How to Increase Collagen for Anti-Aging Effects
Collagen makes up three quarters of the skin, and it accounts for a third of all the protein in your body. If you were to think of your skin as a building, collagen would be the scaffolding that holds everything together. Its close cousin, elastin, is the “stretchy stuff” that makes this scaffolding pliable. When intact, this matrix of collagen fibers and elastin provides volume to keep your skin bouncy and elastic.
Like everything in the natural world, collagen is not immune to deterioration. As part of an ongoing, organic process, the body removes old collagen and produces new collagen to fill the gap. However, the older we get, the less capable our bodies become at producing collagen. This slowdown then manifests itself in fine lines and wrinkles, volume loss, and saggy or droopy skin—what we refer to as aging skin. If you're noticing these signs of aging skin and collagen loss, read on to find out how to increase collagen levels in your skin. Hint: it's not another supplement.
Skincare ingredients that increase collagen production
Collagen plays a significant role in skin health. Its production slows down with age, unfortunately, leading to fine lines and wrinkles as well as a reduction in skin elasticity. Here is the good news: certain skincare ingredients have the ability to speed things up again!
A well-researched example is retinol (retinyl palmitate, retinoic acid, tretinoin, etc.), a key ingredient in the Resurfacing Compound and The SCULPT Arm Compound, which revs up the genes responsible for producing collagen fibers and elastin in the skin. Effective topically, it allows you to “target” problem areas, and boost collagen production where fine lines occur.
SIREN Technology in the Resurfacing Compound (and all of U Beauty’s products) takes it a step further by intelligently releasing active ingredients only in the weak areas of your skin, refining the treatment on a microscopic level for maximum efficiency. With its documented ability to optimize the skin’s natural elastin by 194%, it’s little wonder the Resurfacing Compound is also clinically proven to reduce visible wrinkles by up to 77%. Similarly, The SCULPT Arm Compound features retinol to optimize the skin’s natural collagen by up to 166%, creating a visible increase in skin elasticity (read: smooth and bouncy) by up to 48%.
Peptides are another class of skincare ingredients that can help promote collagen production. You can think of peptides as envoys that carry messages to our cells. Certain peptides are used in skincare precisely because they tell skin cells to behave more youthfully, thereby accelerating collagen production and other processes that may have slowed down. Via BIO-SIREN Capsules, The RETURN Eye Concentrate transports beneficial peptides to vulnerable areas of the skin—improving the look of sagging, crepey-looking skin around the eyes for 96% of studied subjects.
Skincare ingredients that protect collagen
Collagen breakdown is inevitable, but you can help delay it. Consider collagen a dwindling resource—so do your best to protect what you still have. Collagen can be degraded and destroyed by sun exposure, so slathering on an effective, broad-spectrum sunscreen like the Multimodal Defender is your first line of defense day in and day out (cloudy ones included). Another threat to healthy, natural collagen production is free radical damage caused by environmental pollutants and dysfunctional cells in the skin. Neutralize the damage by including antioxidants in your diet and your skincare routine. Packed with potent antioxidants like tocopherol (Vitamin E) and superoxide dismutase, The SUPER Hydrator guards against free radical damage while also releasing five unique types of hyaluronic acid in various strata of the skin. Hyaluronic acid helps the skin store up the moisture that skin cells need to thrive and repair themselves.
Lifestyle changes that support collagen production and retention
No surprises here—the vices we’re most familiar with aren’t great for collagen. Smoking and drinking have both been associated with accelerated collagen loss. A vice that’s not as obvious? High sugar intake. Advanced glycation end products (abbreviated starkly as ‘AGEs’) are nasty molecules that break down collagen, and they proliferate when your diet consists of excess sugar. To preserve collagen, and improve your general health, watch for those refined and added sugars on nutrition labels.
Do collagen supplements help reduce the signs of aging?
Many consider collagen supplementation as the best way to protect their skin's youthfulness, and the buzz is understandable–we instinctively wish to replace what we've lost. Unfortunately, there is scant evidence supporting the claims that adding collagen supplements to your diet will reduce the signs of aging in your skin. Collagen is basically a protein, so ingesting collagen supplements or collagen powder is really not too different from consuming other sources of protein like chicken or tempeh—none of these will contribute directly to plumping the skin or smoothing out fine lines.
While consuming collagen doesn’t quite replace collagen, our body does synthesize collagen using amino acids (found in high-protein foods like eggs), vitamin C, zinc, and copper. It’s therefore important to make sure your diet consists of these essential elements, so that your body has what it needs to produce collagen naturally. Couple that with a skincare routine designed to maximize natural collagen production and protection, and you'll be well-positioned to fight the signs of aging!