Collagen’s Role in Aging Gracefully

Collagen’s benefits aren’t just skin deep.

Woman smiling with clear skin and looking away.

Whether it’s supplements, powdered protein-like shakes, or beauty creams, introducing more collagen to your diet or self-care routine seems to be the secret to success when it comes to aging beautifully.

Collagen is a protein found in the body that makes up almost 80% of your skin There are at least 16 different types of collagen produced by the body.

Collagen levels decrease over time

Collagen plays a major role in maintaining the firmness and elasticity of your skin. The loss and fragmentation of collagen fibrils is the primary cause of the age-related formation of wrinkles in the skin.

So, naturally, as you get older and your collagen levels start to decrease, you might start to notice fine lines and crow’s feet. Collagen loss starts when you’re in your mid-to-late 20s, so it’s never too early to start replenishing your collagen levels to keep your skin looking supple.

In addition to being part of your skin, collagen is a major constituent of the connective tissues like ligaments, tendons, and cartilage.

Collagen can improve joint health

Although collagen is mostly correlated with skin health, it can help your joints and relieve joint pain. In fact, one of the common reasons for joint pain is a drop in collagen levels.

For example, studies have found that athletes who used collagen supplements for 13 weeks found that their joint pain diminished over time. Be sure, however, to talk to your healthcare provider before taking new supplements.

What are the best ways to increase collagen levels?

  • Your diet can impact the amount of collagen in your body more than you know. Eating a diet complete with fish, chicken, leafy greens, and nuts can do wonders for the collagen levels in your body. Whole grains, peppers, and citrus fruits containing zinc and vitamin C can also help with the production of collagen.

Related: Foods That Are Good for Your Skin

  • There are many beauty products and topical creams that claim to be filled with beautifying collagen. Although they might give you temporary anti-aging results, the real magic of collagen works from the inside out.

  • Collagen is commonly available in pill or even powder supplement form these days, and studies have shown that ingesting supplements regularly can improve skin elasticity in about four weeks.

  • You can also prevent collagen loss—and skin damage—by using sunscreen daily while reducing your risk of skin cancer. Applying at least an SPF of 15 will help you protect your skin against the sun’s harmful rays.

If you’re looking to prevent wrinkles and keep that healthy youthful glow, a collagen supplement might be the answer you’re looking for. Meeting with your healthcare provider or dermatologist can help you get started on the road to youthful skin.

Related: 5 Tips to Healthy Aging

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