Collagen is a protein that is found in abundance in the human body. According to research, one-third of the protein in the human body is collagen and, in the skin, three-quarters of the dry weight of skin is collagen. Collagen levels are important for joint health, kidney, cardiovascular system, healthy skin, strengthening and shining of hairs, and keeping other organs healthy. Collagen provides elasticity, hydration, and strengthening to the skin. As the age increases, levels of collagen start falling. Hence, collagen fibres become weak. This leads to sagging of skin and thus, aging. For making skin healthy, maintaining collagen levels are important. There are certain ways to boost collagen levels in skin.
Different Ways to increase collagen level
Here are the following ways, as suggested by research, that can boost collagen levels in the skin.
Vitamin C plays a crucial role in maintaining collagen levels. However, the human body cannot produce Vitamin C and so, it is dependent on outsourcing. Including Vitamin C foods in our diet is the best source to increase its level.
Some vitamin C-rich food sources are:
Citrus fruits (lemon, oranges, kiwi, grapefruit)
Cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussel sprouts)
Bell Peppers (red, yellow, green)
Other than fruits, taking vitamin C supplements and topical application through creams can also be included in the daily regimen.
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is a boon for the skin. It is being used for thousands of years for treating skin conditions like sunburn, rash, dryness, etc. This medicinal plant is also good for gut health. Aloe Vera gel has antioxidant properties. Its usage provides ample hydration. It also increases the level of collagen and hyaluronic acid.
3. Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic Acid promotes the synthesis of collagen. It can be taken as supplements, injections, and topical creams. Nowadays, many drugstore creams have hyaluronic acid as their main ingredients.
Retinoids are a group of compounds derived from vitamin A. Retinoids are powerful antioxidants. Retinoids prevent the breakdown of collagen from UV rays and speed up the skin turnover cycle. Thereby, helpful in reducing wrinkles. Many dermatological ointments and other cosmetic skin creams have retinoids as their active ingredient. Using retinoid creams and including vitamin A-rich food (carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, etc.) in the diet can improve skin texture.
5. Glycolic Acid
It is seen that topical application of glycolic acid increases collagen production. Glycolic acid is a chemical exfoliant that dissolves dead skin from the skin surface and thus, enhancing fresh and smooth skin underneath. Skin’s natural cell turnover cycle decreases with the age, glycolic acid exfoliation rejuvenates skin cells. Hence, helps in maintaining skin elasticity and boost collagen levels.
Collagen supplements have become very popular these days. People are taking collagen supplements to boost skin collagen production. These supplements contain collagen peptides that are readily absorbed by the body. They help in the production of collagen in the body by stimulating fibroblasts, cells that make collagen and elastin protein.
Antioxidants neutralize free radicals. These free radicals generate oxidative stress in the skin that leads to degradation of collagen, and so, increases wrinkle formation. Antioxidants are produced during metabolism. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and legumes are rich in antioxidants. Eating from these groups daily will fulfil the daily need for antioxidants, helping the skin to retain collagen.
8. Lifestyle changes
Lifestyle plays a major role in healthy skin. Eating a well-balanced diet that includes different foods from different groups (vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds) will help in maintaining collagen levels in the body. As well as limit the intake of refined products such as sugar, and refined flour. Protect skin from harmful UV rays. Always wear sunscreen in the daytime, and quit smoking. These healthy habits will help in preserving the collagen level.
Ageing is a normal process. It cannot be stopped, but adopting these habits on a regular basis, can delay the aging process and promotes healthy skin.