You may have heard of collagen. It’s hard not to miss all of the advertisements telling us how much we need it for youthful skin. But do you know what collagen actually is?
Collagen is a structural protein that helps to keep the skin taut, plump, and beautifully youthful. It’s naturally present in our bodies, but it declines as we age.
When we are born the concentrations of collagen in our body are at their peak. A baby’s plump, supple skin proves this. But from our mid twenties onwards, our levels naturally start to take a dip.
There are also certain lifestyle factors that can speed up collagen depletion. Things like chronic stress, a poor diet, over-exposure to UV rays and smoking, to name just a few.
It can seem scary to know your collagen will naturally decline as you age, especially when you are trying to keep your skin youthful. Fear not!
The good news is there are many ways you can boost collagen in your skin so you can age gracefully, and feel confident!
In this article we will let you in on our top ways to boost this essential protein. Be sure to share with your friends and family!
Avoid Foods that increase internal inflammation
Any food that increases internal inflammation will speed up collagen degradation so what you eat matters!
You've heard us talk about a lot of these foods before.
For example, sugar, not only increases inflammation, it actually increases sebum in the skin (hello breakouts!) AND breaks down collagen. Double whammy!
This is just one food though. Dairy, red meat, and processed foods can also negatively affect your collagen concentrations.
Fill your body with collagen-boosting foods
There are certain foods that help the body naturally make more collagen, and what better way to increase levels than from the inside out!
Here are some of the top choices:
- Oily fish such as salmon or tuna
- Bone broth
- Orange veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes and squash
- Dark leafy greens
- Citrus Fruits
Also consider adding more garlic to flavor your savory meals. It's high in sulfur, a trace mineral that helps to promote collagen production while preventing the breakdown of collagen.
P.S. That's one of the reasons we use MSM (sulfur) in these Salt Scrubs: Sandalwood, Lavender & Jasmine, and Spearmint & Vanilla! However, if you happen to have a sulfur allergy, we got you covered. All of the other scrubs are MSM-free scrubs.
Garlic is also great for boosting immunity, and has been shown to work as effectively as antibiotics. The plus side with garlic is that unlike traditional antibiotics that kill good and bad bacteria in the gut, garlic only targets bad bacteria keeping your good bacteria, and therefore your gut health, intact. A healthy gut is key for a healthy immune system.
Try a DIY Facial Massage
Healthy blood flow is very important for collagen production, and a facial massage will certainly help with that!
A DIY massage is easier than you think! Sure, you could have it done by a professional at your favorite salon, but doing it yourself means you have access to this collagen boosting technique on a daily basis!
To enjoy a professional massage yourself at home simply use your ring and index fingers to gently massage your skin in small circular, motions. Start at your neck, moving slowly upwards as you go. Massage for at least five minutes, but longer if you have the time. Over time you'll notice a healthier and more youthful complexion, but you'll notice a beautiful rosy glow immediately, as blood flows closer to the surface of the skin.
You could also invest in a massage tool like a Gua-Sha and see how you enjoy that. There are many YouTube tutorials to help you out! Facial massage is also highly effective at reducing puffiness in the skin, especially under the eyes where fluid easily builds up.
Use Ingredients that promote collagen production
There are certain topical ingredients that are excellent for boosting collagen and topical application is best.
This is a powerful essential fatty acid that is known as a hydrophilic (water loving). This means that it has incredible water retaining properties, being able to hold massive amounts of water in your cells.
In fact, just one gram of hyaluronic acid can hold up to a whopping six liters of water in your cells! Considering that hydration is the key to youthful skin, as it supports collagen and elasticity, this is one ingredient you are going to want to put on your face every day.
Apart from giving your skin a collagen boost, hyaluronic acid will also help to strengthen the skin’s barrier, which is vital for a healthy, happy complexion, as well as provide some protection against damaging UV rays. It will leave your skin wonderfully supple and baby-soft.
Another superstar ingredient that helps to promote collagen is our favorite beauty vitamin, vitamin C, of course!
Filling your diet with vitamin C-rich foods, such as citrus fruits, berries, yellow veggies and dark, leafy greens are all great ways to ensure you have enough of this antioxidant.
However applying it topically is just as important, in fact, it will help to brighten your skin, fight inflammation, fade pigmentation AND boost collagen, yes please!
Find ways to manage stress
We all know that too much stress is no bueno. It increases inflammation, which then breaks down collagen, resulting in sagging skin with a higher incidence of wrinkles.
Managing stress doesn’t have to involve hours in deep meditation! Simply try finding ways throughout each day to take some time for yourself to relax.
Even 5 minutes of deep breathing or listening to an inspirational podcast versus scrolling through social media or spending a few minutes outside each day can make a difference.
Self care should be practiced daily throughout your day, not only once in a blue moon and only when you feel completely overwhelmed.
As you can see, boosting collagen involves taking care of yourself too. Follow our tips and you will feel as good as you look!