When it comes to skin health, collagen has become a bit of a buzzword in the beauty industry – and for good reason.
As the most plentiful protein in the body, collagen can be found in everything from blood, to bones, cartilage to joints, tendons and muscles. It’s also the protein that gives our skin strength and elasticity, so considering the skin is around 70–80 percent collagen, it’s easy to understand why collagen has become a key ingredient in so many beauty products and supplements.
While our body naturally produces collagen, as we age, this process begins to slow down, leading to skin ageing and wrinkles. Lifestyle factors can also play a role in depleting our collagen levels. Prolonged sun exposure and UVA rays, in particular, can damage the collagen fibres in our skin as they penetrate deep into the dermis where collagen and elastin live. Smoking too contributes to the breakdown of collagen, leading to premature ageing and wrinkles. But truth be told, anything that causes oxidative stress in the body – such as smoking, a poor diet, stress and pollution – can trigger inflammation in the skin, damaging the collagen which keeps our skin plump and healthy.
The good new is, there are a number of natural ways to help preserve and boost collagen production…
Be mindful of sun exposure
While getting a little sunlight each day is essential in order to get your daily dose of vitamin D – a hormone linked to good health and immunity – prolonged sun exposure can lead to skin damage and melanoma, speeds up ageing and contributes to the breakdown of collagen.
That’s why, it’s incredibly important to protect your skin when outdoors by wearing a broad-spectrum sunblock. If you do head outdoors, limit sun exposure to early in the morning or the late afternoon when UV rays are not as strong.
Add a collagen supplement to your beauty routine
A simple way to boost your skin’s natural collagen production is by adding a collagen supplement to your beauty routine. The Beauty Chef’s Collagen Inner Beauty Boost is a beauty-boosting, bio-fermented elixir which nourishes the skin from the inside-out – promoting collagen synthesis and protecting the skin’s structural proteins. Think of it as your internal beauty serum, moisturising your skin from within.
Eat a Nutrient-dense Diet
More than anything else, the foods we choose to nourish ourselves with plays the greatest role in encouraging our body’s production of collagen. A nutrient-dense diet including wholefoods rich in manganese, copper, vitamin C and zinc helps to support collagen production with vitamin C – found in dark leafy greens, berries, kiwifruit, citrus and broccoli – also playing a key role in boosting our skin’s immunity. Skin-loving essential fatty acids are also vital for overall skin health, fighting inflammation and preventing the breakdown of collagen. Opt for fresh nuts and seeds – rich in omega-6s – and oily fish like salmon or sardines for a healthy dose of omega-3s.
Have you incorporated collagen into your beauty routine?