We need it.
Collagen is the most abundant and strongest natural protein in your body. It’s the main building block of skin, muscles, bones, blood vessels, gut tissue and tendons.
Collagen can be found alongside elastin and hyaluronic acid within the dermal layer of your skin. Together, these molecules make your skin firm, elastic, and voluminous.
Unfortunately as we age, we start to produce less of this important protein.
So, for years, the skin care industry has been creating and offering products and services that help us build up this pivotal protein. Some services and products, however, are much more effective than others.
This post breaks down:
- How to prevent exacerbated collagen loss
- How to increase collagen production with lifestyle changes
- How to stimulate collagen with services, products and supplements
COLLAGEN HARMING HABITS
Some lifestyle choices can speed up the decline of collagen production.
Because we need vitamin C to create collagen, habits that stress our bodies’ natural functions are harmful to collagen production. Here’s a quick list.
- Too much sun exposure
- Poor diet (including too much sugar and alcohol)
- Excessive toxins (including smoking)
TOP 6 WAYS TO BOOST COLLAGEN LEVELS
Here are our favorite habits hacks to prevent loss and stimulate production of collagen:
- Eat a well balanced diet that includes
- Antioxidant-rich foods
- Whole foods
- Foods high in protein
- Anti-inflammatory foods
- Green Tea
- Foods high in vitamin C, zinc, copper and sulfur
- Develop a self-care routine that helps you lower stress and inflammation
- Apply broad spectrum Sunscreen, everyday
- Use more natural, non toxic makeup and skincare products to avoid the chemical stress
- Consider supplementing with Collagen
- Consider a Collagen Boosting Service
SERVICES THAT BOOST COLLAGEN
Services like Microneedling with PRP and laser resurfacing were created to reverse the signs of aging by stimulating collagen production.
Laser resurfacing lasers deliver heat into the skin which triggers a healing reaction and renews collagen to improve the appearance of your skin. It is often used to smooth away wrinkles and treat discoloration and blemishes.
The exact process differs slightly based on the technology used and your skin concerns. At Valley Dermatology, we use the ResurFX laser in our clinic:
A non ablative solution to smoothing wrinkles, skin tightening, and acne scarring, ResurFX uses energy that does not cause the skin to peel, which allows for shorter recovery time.
Multiple treatments are recommended, every four to six weeks depending on the individual, and improvements start to become visible after two to three treatments, lasting up to six months.
PRP facial uses your own blood’s platelets and plasma on your face. The natural chemicals in your own PRP is slathered onto your face and then micro-needled into the skin during a short procedure.
“PRP treatment stimulates the growth of newer and healthier cells while healing damaged skin tissue, so that facial skin can appear to look fresher and newer than ever before. PRP therapy is one of the best ways to bring about facial rejuvenation for a number of reasons.
PRODUCTS AND SUPPLEMENTS THAT STIMULATE COLLAGEN PRODUCTION
While less effective than the services and lifestyle changes we outlined above, collagen may be stimulated with topical creams.
Combining antioxidants like Vitamin C, Ferulic acid, and Vitamin E is crucial to be able to penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin and boost collagen. The topical application of ascorbic acid will stimulate fibroblast cells that make collagen proteins.
As always, don’t forget to apply sunscreen on top of your serums during the day.
Retinoids are FDA approved to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This can, however, be too aggressive for some people. Schedule a consultation today to see if retinoids are a good option for you.
Collagen supplements or powder have been proven to be better at increasing collagen production than those tough-to-trust topical creams. When choosing a supplement, consider the following tips:
- Prioritize quality over price
- Choose a powder that is made from organic, grass-fed cows
- Check the color and smell. If you buy plain, unflavored collagen it should be colorless and pretty much tasteless. If it looks off-color (brown or yellow) then you’re likely not getting the best quality
- Pay attention to the collagen “type.” Collagen in the body is broken down into various categories.
Collagen is an integral and important protein. We hope this post is helpful! If you have any questions, please give us a call.
If you’d like to utilize one of our favorite collagen producing services, request an appointment, today!