Cosmetics

How to Restore Collagen in the Face

In search of smooth skin, you’ll hear a lot of chatter about “boosting collagen,” but what does that mean exactly? “Collagen is the main structural protein in the skin, which acts like scaffolding and provides volume so the skin is smooth and wrinkle-free,” explains Jennifer Chwalek, MD, board-certified dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City. While we can’t preserve our collagen forever, you can help to restore your collagen levels. Here are some top tips from Skin by AnaK to help you do it.

But First, What is Collagen?
Collagen is a protein — the most abundant and strongest protein in your body. Collagen acts as supporting structures in the skin giving it its strength and elasticity. It makes up about 75% of the weight of your skin and around 30% of your total body protein mass. There are at least 16 primary variations of collagen in your body and can be found in the connective tissue, tendons, cartilage, ligaments, teeth, bones, the valves of the heart, and even the cornea of your eyes. Structurally, it’s made up of long fibers of protein that provide strength to the skin and hold it together. When people talk about the importance of collagen, they are generally referring to its benefits for the skin.

What Does Collagen Do For The Skin?
When collagen levels are high, the skin is soft, smooth, and firm. It helps the skin cells renew and repair themselves while helping keep the skin moist. As a person ages, their body produces less collagen. While you can’t measure your collagen level, you can tell when it’s falling. The lack of collagen results in the common signs of aging, contributing to wrinkles, sagging skin that has lost its elasticity, and stiff joints are all signs that the body is producing less collagen. This is why collagen has been seen as a very important ingredient for skincare over the years.

When Collagen Levels Drop.
Although your skin contains an abundance of collagen when you are young, the supply decreases as you age, which is why it begins to appear thinner and more wrinkled. Environmental factors like sun exposure and pollution can break down collagen, making it more likely you’ll see wrinkles staring back at you in the mirror,” says New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Marisa Garshick, MD. Age is a major factor, too. “As you get older, collagen production decreases so the skin can also appear thinner and have less structural support, which is why people begin to notice drooping or sagging of their skin,” she says. “Collagen loss begins in the early twenties,” says Dr. Garshick, making it important to both preserve the collagen you have — and stimulate your skin to produce it faster. Get healthier-looking skin by boosting collagen levels using the list and items below.

HOW TO RESTORE COLLAGEN IN THE FACE –
Collagen Creams: Collagen creams are a good way of restoring collagen in the skin, however, because of the way that collagen works you will need to find a cream that contains collagen amino acids small enough to penetrate the skin, otherwise it’ll end up just sitting on top and taking no real effect on your skin health. Collagen creams help the skin to maintain hydration by preventing water loss, keeping the skin supple, hence, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The Pure Collagen Moisturizer is the perfect solution as it will help aid and boost natural collagen production and restoration.

Hyaluronic Acid: This anti-aging ingredient is an important compound for collagen in the skin. Hyaluronic acid has been touted for speeding up recovery time and relieving painful joints. Naturally found in the body, Hyaluronic Acid decreases as we age. It is found in foods rich in amino acids, such as beans, root vegetables, and soy. Adding hyaluronic acid to both your diet and skincare can easily help to boost collagen levels. Nourish your skin with a boost of intensive hydration provided by our highly concentrated Hyaluronic Serum that attracts and retains skin moisture.

Vitamin C: Without adequate levels of vitamin C, your body will not gain the full benefit of foods containing hyaluronic acid. Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits, berries, papaya, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach, and green, leafy vegetables like cilantro. Something collagen production relies on is vitamin C, as without it the body can’t form, store or synthesize collagen as it’s responsible for holding cells together during the creation of collagen. Vitamin C is vital for maintaining skin elasticity and strength and because the human body cannot make vitamin C, it is very important to get it from the diet and through other means. Our Vitamin C Moisturizer is a fast-absorbing and DNA defending treatment cream that offers elevated levels of bio-vibrant Vitamin C for extended skin conditioning. This dynamic moisturizer contains Seaweed and traditional botanicals which are known to improve suppleness and loss of elasticity.

Aloe Vera: People often use aloe vera gel to soothe the skin after a sunburn or an allergic reaction. Rather than waiting for skin damage to appear and treating it with topical aloe vera, adding it to your daily routine will unlock your skin’s potential. Aloe Vera can stimulate the correct cells to grow as it helps boost the production of hyaluronic acid and collagen, resulting in a significant reduction of facial wrinkles. Luckily most of our products contain aloe vera extract.

Ginseng: Ginseng has been used for centuries in traditional medicine due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties. This miraculous root not only increases the amount of collagen in the bloodstream but might have the potential to stop skin cells from aging according to researchers. Studies have also shown its ability to preserve skin against UVB ray damage from the sun. Ginseng is often found in the form of tea, tinctures, and supplements.

Algae: Marine plant ingredients are becoming more and more popular as part of beauty routines. This is because most skin damage is caused by “oxidation” — the exposure of your skin to elements like pollution, which can damage cell growth. Algae can prevent oxidation from zapping your skin of its elasticity and collagen. Browse our algae ingredient options.

Antioxidants: Antioxidants are substances that help to protect the body from free radicals that can damage the body. Not all antioxidants will boost collagen production, but they will help the collagen that is present do the best job it can at renewing and rejuvenating the skin. Antioxidants can be found abundantly in nature and food including blueberries, green tea (or EGCG, its active component), yerba mate, licorice extract, mulberry extract, pomegranate extract, coffee extract, astragalus, cinnamon, basil, oregano, and thyme essential oils. We use only the purest form of ingredients in our products to ensure your skin is getting the most of it.

Retinol: Retinol is another type of antioxidant that is commonly used to boost collagen levels in the skin. It helps to increase the lifespan of collagen, as well as block certain enzymes that destroy collagen, making it a perfect addition to many skincare kits. Our signature Encapsulated Retinol Serum truly is an imperfection-skin-eraser that repairs the skin, no matter the ailment, at a cellular level. It acts as a vehicle for a better performance of the products that one applies afterward, also aiding in keeping acne from forming. Our carefully developed formula has anti-aging properties that help to naturally build collagen while diminishing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots.

Encapsulated Retinol Serum

Consider a Chemical Peel: There are many options for in-office anti-aging procedures, including a chemical peel. “These use hydroxy acids (like glycolic acid) to boost skin cell turnover, which in turn stimulates collagen production,” says Garshick. Patients “…see immediate benefits from chemical peels, as they can help with tone, texture, and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.” she continued. Chemical peels involve applying a type of “chemical agent” to the skin for exfoliating sun-damaged, thickened surface skin while stimulating collagen production for firmer skin. Having peels performed regularly (every 6-8 weeks) will lead to collagen stimulation that improves the appearance of wrinkles.

Red Light Therapy: Some skin treatments, such as microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and laser resurfacing can lead to complications. After these treatments, the skin needs a lot of time to recover. Red light therapy is a quick and safe way to increase collagen in the skin. Red light therapy, or low-level laser light therapy (LLLT), has been shown to increase collagen growth and improve wrinkles and skin elasticity. It is a non-invasive method of boosting collagen that has no side effects.

Bonus buy recommendation: HyperGlo™ Skin Rejuvenation Therapy System, Retail $425.00

Facial Massage: Massaging the skin can help stimulate collagen production and strengthen muscle memory. If the muscles in your face are toned they’ll be better at retaining skin tightness, and more blood will circulate throughout the skin helping to achieve a glowing skin complexion as well as boost skin nutrients found in the blood to the face.

Protect The Skin From The Environment: Pollution and free radicals can diminish collagen production and reduce skin elasticity. Skin cells are always in a cycle of being created and destroyed. However, there are some factors, such as the environment, that make matters worse. Harsh weather, pollution, sun exposure, and even dust particles can damage the skin. The damaged cells have to be replaced, which reduces collagen levels even more. An easy solution to this is to simply keep the skin clean. Washing and exfoliating daily with our Reviving Daily Powder Exfoliant can help to protect the collagen already in the skin.

Sunscreen is vital for skin cancer prevention — but also for keeping skin young and springy. “UV exposure can lead to the breakdown of collagen, which can lead to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, so you’re never too young to start wearing sunscreen regularly,” says Garshick. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends choosing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. Don’t forget below your chin. In your collagen-preserving sunscreen routine, don’t forget your neck, chest, and the back of your hands, says Garshick: “These areas can see the effects of cumulative sun damage, as the skin in these areas is thinner and therefore more likely to show the effects of aging,” she says. UV rays damage collagen found in the dermis, causing it to break down, creating abnormal elastin fibers to rebuild incorrectly forming wrinkles.

Lifestyle: This is less about production and more about making sure the collagen you do have remains stable, but there are several things you can do to make sure your collagen levels remain healthy.

  • Stay Hydrated: Staying and keeping your skin hydrated helps provide a skin barrier for water loss. Collagen can bind to water and can naturally condition the skin to help maintain moisture levels which leaves you with brighter, more even-looking skin.
  • Diet: “Aside from aging, the top reason people don’t have enough collagen is poor diet,” Dr. Bradley says. “Your body can’t make collagen if it doesn’t have the necessary elements.” To help restore collagen in the face, as well as the rest of the body to aid bodily processes and help slow down body aging, you should eat foods that are rich in protein and vitamin C. You should also stay away from too much sugar as sugar intake causes your insulin levels to rise, this then causes inflammation which leads to the breakdown of valuable collagen and elastin leaving you more prone to wrinkles, fine lines, and loss of skin elasticity. Protect the collagen in your skin by consuming a balanced diet that contains protein in the form of fatty fish high in Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin A (which has an anti-inflammatory effect) and contains antioxidants, both of which scavenge free radicals and prevent loss or degradation of collagen. Limit or cut caffeine. There is evidence that caffeine may have an adverse effect on skin aging and the wound healing process of the human skin.
  • Manage stress: Stress causes an increase in hormones like cortisol, which research has found can decrease the production of collagen. Additionally, when we are stressed, our bodies redirect nutrients to organs like the lungs and brain, meaning the skin doesn’t get as many resources to produce a healthy amount of collagen.
  • Sleep: Beauty sleep is real: The REM cycle is actually when the body is able to do most of its cellular rejuvenation—collagen included. During this time the skin sees a surge in HGH (human growth hormone) in the nighttime sleep cycle. The release of HGH helps rebuild body tissues and spurs increased cell production to replace cells naturally lost throughout the day.
  • Don’t Smoke: Smoking limits the blood supply to your face which keeps skin looking supple and healthy, and inhibits the production of collagen causing skin aging. The combination of chemicals in tobacco smoke damage collagen and elastin. Nicotine also restricts the blood vessels compromising the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the skin.

Bonus buy recommendation: Elevate, Retail $76

This new and improved version of Elevate (formerly Collagen Activator) has some exciting enhancements. It continues to offer clinically proven benefits in reducing cholesterol and triglycerides as well as increasing ATP production which burns fat and increases energy in the process. ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) is a powerful tool for healthy skin, brain, muscle, and organ activity. In addition, we have added more immune and libido-boosting benefits. This supplement “elevates” many important aspects of your life.

Bonus buy recommendation: Orpheus Resurrection All-In-One Serum, Retail $130

A silky, lightweight formula supercharged with anti-wrinkle peptides, advanced form of vitamin C, Niacinamide, super moisturizing Snow mushroom extract and wild indigo – a unique anti-stress adaptogen botanical that calms and de-stresses skin, reducing redness and inflammation. Skin’s elasticity increases as the length and depth of wrinkles visibly decrease, for youthful, ‘reborn’ skin.

Written by Kimberly P.
Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

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