Getting your skin to look younger than you are is no child’s play.
But the good news is, it is totally achievable. We see women on our TV screens who are in their forties and fifties, and they look like they are in their thirties.
How do you get your skin looking that way? The answer is simple, collagen!
With the right levels of collagen in your skin, you can retain that youthful look for as long as possible.
To fully understand how this works, let’s start from the beginning.
What is collagen?
Collagen is a protein in your body that gives structure to not just your skin, but also your bones, tendons, and ligaments.
Naturally, this protein is found in abundance in the body. According to Everyday Health, it makes up 75% of your skin support structure.
These amino acids make it possible for collagen to help keep your skin firm and youthful.
How can collagen make you look younger than your peers?
When you think of collagen, think of it as the glue that holds your skin together.
Here are some of the ways collagen helps your skin look younger:
- When the levels of collagen in your skin are high, your skin becomes smoother and firmer. Collagen is part of the connective tissues that keep your skin firm and supple.
- It helps to speed up the healing of wounds and scars on your skin. It also prevents wound infection while these scars heal.
- It influences skin elasticity. It gives your skin that stretchy and “elastic” look and prevents sagging.
- It prevents your skin from developing wrinkles or any other skin defects that can make your skin look old.
- It plays a great role in your skin’s renewal process. This means that it helps your skin shed off dead skin cells and makes way for new and healthy ones.
On the other hand, when the collagen levels in your skin begin to decrease, your skin becomes saggy, dry, wrinkled, itchy, prone to breakage, rough, etc.
Without collagen, your skin looks shriveled and old, but when your skin has collagen in abundance, your skin looks young and supple.
What factors damage collagen in your skin?
If you are not careful, collagen in your skin can get damaged.
There are factors that we expose our skin to that affect the production of collagen in our skin. They include:
As you grow older, your body does not produce collagen as much as it used to. This means that your skin has less collagen to keep it firm and youthful.
Because of this, aging signs like wrinkles, fine lines, etc., begin to appear on your skin.
Exposure to sun
The ultraviolet rays from the sun stimulate free radicals which damage your skin and break down collagen.
Basically, if you expose your skin to the sun, you kill collagen in your skin.
Skin exposure to factors that damage the skin
Anything that damages your skin cells can reduce the levels of collagen in your skin.
Factors like harsh weather conditions, stress, dust, bad skincare practices, smoking, exposure to skin irritants, etc., can gradually damage collagen in your skin.
How can you boost the levels of collagen in your skin?
Naturally, we have collagen in abundance in our skin, but as we grow older and our skin gets exposed to damaging factors, the production of collagen in our skin reduces.
This is why it is important that you make a conscious effort to boost the collagen level in your skin.
Here are some ways you can do that:
Use skincare products that enhance collagen production
There are skincare products that help to boost collagen levels in your skin.
If you are going shopping, watch out for ingredients like retinoids or retinol. They help to stimulate the synthesis of collagen in the skin.
There are also collagen creams and oils in beauty stores. These brands claim to contain synthetic collagen that locks moisture into your skin, which makes it look plump and supple while reducing aging signs.
Eat your collagen
Remember, I said collagen is a protein.
You can boost your collagen levels by eating foods rich in protein such as tuna, salmon, walnuts, sardines, eggs, beans, etc. They will provide your body with the amino acids it needs to produce collagen.
Fruits and vegetables also help to boost collagen. So, eat citrus fruits (such as limes, lemons, oranges, etc.), leafy greens (spinach, kale, etc.), berries, bell peppers, etc.
You need foods rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, zinc, copper, etc. With these foods in your diet, you will experience a boost in your collagen levels.
While you are doing this, stay away from foods that contain loads of sugar and carbohydrate. They can lead to skin inflammation which damages the collagen in your skin.
Protect your skin from the sun
Sun rays damage your skin and reduce the levels of collagen in your skin.
So, do not expose your skin to the sun. If you must go out, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen preferably one with SPF 30 and above. Wear protective clothing like hats, caps, etc.
Also, wear clothes that cover your body and do not forget your umbrella and your sunshades. More importantly, try and stay away from the sun as much as you can.
Get collagen supplements
There are collagen supplements that help to boost the levels of collagen in your skin.
There are oral supplements and topical supplements.
Oral supplements are made from protein gotten from animals and plants. You ingest oral supplements. They come in the form of pills, gummies, jello, powders, etc.
As for topical supplements, you apply them on your skin, and they contain ingredients such as peptides, tretinoin, etc. These ingredients help to improve your skin’s firmness and texture.
Whether or not supplements work as effectively as suppliers claim is yet to be confirmed. Before you use any supplement, make sure it is prescribed by your doctor.
Protect your skin
The way you treat your skin daily determines how healthy and youthful your skin will be.
Protect your skin from anything that will damage your skin. Skin damage reduces the level of collagen in your skin.
So, follow a skincare routine, eat right, exercise, massage your skin, steam your face, use the right products, avoid stress, etc. – whatever is necessary to keep your skin healthy and protected from anything that will cause damage.
Collagen gives your skin that youthful and glowing look.
No matter what you do, make sure that you avoid anything that can damage collagen in your body. Remember, collagen is not in your skin alone but in different parts of your body.
The less collagen in your body, the more your entire body begins to look old.
Now, over to you…
Have you ever tried boosting the level of collagen in your skin? Leave me a comment and let’s talk.