When some people think of aging, they are bothered by sagging, fine lines, and wrinkles. The truth is, skin aging is part of life and there's nothing wrong with it. Some people turn to dermatology and get botox and similar procedures to slow down the aging process. Of course, there's nothing wrong with this. Everyone deserves to feel comfortable and happy with the skin they're in. An important element in keeping your skin plump and glowing is collagen. Unfortunately, as we age, collagen production slows down in our bodies. Collagen is not only important for our skin, but also our connective tissues, our gut health, joint health, bone strength, and having strong hair and nails. The good news is, there are a few ways to increase collagen levels in the body. From collagen supplements to collagen-rich foods, and some minor procedures, there are many things we can do to keep our skin glowing and our body healthy. Also, collagen supplements come in many types and forms, so there's something for everyone. From collagen peptides, hydrolyzed collagen, collagen powder, liquid collagen, and collagen pills, there's a lot to choose from. Read on to learn more about how you can increase collagen in your own body.
How do you increase collagen naturally?
There are a couple of ways in which you can increase collagen naturally. From eating foods that contain collagen, taking collagen supplements, and seeing your dermatologist, you have plenty of options for increasing collagen. While we can't stop the depletion of collagen as we age, we can certainly slow it down and work to repair damage caused by a loss of collagen. Remember, consistency is key and necessary in order to see results!
What stimulates collagen production?
There are quite a few things that stimulate collagen production. The biggest and most important thing is that you eat a clean and healthy diet. There are tons of foods that either already contain collagen, or help to promote collagen production, which we will discuss later. Another thing is your skincare. Protecting your skin with skin care products is important. Moisturizer, hyaluronic acid, retinol, sunscreen, and other such products give you healthy skin and promote anti-aging. By improving your cell turnover, some of these products can improve collagen synthesis in your skin. Additionally, some minor procedures performed by dermatologists can help with improving growth factors that improve natural collagen production, along with other skin conditions. Things such as chemical peels, laser treatments, and microneedling can all help to stimulate collagen. These treatments can cause skin resurfacing and minor damage, which causes your body to produce more collagen. Their side effects include redness and peeling, which means you should avoid UV rays and sun exposure for a little while.
What foods can help increase collagen?
Bone Broth: Bone broth is a direct source of collagen, as it's made from the same animal parts used to make collagen supplements. You can make this nutrient-dense broth by simmering animal bones (typically cow or chicken) in water with herbs. Bone broth is packed with collagen, amino acids, calcium, and magnesium. It’s easy to make and the only time-consuming part is how long it takes to simmer. However, you can make huge batches and freeze what you don’t use. It's extremely healing for your gut, and can help to boost collagen production.
Fish: Packed with amino acids such as proline and glycine, it contains the necessary building blocks for collagen. Pretty much any fish will help with your collagen intake, but keep in mind the most collagen is in parts we don’t normally eat (such as the scales). This is why taking a marine collagen supplement can be a great idea. Supplements use excess parts like scales and skin, which helps to ensure you get a high amount of collagen and amino acids.
Foods rich in Vitamin C: For vitamin C, citrus fruits are key, with grapefruit and lemon being some of the best for your skin. Even fruit such as raspberries contain a large amount of vitamin C. If you want to watch your sugar, try eating bell peppers. They are just as high in vitamin C but with lower sugar content. This vitamin is essential for both improving collagen production and naturally giving you stronger, glowier skin. It also helps to detox your body, especially your gut and liver, which is necessary to remove toxins and impurities that could affect your skin.
Foods Rich in Vitamin A: Sweet potatoes are full of vitamin A, which is important for a strong skin barrier and overall skin function. Other foods rich in vitamin A include spinach, carrots, and broccoli. By strengthening your skin barrier, your body will be able to complete cell turnover (helpful for getting rid of dead skin and renewing collagen) more quickly and successfully.
Leafy greens and veggies: Kale and pretty much any green vegetables will give you a huge boost in helping with collagen production, as well as help you achieve glowing skin, due to all the antioxidants they contain. Antioxidants are needed to help combat free radicals, which can cause damage to your skin and hinder your collagen production.
Egg whites: While eggs themselves don’t support collagen production, egg whites do. They contain proline, which is an amino acid that is needed for collagen production. As an added benefit, they give you a protein boost as well.
Beans: Not only are beans packed with protein and flavor, but they also contain essential amino acids that are needed for synthesizing collagen. This is especially great for those who don't eat animal products.
Kalumi BEAUTYfood bars: Our bars take on double-duty, acting as both a beauty supplement and a satiating, clean snack. Each bar contains 12 grams (a full daily serving) of wild-caught marine collagen. It also contains ingredients that may help to boost collagen, such as sweet potato, lemon, and yacon syrup. More than just a collagen supplement, it helps to boost your skin's glow and can help to address other skin-related issues. It's like skincare you eat, which is important because good skin starts within your body.
What vitamins can help increase collagen?
As we mentioned, vitamin A and vitamin C are essential for good skin health and helping to increase our natural collagen production. You can find these vitamins in the foods we mentioned above, as well as broccoli, kiwi, cauliflower, and papaya (for vitamin C), and carrot, spinach, and squash for vitamin A. You can also take vitamin supplements in addition to eating more foods rich in these vitamins. These vitamins are essential for creating a strong skin barrier, improved skin elasticity, and promoting new skin cells. Oral supplements are a great way to ensure you are getting enough vitamins, but it is important to try and get a sufficient amount through real, clean foods like salads, smoothies, and more.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.