Collagen is a protein made of amino acids that is part of
the connective tissue in skin. It helps to maintain your skin's firmness,
suppleness and consistent renewal of skin cells. With age, collagen production
decreases and skin becomes prone to damage, wrinkles and sagging. To increase
your skin's production of collagen, adopt a healthy lifestyle and diet, and
seek out topical treatments proven to be effective in maintaining the youthful
appearance of your skin.
1. Change Your Diet
Make a few changes to your diet to increase cell turnover
and boost the production of collagen fibers. Avoid refined sugar and carbs, as
sugar damages collagen production. Instead, satisfy your sweet tooth with whole
foods such as berries, carrots and oranges. Be careful not to cut out healthy
fats and carbs from you diet -- such as nuts, avocados and brown rice -- to
avoid being deficient in vitamins and nutrients that aid in the production of
Dr. Joel Schlessinger
diet can affect your skin from the inside out. Sugar molecules attach to
collagen and elastin proteins in the skin through a process called glycation.
This process produces advanced glycosylation end-products, or AGEs for short.
AGEs are free radicals that lead to inflammation, breaking down collagen and
elastin in the skin. As a result, skin loses firmness and wrinkles begin to
" When you’re younger, your skin is producing more
collagen and the effects of sugar aren’t as apparent. The first signs of
glycation start to show around the age of 30 or 35, and it gets worse with age.
As production slows and healthy collagen and elastin break down, skin begins to
sag. When we eat foods that are high in sugar, the sugar molecules attach to
these proteins in the skin, breaking down what little healthy collagen and
elastin we have left."
"When the sugar
in your bloodstream attaches to the proteins in your skin, this creates new
AGEs. The glycation process leads to a breakdown of collagen and elastin. When
the sugar attaches to collagen and elastin fibers, they become stiff and break
down. This damage is seen in the form of fine lines, wrinkles, and dull, sallow
skin. AGEs can also interfere with the production of new collagen and elastin,
preventing your skin from naturally repairing itself."
Adopt an exercise regimen. Lift light weights or do
resistance training to build muscle. Muscle development can stimulate collagen
growth, while muscle loss can contribute to sagging skin. Further boost your
body's collagen production by going on a 10-minute jog in the midday sun to get
your daily dose of vitamin D. While vitamin D hasn't been proven to increase
the body's production of collagen, studies have shown that a vitamin D
deficiency can reduce collagen synthesis.
3. Vitamin A Treatments
Use a topical
application of vitamin A to increase your skin's collagen production. Look for
retinol -- a derivative of vitamin A -- in the ingredient list of creams,
serums and spot treatments. Studies have shown retinol to effectively stimulate
collagen synthesis in naturally aged skin. Keep in mind that retinol acts as a
gentle exfoliant, so your skin will be more prone to sun damage. Protect your
skin by wearing a broad-spectrum sunblock or sunscreen.
4. Avoid Collagen Killers
Adopt a healthy lifestyle to aid your body in producing
collagen. Minimize time in the sun, and ensure that you properly protect your
skin when out in the sun by wearing sunscreen or sunblock. Do not smoke and
avoid environments where you might be prone to secondhand smoke. Minimize
emotional stress or engage in relaxing activities such as yoga. Ensure that you
get a good night's sleep, as this is the time when the body -- including your
skin -- repairs itself.
5. Replenish Your Antioxidants
Antioxidants are excellent as an anti-aging ingredient. They
help fight free radicals and the damage they cause.Free radicals increase the
appearance of aging. Antioxidants can actually increase the effectiveness of
skin care products, such as sunscreen.Combined, antioxidants and other skin
care products can combat wrinkles and discoloration in your skin. A natural way
to replenish the antioxidants in your face is to use coconut oil.Coconut oil
can be used daily as a moisturizer. It will surely help reduce the appearance
of saggy skin.
Strawberries contain alpha hydroxyl acids which improve your
skin’s appearance Strawberries are
another natural food that contains a high amount of antioxidants. Its alpha hydroxy acid improves your skin’s appearance .You
can apply mashed strawberries directly to your skin or mix it with yogurt.Yogurt is good
for tightening pores andremoving dead skin cells. Let this mixture sit for 15 minutes and
then wash it off well with warm water.
6.Increase Your Collagen Production
As mentioned in Understanding Why Collagen is So Important
as You Age, collagen is a key component in improving your skins overall
well-being.It strengthens your skin and keeps it elastic.Although lemons are
acidic and can dry out your skin, they have an enormous amount of Vitamin C,
which is helpful in increasing your collagen production naturally.
Rich in Vitamin C, lemons help increase collagen production
Squeeze the juice out of a lemon and keep it in a jar. This should be good for 3-4 days.
Dip a cotton ball into the juice, and rub it on your face in a circular motion.
Allow it to stay on your face for 10-15 minutes. Afterward, rinse well and apply your favorite moisturizer.