Collagen for Face: How to Boost Collagen Production
Time to read 8 min
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Time to read 8 min
If you're concerned about your skin health and looking into collagen supplements, chances are your first concern is your face. For one thing, our faces are our primary focal points, which makes it easy to understand why people are especially concerned with skin maintenance. For another, our faces can exhibit some of the most noticeable signs of skin aging.
Collagen synthesis naturally declines with age, which is why many opt to take collagen supplements for reinforcement. These supplements are designed to boost collagen production internally, making up for collagen loss and reducing symptoms of aging skin, such as fine lines and wrinkles, decreased skin elasticity, uneven skin texture due to sun damage, and more.
Collagen is a protein that is produced by the body naturally to provide structure to our skin, bones, muscles, joints, ligaments, and other connective tissues. In our faces, this means making our skin cells stronger and more resilient, producing the supple, smooth texture we associate with a youthful appearance.
Most people become aware of collagen as the body's ability to produce collagen wanes. Decreased collagen production can have visible effects, from thinning skin to increased fine lines and wrinkles. As our bodies begin to produce less collagen, many people choose to supplement their collagen intake with the aim of reversing the aging process.
If you're interested in taking collagen supplements, it can be hard to know which ones will be the very most effective. There are several different types of collagen out there, but among the most effective forms of collagen supplementation are collagen peptides, also known as hydrolyzed collagen. This is a pared-down form of collagen that exclusively features the three amino acids our bodies use in the collagen production process: Glycine, Proline, and Hydroxyproline.
What makes collagen peptides so effective? The answer is the high bioavailability of these supplements – that is, the ease with which the body can absorb them, making use of their antioxidant properties. Since supplements help stimulate new collagen production, choosing an easily-absorbable form of collagen can make a tremendous difference.
The health benefits of hydrolyzed collagen have been found to improve the production of collagen, which can reduce wrinkles, improve hydration, and leave behind more elastic skin.
Collagen production decreases naturally with age – this is just part of our natural biology. But some factors can particularly mitigate our collagen synthesis over time. These include:
You may notice that many of these factors don't appear to relate directly to the skin. However, collagen is intimately connected to a variety of functions of the human body, meaning a holistic approach is needed to promote collagen production. Indeed, one of the best ways to protect your skin in the long run is by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
There are several ways to improve collagen production as well as preventive strategies to maintain high levels of collagen in the skin.
One of the most critical factors in preserving the skin is UV exposure. UV rays can damage collagen, leading initially to sunburns but over time to wrinkled, sagging skin. This is why wearing a daily SPF is considered to be the very best of skin anti aging strategies. Indeed, if you're looking to take preventive measures to fend off loose skin, investing in a daily sunscreen (and, crucially, actually using it) is one of the best places to start.
Those who are looking to improve their skin after longtime sun exposure sometimes try red light therapy (RLT), an emerging treatment method that uses intense pulsed light to improve the skin's appearance. Those who wish to employ a non-invasive method of skin care and avoid injectables like dermal fillers may find benefits from this skin therapy, which is now available in at-home products.
Another way to help restore collagen is by using topical vitamins known as retinoids. (The most commonly known of these is retinol.) These topical products feature the central ingredient of vitamin A, which has been shown to reduce wrinkles.
If retinoids aren't yet part of your skincare regimen, now is the time to start incorporating them into your regular routine. Make note that some products contain high percentages of retinol that the skin must acclimate to, and therefore require gradual use before you will be ready for daily use.
As mentioned above, supplements, in particular those featuring collagen peptides, are an excellent way to get the collagen benefits you might be lacking from your daily diet. A daily oral supplement regimen has been shown to help the body produce collagen, reducing the most visible effects of skin aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin.
It's important to choose a supplement you'll actually take daily, as your supplements will only be able to prompt collagen production over time. There are many forms supplements can take, from collagen pills to gummies to liquid mix-ins. Pick the flavor and type that you'll be most inclined to consume every day.
Among the numerous health consequences of an unhealthy diet is damaged skin. In particular, sugar can be a leading culprit in skin decline: studies have shown that eating high amounts of sugar lowers levels of collagen and elastin the body produces, which keep the skin supple.
While sugars adversely affect collagen production, there are many collagen rich foods as well as foods featuring vitamin C that promote synthesis of collagen in the skin. To learn more about the best foods to eat to support collagen production, read the "Collagen Foods" section of this article.
As in so many health related matters, hydration is always key. Hydration fuels many of our bodies' core functions, and collagen production – in the skin, connective tissue, hair, and more – is no different.
According to the National Academy of Medicine (via the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health), men should consume around 13 eight-ounce cups of water per day, while women should consume around nine. Investing in a reusable water bottle can be a great way of keeping your water consumption on track.
There's a reason why they call it beauty sleep. Studies have shown that our sleep activity can impact our collagen production functions, in turn affecting our skin quality, hair growth, and wound healing abilities. This is just one among many reasons to make sure to get a good night's sleep.
So how much sleep should we get? Experts recommend that adults sleep an average of seven to nine hours per night. If your sleep schedule is dramatically different from this, you're likely to see the effects of collagen loss over time.
Eating collagen rich foods can be one way of introducing new collagen into the body. It can also be beneficial to consume foods rich in vitamin C, which studies have shown can help increase collagen levels in the body. (Vitamin C is known for so many health benefits that its positive impact on collagen production is often overlooked.)
The top collagen rich foods include the following:
Though collagen levels decline naturally over our lives, maintaining high levels of collagen can be a sign of good health, as collagen serves many important functions for the body.
Beyond its benefits to the skin and hair, collagen has been linked to heart health, joint function, and muscle integrity. It has been shown to improve blood flow, which can be beneficial to skin health as well as a range of other bodily concerns.
This goes to show that even if skincare is your primary motivation for taking collagen supplements, you will also be supporting your overall health.
If you're looking to raise your collagen levels to support clearer, healthier skin, Supermood's YouthGlo Luxury Peel features a host of ingredients with skin-restoring properties, including lactic acid, fruit extracts, and Sea Buckthorn extract, which is rich in collagen-promoting vitamin C.
The Luxury Peel renews and regenerates the skin, helping to balance out skin tone for a clearer and more youthful complexion. Beyond stimulating collagen production, it prompts cell turnover, making the skin smoother and fresher. Its brightening properties will leave you with a healthy glow.
You can use the YouthGlo Luxury Peel once a week as part of your skin care routine. Simply apply a thin layer of Luxury Peel after cleansing and leave on the skin for one minute (over time, you can extend this to up to three minutes). After rinsing, you can apply a moisturizing mask such as Supermood's Babyface Mask to calm the skin. Your skin will be left radiant and revived.
No, but skin creams containing collagen support anti-aging functions, helping decrease fine lines and wrinkles and promoting a clear, bright, youthful complexion. Since collagen is one of the building blocks of healthy skin, it is essential to maintain high levels of it even as your body's natural production of it declines.
Eating foods that contain collagen is one way of boosting collagen naturally. These include bone broth, and skin-on chicken and fish. Foods containing vitamin C are also known for boosting collagen, as they help facilitate the functions by which the body produces collagen.
Elastin makes the skin tighter, while collagen provides firmness and structure. Collagen is linked to skin elasticity, which we may think of as the "tightness" of our skin. This keeps our skin from looking saggy or thin. By using products that promote collagen production, you'll be helping keep your skin supple and resilient.
Jack Levinson is a writer born and raised in Los Angeles. He received his bachelor’s degree from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. When not writing, his interests include the arts, cooking, and exploring the California coast.
Dr. Sanober Doctor is a dual-board certified dermatologist, & a leading expert in Integrative and holistic Dermatology. She is a proactive, compassionate medical practitioner with a thorough understanding of mind-body-spiritual wellness.