With age, you begin to notice visible changes in your body; lack of moisture, elasticity, or slackness, especially around the mouth and chest, as a result of a decrease in collagen production- the abundant protein of the human body that maintains its youthful architecture. It’s a natural part of aging; from the ’20s, the body starts to reduce its collagen production by 1% yearly.
Though there are several types of collagen, about 85 to 90% found in your body is made from:
- Type 1: The collagen that structures bones, tendons, and interstitial tissues
- Type 2: The collagen that structures cartilage and the eye’s vitreous humor
- Type 3: The collagen that structures muscles, blood vessels, and skin
By implementing healthy lifestyle practices, you can promote the synthesis of collagen in your body while preventing the breakdown of existing ones.
Stimulate the Production of Collagen Naturally.
Your body naturally creates collagen using a combination of amino, and there are certain things that tend to act as a catalyst in this process, which are:
1. Vitamin C
Foods rich in Vitamin C, like peppers, strawberries, citrus fruits, and broccoli, stimulate the production of pro-collagen (the precursor of collagen) by converting proline into hydroxyproline. Moreover, the antioxidant properties significantly limit the sun’s damage caused by UVA and UVB rays, thus preventing collagen breakdown.
Ginseng is a rich source of Vitamin D and B12 that aids in oxygenation and increases the production of pro-collagen type 1. Like vitamin C, its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties prevent the natural aging of cells.
Tea, supplements, or tinctures can add ginseng to your diet.
3. Green Tea
Green tea is a powerhouse of skin-strengthening compounds, which contains vitamin E, B-2 K, and six distinct types of catechins.
Epicatechin gallate (ECG) and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) are also found in Green Tea. The catechins reduce the activity of enzymes that conduct tissue degradation. While Vitamin b-2, on the other hand, maintains collagen levels, improving the firmness and appearance of the skin.
Resveratrol is a plant-based compound that reduces the signs of aging by neutralizing free radicals, allowing the skin to rejuvenate itself effectively. In addition, it is known for protecting against sun damage, pollution, inflammation, and dry patches.
To add resveratrol to your diet, consider foods like peanuts, blueberries, raspberries, grapes, and mulberries.
5. Healthy Lifestyle Habits
Even though the loss of collagen is an inevitable aspect of life, still certain habits can act as a full-proof solution to reverse the susceptible damage it does to your skin.
- Sleep: Good quality sleep equates to great skin, ensures fewer wrinkles, reduces puffy eyes, and prevents hair damage.
- Hydration: Water amounts to 60% of collagen’s weight. So, staying hydrated can lock the plump and provide a suitable environment for effective collagen production.
- Exercise: With exercise, you can reverse the way skin cells change. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts boost the body’s natural ability to produce collagen.
6. Grape Seed Extracts
Grape seeds protect the body’s existing collagen, ensuring better skin elasticity and firmness. In addition, they have abundant polyphenols (collagen-binding fiber) that prevent the formation of cellulite, saggy skin, and wrinkles. Furthermore, the antioxidant power of polyphenols is over 20 times higher than vitamin E. As a result, grape seed extracts have become an integral ingredient in several skincare products and health supplements.
7. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera contains a particular molecule called sterols that restores youthful skin by accelerating the production of hyaluronic acid and collagen. It is an excellent source of active vitamins, enzymes, and minerals like vitamins C, A, and E, and it is known for a wide range of skin and hair benefits.
You can take aloe as an oral supplement or apply it as a topical gel or lotion.
8. Coffee Bean Extracts
Coffee bean extracts (caffeine) are a popular ingredient in age-defying skincare products. They have high concentrations of vitamin E, fatty acids, and sterols that increases elastin in the body by protecting it against photo-aging.
9. Avocado Oil
Avocado oil’s essential fatty acids and amino have a positive impact on skin collagen metabolism. It’s important to note that avocadoes have maximum oil content at peak ripeness. This oil is extracted from the pulp using a cold-press method similar to that of olive oil. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory agents, you can apply the oil topically for:
- Moisturizing and hydrating dry skin
- Healing chapped lips
- Soothing irritated skin
- Protecting skin against sunburns
Retinol, as a form of potent carotenoid (derivative of vitamin A), can help in boosting collagen. Studies showcase that topical application of the compound can enhance skin texture, reduce fine lines, and, most importantly, prevent the breakdown of collagen. Carrots, pumpkins, spinach, beetroot, and sweet potatoes are some of the significant sources of vitamin A.
11. Protecting skin from the external environment
Weather conditions and the kind of environment your skin is exposed to can affect the quality of collagen produced by the body.
Here are a few simple things that you can do to protect your skin’s collagen from externally damaging factors:
- Wear sunscreen having SPF of 30 or higher to reduce the risk of UVA and UVB damage, and never forget to reapply throughout the day.
- Wear sunglasses to protect the skin around the eyes. This can prevent the formation of crow’s feet.
- Wear a hat with about 3inch of brim on a sunny day. This will block UV rays from directly falling into your face.
- Take proper care of your skin during extreme weather conditions. For instance, using a hydrating moisturizer in winter and keeping the skin free from excessive sebum and sweat in summer.
Boosting collagen naturally demands a healthy body and mind. So, instead of merely focusing on skincare products and supplements alone, which is also essential, it’s vital to consume high-quality, nourishing foods and natural products and take great care of your body to achieve a holistic outcome.