I see this question come up a lot “How to increase collagen in your skin?” so I thought, lets address it. There is a lot of myths around collagen and the best ways to increase collagen production in your skin. For instance…will a collagen cream or a moisturizer with collagen actually help plump, firm, and increase collagen in your skin?
What is Collagen?
Collagen is a protein that is created within the body. It is actually the most abundant protein in our bodies, and can be found in your skin, bones, and connective tissue. In the dermis, collagen forms a fibrous network of cells called fibroblasts, upon which new cells can grow. It also plays a role in replacing and restoring dead skin cells; as well as repairing the skin and keeping it moist. It is what gives our skin that youthful, plumped up look. It helps to define the curves, contours, and structure of your face.
As we age, the body produces less collagen, resulting in the formation of wrinkles, sagging, and loss of elasticity in our skin. In addition to aging (which sadly we can not control) there are other factors that can damage collagen such as eating too much sugar or carbs, getting too much sun exposure, some auto immune disorders, or smoking.
Do Supplements & Collagen Products Actually Boost Collagen Production in Your Skin?
I’ve posted in the past about Marketing buzzwords in the Beauty Industry. So many terms are used to make a product more appealing to you so you will buy into the image they are trying to sell you. When we think of collagen loss, we think about how to add it back into the skin. So a moisturizer with collagen sounds amazing right?!
The problem is that collagen is too big of a protein to actually be absorbed into the skin. While the moisturizer in question might help with hydration levels or protect the moisture barrier of the skin, it will not actually do anything to promote collagen production.
Well what about taking collagen internally? You know…all those supplements being sold for beautiful skin, hair, and nails. Just mix this magic powder into water and drink and voila….TEN YEARS YOUNGER! That is also a bunch of bull. In fact, there is no scientific proof that taking collagen supplements does anything to help increase the production of collagen in the skin.
So then what is a gal or a guy to do? Can you actually increase collagen in your skin and obtain a more plumped and youthful appearance?
How to Increase Collagen Production in Your Skin
The answer is yes, but it doesn’t come in the form of a miracle cream or a magic powder! Your best bet to help increase collagen is through targeted skincare products like serums that contain peptides, Vitamin C, and anti-oxidants. In addition to avoiding the things that cause collagen damage (mentioned above), here are a few ways you can get that youthful glow!
- Topical Peptides – these have been shown to stimulate skin growth and increase collagen production. More peptides, means more collagen, means firmer, younger looking skin.
- Hyaluronic Acid – just like collagen, we create hyaluronic acid naturally in our bodies, but also like collagen it decreases as we age. This boosts moisture levels in the skin to “plump” up skin and has been shown to help increase collagen as well.
- Retinoids – Retinol is one of my favorite anti-aging products. In addition to helping with cellular turnover, Retinoids/Retinol help to increase collagen production, stimulate the production of new blood vessels, and reduce hyper pigmentation.
- Vitamin C – whether used topically in the form of a serum, or eating more Vitamin C rich foods like citrus fruits, papaya, strawberries, and leafy greens, Vitamin C has been shown to be a powerful anti-oxidant that can not only protect the skin against collagen loss, but can always help increase collagen production.
- Anti-oxidants – projecting the skin is just as important as repairing it. Anti-oxidants help to fight free radicals that attack the skin causing premature aging and skin damage. These can enhance collagen production and rejuvenate the skin.
- Omega Fatty Acids – you know the old saying “You are what you eat”? Well turns out that the foods you eat can improve the appearance of your skin. Eat foods like fish, rich in fatty acids to help protect the collagen in your skin. Other foods that are good for your skin’s collagen: bone broth, citrus fruits, egg whites, berries, and leafy greens.
- SPF/Sunscreen – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Protecting your skin with daily spf is the best defense against aging. Sun exposure causes damage and breaks down collagen in the skin, so best to slather on the protection everyday!
- In office treatments – seeing a dermatologist or esthetican for regular treatments can help the overall appearance of your skin. Laser treatments, ultrasound, chemical peels, micro-needling and even collagen injections can all be done at your derms office to help the appearance of your skin.
So don’t buy into the marketing of a collagen cream! Instead find products and ingredients like I mentioned above to help you prevent collagen loss and increase collagen production. Remember that what you put in your body is just as important as what you put on it! It is much easier to protect your skin from damage than it is to repair it.