In recent years, collagen has become a recurring subject in skincare debates in biomedical and cosmetics research. There is still a lot that we are learning about this crucial substance and how we can manage it, but enough is known for everybody to see collagen is good for skin health. You can now find collagen in just about every skincare product made particularly for improving the quality of your facial skin.
Why? That’s what this article is about. In the following paragraphs, we will walk you through the science behind collagen in non-scientific terms so you can easily understand what makes collagen good and how you can boost its levels in your body.
What is collagen?
Let’s begin with the most important question: What is collagen?
Surprisingly, a lot of people don’t really know collagen is an organic substance that our body produces throughout our life to keep our skin (and other surfaces inside our body) smooth and healthy. It is a fundamental protein that is present in just about every part of our body, including bones, muscles, ligaments, blood vessels, tendons, skin, and other types of body tissue. It gives the skin volume and what is often called a scaffolding effect, which keeps wrinkles away.
Dermatological research shows collagen protein breaks down under pressure of various environmental factors, including continued exposure to the sun and air pollution.
This fact encourages the growing belief that people should make sure their skin has high enough collagen levels to maintain a healthy texture and counter the effects of harmful environmental triggers.
What happens when collagen levels go down?
Since collagen is one of the fundamental proteins that the various types of tissues in our body need, making sure your body collagen levels stay up is a smart idea.
What you should remember is that, like many other constituent proteins in the body, you cannot measure the levels of your collagen without complex and expensive tests. However, when collagen levels fall below a healthy limit, you may start seeing visible signs that should tell you your collagen levels are not as high as they should be.
These signs include the following, among others:
- Stiffness in your tendons
- Wrinkling of the skin, as a strange, dry and papery texture starts to appear
- Thinning of muscle tissue, which also causes weakness
- Wearing of cartilage in the joints, which can cause joint pain
- Digestion issues, as the lining through the digestive tract begins to thin
When you begin to see any combination of these signs, talk to a doctor about possible collagen treatments.
What else makes collagen levels decline?
Apart from environmental factors, like sunlight and pollution, your collagen levels can go down due to poor diet that does not give the body all the things it needs to produce collagen. You should know the body makes collagen by combining various amino acids that it gets from a wholesome protein-rich diet. This means if you avoid any kind of common protein found in meat (fish, chicken, beef, etc.), vegetables (beans), eggs, or dairy products, it could be a likely cause of low collagen levels in your body.
How do I boost collagen?
Now that we know what collagen is and why your body may not be getting enough of it, let’s talk about ways you can boost your collagen up to healthy levels.
To be honest, there are many ways to improve your collagen levels. To start with, you should start getting wholesome diet that includes all the types of food we mentioned a minute ago.
However, if you are already taking a healthy diet, you could be missing other minerals and elements your body requires to produce collagen.
Here’s a list of those likely elements for you:
- Retinol, which is a vitamin A based substance that boosts the genes responsible for producing collagen in the body
- Vitamin C whose antioxidant qualities prevent UV light from damaging the collagen in your skin
- Peptides, which are a particular type of amino acids and a fundamental ingredient of proteins that our body produces
Please, remember this list is not exhaustive but it will definitely get your collagen levels moving in the right direction through your diet and top skincare products commonly available in pharmacies.