How to Boost Collagen July 12, 2016 – Posted in: Featured, Home Left – Tags: anti-aging, collagen, skincare
If you’ve been following the recent trends in skincare, you’ve likely noticed collagen. Most skincare products these days advertise their “collagen boosting” “collagen renewing” or “collagen restoring” effects. So, what’s so important about collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It functions as the main structural component of our skin. Like the steal beams that are the backbone of skyscrapers, collagen is what keeps our skin firm and allows it to retain its shape. However, as we age, our bodies naturally begin to produce less and less collagen.
HOW COLLAGEN LOSS AFFECTS YOUR APPEARANCE
Just like buildings begin to crumble when their foundations deteriorate, our skin begins to sag as our collagen production slows down. This is where wrinkles come from. Collagen loss also causes fine lines, hooded eyelids, dark circles under the eyes, and even the dreaded turkey neck. However, aging isn’t the only thing that reduces collagen. Sun exposure, smoking, poor nutrition, stress, and poor hydration can all add to the onslaught of sagging and wrinkles.
Don’t worry too much yet. There are many ways you can prevent and possibly reverse these effects. Among those are avoiding behavior like smoking and poor eating habits that reduce collagen production. Another is to always make sure you are wearing adequate skin protection like hats and sunscreens. These won’t reverse the damage already done, however there are some options that can.
KEY INGREDIENTS THAT BOOST COLLAGEN
For starters, you can take an oral collagen supplement to boost your body’s supply of collagen. Foods that contain the essential amino acids threonine and proline, like eggs, beef, chicken, milk, and nuts, are known to help boost your body’s production of collagen. Foods that contain high concentrations of Vitamin C, like citrus fruits, are also known to boost collagen production.
Because collagen is found in your skin, cartilage, and bones, topical creams may be the best option to target skin aging alone. Creams that only contain collagen won’t do much in the way of a more permanent effect because the size of collagen molecules don’t allow them to pass through to the deeper layers of the skin. Instead, creams that contain ingredients that stimulate the production of collagen will give the best and longest-lasting results. The most well known and scientifically-backed of these are:
- Retinol/Tretinoin/Vitamin A
- Vitamin C/L-ascorbic Acid
- Alpha Hydroxy Acids, especially Glycolic Acid
- Peptides, especially Copper Peptides and Matrixyl (Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4)
- Estrogen, especially post-menopause
As always, remember to read the labels when products claim they can boost collagen.
PRODUCTS THAT CAN HELP BOOST COLLAGEN
Anti-aging creams tend to be on the pricier side. If it is in your budget, we highly recommend the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum, which is $90 for 1 oz. With three different Alpha Hydroxy Acids among its top ingredients, this potent bedtime serum lets your skin do all the work while you get your beauty sleep, literally.
For everyday use, we recommend philosophy Ultimate Miracle Worker Multi-Rejuvenating Cream SPF 30, which is slightly cheaper coming in at $75 for 2 oz. This cream has Retinol, Alpha Hydroxy Acids, and sunscreen allowing you to prevent and reduce those fine lines and wrinkles at the same time.
The most budget-friendly on our list, Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream, is just under $29 for 1.7 oz. It contains the peptide, Matrixyl, as well as Vitamin E and Pro-Vitamin B5, which moisturize and help Matrixyl be absorbed to the deeper layers of the skin for an all-around collagen boost.
LED LIGHTS & COLLAGEN
One of the newest trends in skincare is LED, or light, facials. They use different colors of LEDs, Light Emitting Diodes, to treat varying skin maladies. Each color represents a specific light frequencies that can target the skin, like lasers, but less intense and possibly damaging. The most common colors are red, which stimulates collagen production and treats uneven skin tone, white, which penetrates deepest into the skin to reduce inflammation and promote elastin production, and blue, which kills acne-causing bacteria. Most facialists will use a combination of all three, though red and white LEDs are most important in treating the signs of aging.
LASERS & COLLAGEN
Laser resurfacing is another skincare trend that has gained steam in recent years. It is a noninvasive procedure in which lasers are used to reduce discoloration, fine lines, and wrinkles. There are three types of lasers that can be used: ablative (wounding), non-ablative (non-wounding), and fractional. All will boost collagen production and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles but to differing degrees and with varying side effects.
Ablative lasers, which remove thin layers of the skin to penetrate deeper, have the most drastic reduction of fine lines and wrinkles but also the longest recovery time and subsequently highest risk for averse side effects like scarring or uneven skin lightening. Non-ablative lasers, which heat the upper layers of the skin to boost collagen production, have the quickest recovery time but only treat more surface-level fine lines and wrinkles. Fractional lasers are a combination of the two, where lasers are used to poke tiny holes into the skin to reach deeper levels while minimizing the risks of full ablative laser treatment.
Both laser and LED treatments require multiple visits over time for optimal collagen rejuvenation and wrinkle depletion. As always, it’s important to keep in mind both time and budget concerns when choosing which anti-aging regimen is best for you.