Here’s another one of those terms that you’ve probably heard thrown around more than a few times recently in the health and beauty industries. Yep, today we’re chatting about all things collagen.
What is collagen?
Collagen is one of the key building blocks of the human body. Being the most prominent protein we have (about a third of our body’s total protein), it’s key to maintaining the health of our bones, joints, hair, and skin just to name a few. Essentially, collagen is what holds us together. And while collagen plays so many important roles in the human body, we’ll mainly be focussing on collagen and its link to the health of our skin.
How does your body make collagen?
Okay, stick with us while we get a little bit ‘sciency’ for a moment here. Essentially, we naturally produce collagen when amino acids from the protein-rich foods we eat are combined with certain vitamins and minerals in the body. However, don’t just take that seemingly simple process for granted because as we age our bodies actually become less efficient at producing collagen.
At around 25 years of age, our collagen starts to break down faster than we can make it, and from there we continue to lose more and more of our collagen supply as we age. This reduced collagen production is what results in some of the signs of ageing like joint pain and skin sagging and wrinkles.
Why do we need collagen?
We’re constantly told to take this collagen supplement and that collagen supplement, but why do we actually need collagen? Well, if you’re seeking smooth, soft and firm skin - that’s your answer right there. Collagen is what helps the skin to keep its elasticity for longer as well as keeps it from sagging so that we can have that plump, youthful look.
What damages collagen?
We mentioned earlier that once we hit the ripe old age of just 25 our collagen production begins to decrease. However, there are also other lifestyle factors that can aid in the breakdown and production of collagen.
- UV exposure
- High sugar consumption
- Nutritionally deficient diet (lacking nutrients)
- Pollution and free radicals
How can you support your body’s collagen production?
Luckily, there are more than a few ways to naturally boost collagen production and keep your skin looking plump and firm while also supporting your overall health.
- You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again: a balanced diet is key. Consume a diet that’s high in plant or animal protein (because we create collagen from the amino acids found in protein), as well as lots of essential fatty acids (which can be found in fish, or if you’re plant-based you can find it in spinach, flaxseed, pecans and soybeans), and antioxidants to protect against free radical damage (from foods like blueberries, licorice extract, cinnamon).
This one’s only for the non-vegans amongst us. Bone broth has great nutritional and healing benefits as collagen is extracted from the bones during the cooking process.
Cull the morning coffee: We’re all about non-restrictive practices so if your morning coffee makes you happy, then keep it or just try to limit caffeine where you can. However, it’s been proven that caffeine can negatively affect skin ageing and healing.
- Hyaluronic acid: (you can find this little baby in our Rejuvenating HY C Serum) HA is an important compound for collagen in the skin as it’s rich in amino acids which is what the body needs to create collagen.
- Vitamin C: (you’ll also find this in our Rejuvenating HY C Serum) you’ve probably heard of the magical powers of Vitamin C by now. And it’s all true. Vitamin C helps promote collagen production amongst many other great skin benefits. You can find vitamin C in foods like citrus, strawberries, broccoli and green, leafy vegetables.
*This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.