Thursday, 26 April 2018

Collagen - what is it and how can we boost collagen production in our skin?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies, it’s found in muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels, digestive system and tendons. It’s what helps to give our skin strength and elasticity. When it comes to our joints and tendons, it’s the “glue” that helps to hold the body together.
In the dermis (the middle layer of skin), cells called fibroblasts are responsible for providing skin tension and continuously producing collagen and elastin which contribute to firm, bouncy, youthful looking skin. Unfortunately, as we age the efficiency of fibroblasts in the skin reduces resulting in less collagen which means skin looses its firmness and fine lines and wrinkles start to form. The collagen synthesis starts to decline around our mid 20s so it's never to early to think about ways of naturally boosting the collagen production in our skin.
Apart from the aging process causing the levels of collagen in our skin depletes there are other factors which break down collagen like UV rays, air pollution, bad diet, smoking, not having a good skincare routine.
Although we can't stop aging we certainly can help to protect the collagen we do have in our skin and to stimulate its synthesis in natural ways so our skin is firmer and younger looking for longer. Today I want to share with you how I try to do that.

rejuvenated collagen shots

Protect your skin from UVA light
We all know we should protect our skin from harmful sun rays and I'm sure most of us smother suncreams all over our bodies once we're on a beach or there are plenty of sunshine during Summer days but UVA light is just as strong in Winter as it is in Summer, it doesn’t cause you a sunburn but it goes deep into your skin causing collagen breakdown hence pre-mature aging of your skin.
It is very important to wear high SPF product all year round, especially on our face and hands which are exposed to the environmental factors the most.
My recommendations:
Good skincare regimen
There might be a few of you lucky ladies who don't do much skincare wise yet are blessed with beautiful skin thanks to their gens. I'm not one of those ladies, I've been working hard on having skin I'm fairly happy with and I think most of you are in the same boat. Consistent skincare routine tailored to your skin's needs can do wonders.
Although you might see word collagen on many facial products which claim to replenish your lost collagen unfortunately they won't do that as the molecular size of collagen is too large to penetrate the skin deep enough to where its actually needed. So it will be just sitting on top of your skin temporarily 'concealing' your fine lines and wrinkles but it won't be beneficial in the long term.
But there are ways we can naturally boost the collagen production in our skin if we regularly stick to these skincare routines/products:
Not only it gets rid of the dead skin cells dulling the appearance of your skin but it also increases collagen production, especially if you use chemical exfoliators which include AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids like Glycolic, Lactic).
My recommendations:
Products containing Retinol
These can include any Retinols (form of Vitamin A) from very gentle ones to those needed prescription, depending on your skin's needs. Retinols slow down the decrease in collagen and stimulate its production.
My recommendations:
Time Bomb ABS Vitamin Solution, £48 (review coming soon to the blog)
Products with Vitamin C
We all love these products knowing Vitamin C is a powerful anti-oxidant, it helps to brighten our skin but it is also essential in collagen synthesis so while ensuring to have Vitamin C in your skincare routine you boost your collagen production.
My recommendations:
Products with Amino Acids
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, Collagen is a protein hence using skincare products containing the right amino acids can help with collagen production.
My recommendations:
The Ordinary Buffet, £12.70 (currently testing, review to follow)

Although it is something not for everyone I wanted to include this treatment as it it's been proven to boost collagen production and you can read here about my experience using this scary looking tool.  

Eat healthy, balanced diet with lots fruits and vegetables

It's not a secret that healthy, balanced diet will keep our body and skin in best condition. But which products can really help with production of collagen hence firmer and more youthful looking skin?
The answer is simple:
1. try to eat less 'bad' sugars (you know the ones, chocolate, cakes etc.) which trigger your body to produce chemical product (called AGE) responsible for breaking down healthy collagen,
2. Eat lots of fruits and vegies rich in Vitamin C which is, as we said before, absolutely essential in collagen synthesis,
3. Eat healthy proteins (eggs, meat, poultry, seafood, beans) ideally with every meal as they contain Amino Acids essential in production of every protein including Collagen.
4. Consume healthy Omega - 3 Fats (found in seafood, certain nuts and seeds, grass-fed beef) as they're also vital for Collagen production.
5. Quit or limit smoking as it degrades the collagen you have in your skin and slows down the production of new one, hence people who smoke look more aged then those who don't within the same age bracket and leading similar lifestyle.
Take collagen supplements
Even though I try to have a healthy lifestyle (I don't smoke, try to exercise, sleep well) and balanced diet I am far from being an example of eating just healthy foods (hello wine my friend!) so I help my body and skin with supplements.

Rejuvenated collagen shots*, £39.95 for 30 servings

Rejuvenated collagen shots, rejuvenated supplements
Although there isn't loads of scientifically proved evidence that collagen supplements help to increase collagen production and/or amount of collagen in our skin there have been many good responses and I have personally found it made a difference in my skin when I was taking them (I have reviewed different collagen supplements here and here) so I'm always eager to try new ones.
Collagen Shots naturally supplement your skin’s collagen levels and hydration to improve its firmness and texture, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles associated with ageing.
The unique and unrivalled formulation of Collagen Shots combines a blend of peptide rich amino acids with hyaluronic acid, natural antioxidants and a range of vitamins and minerals clinically proven to improve the tone and texture of the skin.
Compared to rival products, Collagen Shots contain more hydrolysed collagen (10,000mg/serving), are entirely natural, and incorporate the powerful natural antioxidant Açaí Berry.
Hydrolysed collagen, as used in Collagen Shots, has been specially formulated to have a very low molecular weight, which means it has smaller peptides and amino acids which are more easily absorbed through the intestinal wall and used by the body. Once in the blood stream, the collagen peptides are attracted to fibroblasts in connective tissue including the skin. It is suggested that collagen peptides influence the skin by stimulating the fibroblast cells to increase production of collagen fibres (source: Rejuvenated website).
Collagen derived from marine sources, as present in Collagen Shots, has been shown to be even more readily absorbed than other sources of collagen.
Collagen Shots come in a powder form which you use o prepare a tasty drink, and they've been formulated with 10,000 mgs of Marine Collagen, Hyaluronic Acid and the super antioxidant Açaí Berry combined with Vitamins B3, B5, C with minerals Zinc and Copper to optimise the use and production of collagen in our body and provide a whole range of further health benefits.
H3O Night Repair*, 30 capsules, £30

Together with the Collagen Shots I've been taking the H3O Night Repair supplements which are rich in Calcium, Magnesium, Vitamins A, B, C, D & E, Hyaluronic Acid, Grape Seed Extract and powerful anti-oxidant Astaxanthin.
It's always a bit hard to see how much improvement in my skin appearance is thanks to supplements as I have quite extensive and good skincare routine and try my best to have healthy balanced diet but every time I take my skin supplements I feel like my skin behaves better and definitely looks more radiant, plumper and healthier. And while taking collagen supplements my nails and hair always get healthier too which is something my skincare has no impact on.
So these are my ways to protect the collagen in my skin and increase its production, as I age, for firmer, smoother and looking younger for longer skin.
Do you follow these steps for more beautiful skin?
What do you do to increase the amount of collagen in your skin?
Disclaimer: This post contains PR samples* sent to me for consideration.
Some of the links might be affiliated as I use Skimlinks on my site, check out my Disclosure page for more details.


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