Collagen is a natural type of protein in the body that forms the connective tissues that hold skin, bone, tendons, muscle, and cartilage together. Collagen is so important in the way our skin looks and feels because it is the main structural component providing firmness and shape.
Collagen is a protein produced by our cells that helps “hold” the skin together, keeping it looking younger and giving it firmness and elasticity.
When we’re young, our skin stays plump and smooth because it constantly regenerates itself.
But as we age, collagen production slows and existing collagen can get damaged due to sun exposure and bad skin habits. The results? Wrinkles and sagging skin.
Dig down beneath the surface layer of skin and you find the “dermis.” Here, bundles of collagen molecules are packed together to form the “scaffolding” that supports the shape of the skin. These elongated fibrils are strong and tall when we’re young, but as we age, that starts to change.
What Happens to Collagen as We Age?
Like many of the body’s natural systems, our production of collagen starts to back off in middle age. We produce less of it, and what remains becomes weaker and degraded.
This is not only a natural process, however. In addition to aging, exposure to the sun and other environmental assaults damages the collagen in skin, weakening the support structure and causing skin to sag. As that collagen weakens, we see the following results:
- Fine lines
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Hooded eyelids
- Turkey neck
Benefits of having healthy supply of collagen to our skin and hair
· Skin and Hair
As we age, collagen production declines. You’ll see notice it physically. Looser skin, more wrinkles and less elasticity. Increasing collagen levels can help your skin look firmer, increase smoothness, and help your skin cells keep renewing and repairing normally.
If you’re looking to detox, collagen is extremely helpful. That’s because glycine helps minimize damage your liver experiences when it absorbs foreign substances that shouldn’t be passing through it.
One of the easiest ways to cleanse your liver is with a bone broth fast. I often recommend a three-day bone broth detox to rapidly repair leaky gut. It’ll help rid your body of chemicals and “reset” your gut.
· Reduce Cellulite/Stress Marks
When skin loses its elasticity as a result of decreased collagen, there’s another side effect, more visible cellulite. Because your skin is now thinner, cellulite becomes more evident, no more hiding what’s happening below the surface. Improving your skin’s elasticity through collagen will help reduce that dimpling on your skin.
How to boost collagen in our body?
Boosting your skin’s supply of collagen is a little more complicated, but here are some basic steps:
- Stimulate the body’s own production
Getting the body to produce more collagen is a great way to improve skin texture. Vitamin C is critical, as the body needs it to make collagen. A vitamin C serum is a great start, as it’s been shown to help stimulate collagen when applied topically. You can also try some Anti-Aging Serum, which naturally boosts the production of collagen with hyaluronic acid, a natural ingredient that helps maintain collagen as we age.
Removing the top, dead layer of skin helps speed up the natural process of skin and collagen renewal, says Amanda Elias, founder of skincare brand Bravura London. If you regularly exfoliate your skin, you encourage cell renewal, which includes collagen. The important thing here is consistency. We often start out exfoliating a couple times a week, but then gradually forget to do it regularly. To see the best results, exfoliate on the same days of the week, every week.
- Collagen-Stimulating Peptides
Certain minerals are also needed for collagen production like copper. When the level of copper in the skin goes up, so too does the level of collagen.
Use organic cosmetics for your skin care regimen such as Nayelle’s Day and Night Cream with fermented Sea Kelp which is loaded with collagen promoting bio actives and proven to be best in regeneration as well. It contains no harmful ingredients with better results.
- Amino Acids
Collagen is a protein, and proteins are made from amino acids. Skin care formulas with animo acids like L-arginine and L-glutamine can help boost collagen production. A 2005 study, for instance, found that topical L-arginine increased collagen production and encouraged faster wound-healing. HMB, derived from the amino acid l-leucine, may also be helpful. In 2002, scientists discovered that oral supplementation with arginine, HMB, and glutamine improved collagen synthesis as well. A later 2012 study found that after ultraviolet radiation, mice who received supplements of arginine, glutamine, and branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) experienced significantly increased collagen protein synthesis. A tip: Blue-green algae is rich in amino acids, including arginine. Perfect combination would be Nayelle’s Mud Mask and their day and night cream.
- Up your vitamin C intake for young skin
A study published in the American Journal of Nutrition found women over 40 with the highest amount of vitamin C in their diet were less likely to develop wrinkles than those who consumed lower levels.
“Vitamin C is crucial to the ¬formation of collagen – without it amino acids can’t be linked to form the protein,” says dietitian Jo Travers.
- Stop smoking
“Smoking creates enzymes called matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) which damage the collagen in your skin, hence the tell-tale sagging which many smokers are betrayed by,” says consultant dermatologist Dr Nick Lowe.
- Protect your skin from the sun
Sun exposure is a prime suspect for hastening collagen loss. “UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin and damage the deep collagen support structures there,” says Dr Lowe.
- Add antioxidants to your skincare regime
Antioxidants help protect against free radicals that can cause ageing skin.
“The term ‘free radical’ describes a damaged skin cell,” says Amanda.
“It’s ‘free’ because it’s missing an electron (healthy cells have two -electrons, a damaged cell has one).
Free radicals attach themselves to healthy skin cells and basically suck out the electrons they need, leaving healthy skin cells damaged. This process triggers an enzyme in the skin that breaks down collagen. Antioxidants help by neutralizing the free radical so that it doesn’t have to feed off our healthy skin cells.
Sip on green tea, it contains antioxidants called catechins. Eat foods high in lutein, an antioxidant found in green leafy vegetables like spinach. Look for creams and serums containing antioxidants too.