin A, which restores collagen.
Herbal Teas – Green and white can protect skin protein structure, such as collagen and elastin.
Blueberries – contains phytonutrients that help the body produce collagen.
Dark Leafy Greens – Swiss chard, Spinach, Kale, and other leafy greens will provide you with numerous vitamin and mineral compounds that fight collagen destruction while boosting production simultaneously.
Nuts – almonds, macadamia, etc. boost healthy fats that aid in collagen production.
Sulfurous vegetables – cauliflower, garlic, broccoli, cabbage, onions. Sulfur greatly increases collagen production in joints and skin.
Eggs – full of nutrient rich amino acids that are necessary for healthy skin
Bone Broth – Collagen is a protein made of amino acids such as proline, glycine, glutamine and arginine, all of which are abundant in bone broth. Bone broth is also full of HA (hyaluronic acid), which we mentioned before is a major building block of collagen proteins. Bone broth is gaining in popularity and can be purchased as a “drink” in many health food stores.
Fish – creates stronger cells through providing essential fatty acids.
Citrus – Oranges, Grapefruit, Lemons all contain Vitamin C, an important compound for collagen production.
Magnesium rich foods – asparagus, avocado, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, broccoli, grass fed butter, nutritional yeast, cacao are all rich in Hyaluronic acid.
Try out a collagen boosting smoothie recipe, such as the one listed below:
-1 cup frozen blueberries
-3 cups spinach
-1 tbsp. raw cacao
-2 tbsp. nut butter (like almond butter)
-1 cup nut milk (almond or coconut)
-1 cup ice
-1 cup water
Blend and enjoy!
Tamryn is a licensed Esthetician who enjoys blogging about natural skincare and nutrition. She is currently working toward a Registered Holistic Nutritionist designation. She spends her spare time listening to music, being outdoors, and reading.