Stop aging in its tracks.
Collagen is a tried-and-true ingredient for beauty junkies and skincare savants. If you haven’t read our article on collagen benefits for your skin, here’s a quick refresher: Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. It’s found in the skin, muscles, bones, blood vessels, digestive system, and more. Collagen production begins to decline during your 20s at the rate of one-percent per year. The unfortunate outcome is visible signs of aging, including less plump skin, fine lines, and wrinkles. For greater skin firmness, elasticity, and moisture, you can amplify your collagen levels via facial treatments, diet, and supplementation.
Ready to boost your collagen game? Check out the following methods to seriously rev up your collagen production and halt signs of aging.
5 Ways to Get Your Anti-Aging Collagen Fix
Get a Collagen-Boosting Facial Workout
Like to indulge in the latest skincare trends? Luckily, there’s no shortage of facial treatments that help stimulate collagen production. “Facial workouts”—like the ones given at FaceGym in NYC and England and Skin Gym in LA—are relatively new on the beauty scene. Facial workouts and facial massages can help you achieve bouncy, glowing skin by improving blood circulation and spurring collagen production. If you’re skeptical about this skincare trend, know that a 2018 study demonstrated noticeable benefits from facial exercise. Over a 20-week period, participants who regularly practiced facial exercises saw improved cheek fullness and fewer signs of facial aging. Want to DIY? Consider practicing face yoga or using a jade roller or gua sha tool to give your skin some TLCC (tender-loving collagen care).
Use Topicals That Promote Collagen Production
Chances are you’ve seen (or used) your fair share of collagen-fortified skincare products. While some experts advise that topical collagen can’t adequately penetrate the skin, it isn’t completely without merit. A 2009 study found that participants aged 33 to 45 saw statistically significant improvement in their wrinkles within three months following a topical treatment that included collagen-building peptide, antioxidants, and hyaluronic acid. Still wary about the legitimacy of topical collagen on its own? You can confidently turn to other skincare actives known to increase collagen levels, such as retinol and vitamin C.
Eat a Collagen-Rich Diet
Collagen proteins are only found in animals. While bone broth is one of the most potent dietary forms of collagen, you can also get your collagen fix by ingesting other animal proteins like beef, pork, chicken, and fish. Furthermore, egg whites are an excellent source of glycine and proline, two of the four main amino acids that comprise collagen. Gelatin is another prime source of dietary collagen, but be diligent in checking the label. Look for gelatin that lists the type (and ideally, part) of animal used, sources from grass-fed animals, has been processed via the alkaline (rather than acidic) method, and contains as few additives as possible.
Load Up on Fruits and Veggies
For our vegan friends, there’s no need to worry: You can still stave off collagen loss with a variety of plant-based options. Berries and dark, leafy greens form a strong defense from free radicals that compromise collagen production. Next, orange produce and garlic can help repair damaged collagen. Additionally, lycopene-rich red veggies like tomatoes, beets, and red peppers protect against sun damage that can lead to aging. Even further, a 2008 study found that participants who supplemented their diets with tomato paste achieved higher levels of pro-collagen in their skin.
Take High-Quality Collagen Supplements
To ensure that you’re getting an adequate dose of collagen on the daily, consider supplementing with collagen. A 2013 study found that women who took oral collagen supplements for eight weeks showed a statistically significant improvement in skin elasticity than those on a placebo. They also witnessed an increase in skin moisture and skin evaporation. Ready for even more great news? These benefits also extended to more mature study participants, indicating it’s never too late to gain results from collagen supplementation.
Opt for collagen deriving from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine such as HUM’s Collagen Love. (Bonus: It also includes hyaluronic acid, a hydration powerhouse.) Otherwise, you can get high-quality collagen from wild-caught fish. HUM’s Collagen Pop—infused with vitamin C in a lemon- and rose-flavored effervescent tablet—is a delightful drinkable option of this variety.