What is Collagen? An Ultimate Guide to Younger Skin
There are hundreds of articles on collagen, an equal amount of collagen supplements, and countless online recommendations on how to boost collagen production within the body.
But what is collagen? And why is it so important in the skincare universe? What foods naturally contain collagen? And what supplements deliver the best results?
In this highly requested blog post, I break down, in simplistic terms, what collagen is, why we need it, and where to get more of this coveted skincare protein.
After reading this post, don't forget to check out my YouTube video, where you can find more collagen informational goodies.
So What is Collagen?
Collagen is a protein, put simply, that you might be surprised to discover makes up an impressive third of all body proteins, and is the building block for skin, hair, nails, bones, ligaments, and other vital parts of the body.
There are approximately sixteen different types of collagen, with the main four being:
- Type I
- Type II
- Type III
- Type IV
More information on what different roles each type of collagen plays can be found here. I won't get into the complex science of what each type's function is, but I want to show you just how a lack of collagen (or even a boost in it) can vastly improve your skin and appearance.
Why Does Our Skin Need Collagen?
Collagen keeps our skin firm, supple, and looking young. As collagen depletes and our body produces less, our face loses volume - resulting in wrinkles, lines, and an aged appearance.
Collagen is responsible for the strength and elasticity of the skin, so the more collagen intake, the more support and structure your skin cells are going to receive.
What Destroys Collagen?
- Sunlight is collagen's number one enemy. Ultraviolet radiation penetrates skin, slowing down collagen production and wreaking havoc on skin cells.
- Smoking causes premature aging, wrinkles, and sagging skin. Of the thousands of chemicals found in cigarettes, several of them damage collagen and elastin, interfering with collagen synthesis and the rate at which your cells regenerate. More information on the effects of smoking on collagen can be found here.
- Refined Carbs & Sugars cause a spike in the body's blood sugar. After the sugar is converted to glucose, this glucose attacks collagen in the body. Stay away from foods such as white rice, starchy breads, and carb-packed pastries.
How to Increase Collagen
There are a variety of ways to promote collagen production in the body, specifically in the skin. Let's take a look at five tried and true ways to increase collagen:
Dermarolling: Also known as microneedling, dermarolling is the practice of utilizing a dermaroller to make microscopic puncture wounds in the skin, inducing the body's healing factors and boosting collagen and elastin as the skin cells repair themselves.
Vitamin C Serum: applying Vitamin C serum topically has its skincare benefits, a few being its ability to thicken the dermis, promote collagen, and reduce fine lines.
Collagen Peptides: collagen comes in powder form and is sold at various grocery stores and vitamin shops. Collagen peptides are derived from collagen and easily absorbed by the body for conversion into useful amino acids.
Bone Broth: This is a household collagen secret that not many people know about. Bone broth is said to contain large amounts of collagen, though nutrition labels rarely divulge exactly how much collagen is in the broth itself. It's best to do research and determine which type of bone broth is best for you.
- Water: ah, good old H20. Did you know that water binds tightly to collagen and makes up approximately 60% of its substance by weight? Drinking more water hydrates your natural collagen, preventing wrinkles, lines, and premature aging.
The Bottom Line
Collagen is such an integral part of our skin and the sooner we realize its benefits, the sooner we can formulate skincare regimens to include collagen boosting practices into our daily routines. Although there's so much more to learn about collagen, the basics have been laid bare so that you can arm yourself with the knowledge you need to embark on the path towards healthier, more radiant, and ultimately more youthful skin that you can enjoy for years to come.
Thank you my Gin Amber babies for joining me on another informative blog post and I hope you put these points to good use! Good luck on your skincare journeys and leave a comment below if you enjoyed the article. Until next time!