If you’re into skincare or maintaining your youth, Collagen would be a word you’ve frequently fussed about as the modern-day elixir of youth. It’s no surprise why — Collagen is the fountain of youth in our bodies and it’s the main component of connective tissue that provides the structure to hold our bodies together and withstand the stretching of tissues.
In fact, it’s found within almost all aspects from our skin, bones and even our tendons, with at least 16 different types that exist in our body. Besides helping us to maintain a youthful appearance, collagen is also important in blood vessels structure and health. With such a vital role in our bodies, maintaining our collagen production is more than just for how you look.
Collagen comprises up to 25% of our total protein content and has great tensile strength. Together with keratin, another protein, it is in charge of your skin strength and elasticity, and this lessens the appearance of wrinkles. On top of that, it’s linked to the appearance of healthier hair, nails and great for gut health. Think of it as the glue that holds your body together. You can regularly supplement the amount of collagen your body gets through the things you eat.
As collagen is synthesised by the body, diet plays a large role in the appearance and youthfulness of your skin. You may often see collagen supplements on your social media but the key difference between natural options and collagen pills is the body’s ability to use a nutrient when it’s consumed.
In comparison to supplements, many of these natural foods you consume contain collagen that your body can use almost immediately. Based on a 2012 review on nutrition and ageing, fruit and vegetables are the safest and healthiest approach to boosting your skin health. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about the safety of consuming these natural foods in comparison to over-the-counter supplements that may contain added ingredients you don’t know about.
Consuming these collagen-rich foods, like amino acids, glycine and lysine, you provide the building blocks you need for your skin goals. Here are some of the options you can look out for when kickstarting your collagen diet:
Although there are research findings that refute bone broth as a reliable source of collagen, it is extremely popular amongst individuals. Made by simmering animal bones in water, this process is believed to extract the collagen. You can even season it with spices for better flavour. Bone broth is made of bones and connective tissue, and contains minerals like calcium, magnesium, collagen, glucosamine, amino acids and more that are perfect for your skin health.
Have you heard of the collagen hotpot chicken hype? There’s a reason why collagen supplements are derived from chicken, as these tissues make chicken a rich source of dietary collagen. Several studies have also shown that chicken neck and cartilage is a great source of collagen for arthritis. You can also consider egg white, which has large amounts of proline, one of the amino acids necessary for collagen production.
Vitamin C plays a major role in the production of pro-collagen, the body’s precursor to collagen. You can pick up citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit and lemons or even tomatoes to load up on this vitamin. Plus, berries are an excellent source of Vitamin C too! Strawberries actually provide more vitamin C than oranges, and can provide antioxidants to protect the skin from damage.
We’re no strangers to how leafy greens are a key player in a healthy diet. Pick up some leafy greens from the supermarket like Spinach, Kale or salad greens that have high amounts of chlorophyll, known for their antioxidant properties. While you’re making your salad, toss in some red bell peppers that have vitamin C and capsaicin, an anti-inflammatory compound that combats signs of ageing.
If you’ve already boosted your diet and are looking for more ways to obtain collagen, perhaps you could look to introducing certain skin products into your routine for an added oomph:
This gold-standard topical contains vitamin A derivatives that upregulate genes involved in collagen production. If it is too harsh, you can consider Bakuchiol, the newest and latest natural alternative to retinol. It is similar in stimulating skin cell turnover to increase collagen production. The best part? It’s said to cause less irritation on the skin and hence, an ideal choice for those with sensitive skin.
Besides consuming Vitamin C, you can give vitamin C serums a go. Similar to the edible options, it has antioxidants that protect collagen and against UV damage. More than that, it triggers collagen formation and also stabilises the collagen proteins in the skin.
The building blocks of proteins; peptides can help promote collagen and elastin in the skin, improving your skin firmness
Imperative for skin cancer prevention, sunscreen is the crucial aspect one should never ignore when taking care of your skin. UV exposure from the sun can lead to the breakdown of collagen and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
While your diet and skincare routine can help with adding a boost in collagen production on a daily basis, you may consider looking at clinical treatments for a more effective and efficient solution. HIFU Facelift, or High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound treatment, is a non-surgical facelift treatment perfect for collagen production.
It uses ultrasound energy to target your skin layer and stimulate collagen production effectively. It is able to penetrate beyond the skin surface, encouraging the production of collagen that can help to tighten and lift your skin. The best part? It is a comfortable, pain-free and non-invasive procedure with minimal downtime. In comparison to other ultra-therapy face lifting devices, the HIFU technique would be a considerably more comfortable option.
It is designed to help contour your face into shape and aims to help reduce your crow’s feet, sagging skin and drooping eyelids. This treatment can be done multiple times and on many areas of concern like your neck, eyes, cheeks and brow area.
With external stressors like your environment, stress and ageing, your collagen production will definitely reduce as you grow older. Loading up on collagen-rich food and using some products will help you maintain your collagen levels, but you could consider clinical treatments if you want an immediate and significant boost for your skin.
If you’re looking at trying out the treatment, book a consultation with our friendly team for a skin consultation and to ensure that all your questions are answered for glowing, springy skin.