Boosting Collagen Production as We Age
Boosting Collagen Production as We Age
Getting older makes us wiser, but age has significant drawbacks, often in how we look and our skin changes. One of the most important factors in keeping a youthful appearance as we get older is collagen. Collagen is a protein found in soft and bone tissue throughout the body like tendons, ligaments, muscles, and connective tissue. As we age, we produce less of it. It is estimated that by the age of 40, we’ve lost about 24% of our collagen. It’s no wonder, therefore, that you have likely seen unending advertisements for collagen-boosting products on TV and in magazines.
It makes sense – maintaining collagen levels later in life means a fuller, more youthful appearance, especially in our face, and firmer skin to minimize the effects of aging and wrinkles.
Stimulating collagen production is not easy, however. While we know that our bodies can be triggered to produce more collagen, we haven’t yet mastered how to exploit this function – research is ongoing. However, we have some actionable tips that you can use to potentially boost collagen production in your body and most certainly make your skin look plumper and more youthful.
The first involves diet. Heavily processed foods can dull the skin and contribute to faster aging. On the other hand, antioxidants are a great way to maintain that youthful appearance much later in life. Vitamin C is an exceptional antioxidant and can easily be enjoyed by eating berries, oranges, kale, broccoli, and more. Certain herbs like ginseng have also reduced skin damage while boosting antioxidant activity. Speak to your dermatologist about these and other dietary modifications you can make to improve your skin.
Collagen drinks and supplements may also boost collagen production, but not in the way you may think. These collagen drinks contain protein fragments, tricking our bodies into believing we are losing too much collagen – or so the theory goes. With the body thinking it is losing more collagen, additional collagen production is stimulated. We don’t quite know if these collagen supplements are genuinely effective, but if they fall within your skincare budget, there is likely little risk to their use.
Exercise. While it may get harder to exercise as we get older, it is still essential for musculature and skin. Getting down to a normal weight and exercising regularly are two of the best favors you can do for your body. Start slowly with exercise. You do not need to overdo it. Some cardio, combined with progressively harder strength training, is an excellent start toward a healthier body now and in the future.
Stay hydrated. Often, dullness and bloat of the skin can be caused by dehydration, and our skin is particularly susceptible. Drink at least 64 ounces of water each day and more if you are particularly active or on a particularly hot or cold day.
What Not to Do
With all the tips on stimulating collagen production, there are also several things we should not be doing. Unfortunately, millions of Americans do not heed these warnings in their skin suffers.
First, quit smoking. Smoking can turn vibrant and glowing skin dull and lifeless. Not only does smoking introduce significant carcinogens into the body, but it also restricts blood vessels meaning that our skin and other parts of the body do not receive the nutrients and oxygen they need.
Alcohol also causes significant degradation in the tone and vibrance of our skin. If you do drink alcohol, make sure you stay well hydrated while doing so. Not only will this make your skin less susceptible to its effects, but you’ll feel a lot better in the morning!
The sun’s rays can also damage the skin quite severely. While as in our younger years, we chased the perfect deep tan, this also represents long-term damage to the skin. This damage cannot be fully reversed, but skin treatment protocols, including topical and ingested hydration, can help reverse some of the effects.
What About Injections?
North Atlanta Dermatology offers collagen-boosting treatment known as Sculptra for those who have not seen improvement through lifestyle change. Sculptra is the only injection of its kind and is long-lasting, requiring only minimal touching up 25 months after the prior treatment.
Proper skincare now and as we get older requires a combination of dedication and focus on your skin‘s health. Through lifestyle change and some help from our office, your skin can get back to its former glow and youthfulness.
If you are interested in Sculptra, a minimally invasive and in-office treatment, we encourage you to contact our office and schedule a consultation.