Ways to Improve Your Collagen
As we age, our collagen production decreases. Your skin loses elasticity and suppleness. You may experience hair loss, weakened bones and joints even when you think you’re too young. Do you ever wonder what causes it?
It is no surprise collagen-boosting products are dominating the market. You can find collagen in pretty much everything - supplements, food, shampoos, soaps, lotions, facial masks, serums, powders, and even in drinks. Everyone is interested in collagen.
We all want it, but do you know what it is? How big its role is in fighting the signs of aging? And how to get more of it? Read on and find out more about this critical protein.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is not just an ingredient you see in your skin care products. It is a structural protein that serves as major building blocks for the body - skin, hair, nails, muscles, ligaments, tendons, bone, teeth, corneas, and even blood vessels. Our body makes it naturally. It makes up about 25% - 35% of all the proteins in our body. It is essential for bone health. It also gives structure and strength to connective tissues and skin, making it elastic and supple to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. It is also an essential component of wound healing.
It comes from the Greek word “kolla”, meaning glue. It speaks for itself as it functions as the main component of the connective tissues that hold our musculoskeletal system together. Its strong fibers are responsible for keeping everything in place – skin, muscle, bones, delicate organs, tendons, and ligaments.
Types of Collagen
There are 16 different types of collagen that our body produces, but the most common include Types I, II, III, and IV. Here are the four types of collagen and their functions in our body:
- Type I. It is the most prevalent within our bodies as it accounts for 90% of the body's collagen. It builds a structure to skin, bones, tendons, fibrous cartilage, connective tissue, and teeth.
- Type II is made of loosely packed fibers and found in cartilage - the elastic tissue between bones and in your ears and nose.
- Type III helps the structure of muscles, organs, and blood vessels.
- Type IV aids with filtration. It is in the layers of your skin.
Collagen is critical and our body produces a lot of this protein as we grow, but suddenly . Our body doesn’t continue to produce the same level of the protein collagen as it did in our teens and we may find our skin starting to lack elasticity or notice fine lines appearing.
What Causes the Collagen levels to drop?
Our body naturally produces collagen, but as we age, our ability to make it drops significantly. It deteriorates by about 75% between the ages of 30 and 80. Our body exhausts it quicker than we can restore it. When our collagen levels drop, we start to experience the signs of aging. Our muscles weaken and we’re prone to leaky gut or joint pains, but the most visible sign is in our skin. It becomes papery, less firm and supple – fine lines and wrinkles appear.
Aside from aging being the natural cause of the collagen levels to deplete. There are also preventative environmental factors that contribute to its rapid depletion in our bodies. Long-term sun exposure, pollutants, stress, smoking, and even your diet could worsen it.
Luckily, there are ways to improve and get that most-needed collagen boost your body needs. Vegan collagen is an excellent natural and healthy source. Also, research has shown that collagen in creams, supplements, and drinks may help to boost the collagen in your body.
Ways to Improve your Collagen Production
1. Eat Collagen-Rich Food
The best way to help your body produce the right amount of collagen is to eat a healthy diet high in antioxidants and vitamin C. A vegan diet loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables is an excellent, natural way to get the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to stimulate your body’s natural production of collagen.
Here are some antioxidant-rich foods:
- Green tea
- Yerba mate
- Mulberry extract
2. Natural Food Sources
Bone broth, gelatin, and other animal products are collagen-high sources. Adding this to your diet may help restore collagen throughout the body.
3. A Good Night Sleep
An eight-hour of sleep every night could stimulate collagen building. This is because when we sleep we produce human growth hormone (HGH) that encourages the development of collagen in muscles and tendons. It is a crucial part for the body to repair and rebuild. It is the reason when you get enough sleep, you feel refresh and recharged.
4. Collagen Supplements
There are a lot of collagen supplements available in the market. There are vegan or plant-based supplements and animal-based supplements. Collagen supplements claim to possess anti-aging properties, bone health benefits, wound healing, and weight loss abilities. But there is limited reliable information on the safety and efficiency of the supplements and best to consult a professional.
The body cannot make collagen and produce more if it does not have the necessary components. Collagen boosters are nutrients your body needs to protect and stimulate the production of collagen. These are the nutrients that can boost its natural production through the use of procollagen, which is a combination of two amino acids – glycine and proline using Vitamin C, Zinc and Copper. Lack of these nutrients could disrupt the body’s ability to synthesize collagen
Boost Your Collagen
You can boost your collagen production through:
High Vitamin C is present in normal healthy skin. The best source is from citrus fruits, vegetables. Or you can also take supplements or use skin care products rich in antioxidants and vitamin C like containing Kakadu Plum, the highest source of Vitamin C.
Repairs cell growth and occurs naturally in the body. It increases elasticity and protects cartilage throughout the body and skin. It also aids in collagen production.
Retinol works as a topical approach to stimulate collagen production. It enhances collagen generation and shields the skin from future damage.
Red Light & Infrared Therapy
Studies show that red light and infrared therapy enhance collagen production, reduce acne, other blemishes, even treat scars and stretch marks through its wavelengths. Use a LED Light Therapy Face & Neck Mask may help boost your skin’s natural production of collagen.
Collagen isn’t new. It has been a focus for many beauty products. Understanding its critical role in your body is important and will help you make mindful choices about the food you eat and the skincare products you use.
Known to many as the fountain of youth, collagen is an essential protein that provides a structure for many parts of our body. Its anti-aging properties, together with its many other functionalities, make it highly sought-after. Protect the collagen you have with sunscreen and skincare creams filled with nourishing nutrients to add a protective barrier and keep your skin hydrated. Stimulate as much as you can with vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, topical retinol, a healthy diet, and lifestyle.