Healthy skin is filled with a protein called collagen. Unfortunately, collagen levels naturally deplete as we age. If you want to keep your skin smooth, firm, and youthful, you will need to look for ways to boost your collagen production.
Collagen is an essential protein that is abundantly found in the human body, and it is an important building block for the muscles, ligaments, tendons, blood vessels, bones, teeth, eyes, and skin. In your skin, collagen promotes elasticity and firmness to keep it strong, healthy, and young-looking.
Collagen depletion is something that all human beings face, partly because the body’s ability to produce new collagen diminishes as it ages. Your body’s collagen can also be affected by the lifestyle choices you make. For example, high blood sugar levels brought on by poor dietary decisions can cause collagen to stiffen and crack. One other factor that influences collagen depletion is the environmental conditions around us. As an example, free radical damage from UV light exposure can weaken and harm collagen over time.
As stated above, collagen is essential for keeping the skin smooth, plump, and elastic. When collagen levels diminish and your existing collagen proteins are damaged over time, the skin gets gradually weaker and can stiffen, crack, wrinkle, and sag. In other words, collagen depletion causes skin aging.
If you want to avoid these signs of skin aging, the key is to boost your collagen levels. Our board-certified dermatologist Dr. Brandon Kirsch talked to HuffPost to weigh in on the effectiveness of two highly popular collagen treatments: skin creams and supplements.
Collagen Skin Creams: Unfortunately, “collagen-rich creams” really don’t do anything for your collagen levels because collagen molecules are too large to pass through the skin barrier. Your skin barrier, naturally designed to protect your body, only allows small molecules to penetrate the skin, and each collagen molecule is about 100 times too large for this.
Says Dr. Kirsch, “There is little evidence to support a collagen-containing cosmetic cream’s ability to increase collagen in the deeper layers of the skin.”
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Supplements: Fortunately, scientific research about collagen supplements is more encouraging. Because supplements bring collagen directly inside the body, the digestive system can break the collagen down into its amino acid fragments. The skin recognizes these as broken-down collagen fragments, and this triggers the skin to increase collagen production.
“Numerous human studies have shown that the oral intake of collagen may boost skin collagen production and provide anti-aging effects,” Dr. Kirsch says.
Collagen supplements are a great way to improve your collagen intake and enhance your skin health. Dr. Kirsch recommends taking a supplement called Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Powder Supplement, which includes both collagen and peptides.
“In animal models, it’s been shown that these peptides are absorbed and make their way to the skin to end up as part of new collagen,” he says.
Because collagen is also found in animals, consuming collagen-rich foods can improve your collagen intake further. Eggs, fish, and bone broth are all excellent foods rich in collagen. Increasing your vitamin C levels by eating more plant products will also help your body with the collagen-building process.
In addition to the right foods and collagen supplements, certain dermatology treatments can boost your collagen levels. Anti-aging skin care treatments such as CO2 lasers, microneedling, and the incredible HydraFacial MD can all stimulate collagen production in the skin to reduce signs of aging and help you maintain a youthful appearance.
Boosting your body’s collagen can significantly improve your skin health. Take steps now to enhance your collagen levels so that you can maintain healthy, youthful skin as you get older.
For more help with anti-aging skin care, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kirsch. Call (239) 300-9767 or contact us online today.