How to Increase Collagen Production in Your Body
Hailed as the "fountain of youth," collagen is a hot topic in the beauty sphere. As the amplest fibrous protein found within bones, muscles, tendons, and skin, it is the main component of connective tissue that provides the structure to hold our bodies together and withstand the stretching of tissues.
There are four main types of collagen, with Type 1 being the most common, but in actuality, there are at least sixteen different types. In simple terms, think of it as a ‘glue’ that helps form strong structures in our tissues, and is also important in blood vessel structure and health.
Most commonly, collagen manifests positive connotations for its role in maintaining the firmness of our skin. Collagen has great tensile strength and, along with soft keratin (another protein), it is responsible for skin strength and elasticity. This explains, in part, collagen’s role in lessening the appearance of wrinkles and loose skin.
Whether you’re on a mission to boost your skin’s elasticity or maintain a head of lustrous hair, keep reading for top-notch advice to boost your body’s production of collagen.
Does More Collagen Mean Better Health?
We know that collagen plays an integral role in building and supporting important tissues within our bodies, but do we need more of it? Given collagen’s beneficial components for the skin, hair, nails, and joint structures, it’s important we maintain an adequate amount, and collagen-supporting nutrition will help preserve a healthy structure. For women, in particular, collagen supplementation has been linked to the appearance of healthier skin, hair, and nails, and may also have benefits for the gut, such as aiding in healing an inflamed gut.
The effects of collagen are also in combating visible and physiological aging. Consuming collagen can help fight the effect of collagen degradation in our skin, with clinical studies finding that its consumption can result in fewer, shallower wrinkles and fine lines, smoother hydrated skin, and improved skin elasticity.
A 2019 blind study on 72 females 35 years or older who consumed a drinkable blend of collagen peptides confirmed that skin aging could, in fact, be combated with nutrients that restored skin hydration, elasticity, density, and roughness, following three months of intake. The study also highlighted the safety of the collagen drink.
Aside from this, a lesser-known benefit of collagen is its use for burn injuries. It can be injected into the skin to help correct scarring and/or depressions caused by these types of accidents.
What Impacts Our Collagen Levels?
Our collagen peaks around 25-34 years old before beginning to naturally decrease, resulting in a higher likelihood of thinning skin, loss of elasticity, and the formation of wrinkles. Over time, the quality of collagen we produce lowers and is reflected in reduced suppleness to our skin structure, as well as impacting our joints as cartilage weakens.
Other reasons for a loss of collagen include smoking, which has been linked to lower collagen production, as well as excess sugar and refined carbohydrates, given sugar interferes with collagen’s ability to repair itself.
Many changes also occur during pregnancy: During pregnancy, a woman’s hormones alter the metabolism of collagen to make the skin more elastic to expand with the growing fetus. It’s therefore essential to support skin health and elasticity during these months.
In doing so, it may help with stretch marks and loose skin post-pregnancy, but perhaps more importantly, collagen can help strengthen the soft tissues which undergo increased strain during pregnancy. Many women also experience hair loss or thinning after pregnancy, and collagen supplementation can combat this by encouraging new hair growth and better hair strength.
Another key component to boost the natural production of collagen is vitamin C. Without it, the body is unable to produce collagen. It, therefore, shouldn’t come as a surprise that scurvy (resulting from lack of vitamin C) is a disease associated with collagen degradation, with the first signs being visual blemishes of the skin.
How to Boost Your Collagen
To build collagen, our body makes procollagen, a precursor from which all collagen starts. It combines the amino acids glycine and proline, along with vitamin C. By ensuring we consume foods rich in these nutrients, we might help build natural collagen products.
- Proline: egg whites, wheat germ, dairy, mushrooms, asparagus
- Glycine: chicken skin, gelatin, pork skin, bone broth
- Vitamin C: Citrus, bell peppers, berries
It’s important to highlight the benefits of focusing on a protein-rich diet, as it provides a solid amino acid profile for making new structural proteins.
Consuming supplements is another method of potentially boosting your overall collagen. Most supplements are either hydrolyzed collagen or gelatin, forms which have already broken down collagen into peptides and are smaller and better absorbed. Aiming for supplements that include bone, tendon, and ligament will help increase collagen. For those of us who follow specific diets, vegetarian and vegan options are also available. And if you prefer to skip the tablet altogether, a solution is to opt for blendable collagen. Many consumers add collagen to their morning coffee as an easy way to fit your skin routine into your caffeine routine.
From a holistic angle, a facial massage to increase collagen production and stimulate blood flow to help keep a youthful appearance.
Or, taking a medical standpoint, collagen-boosting dermal fillers are an alternative to stimulate your body’s natural production of collagen. This can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and smooth out the skin. Or, as an alternative, red light therapy (photobiomodulation) has also been linked to improved collagen production in the skin.
Collagen Boosting Skin Care
Or, the easiest and most cost effective is to have it in your skin care products! Wild Naturals is brimming with manuka honey, shea butter, cehami flower extract and much more, which naturally stimulates collagen production! Not only will your skin be preventing wrinkles and fine lines and be plump and dewy, but you’ll also be nourishing it and repairing it.
What other skin care can do that that isn’t hundreds of dollars a jar? Skin care doesn’t have to be expensive. You just have to know what you’re putting on your face. Shop Wild Naturals today!