How To look younger?

Collagen and skin aging

What is collagen?

Collagen is a protein that is produced by the body. It is one of the important component of connective tissue. You can imagine it be like a binder that connects cells together. Therefore it is a building block of skin, bone, teeth, tendons cartilage, blood etc. It constitutes about 30% of all human proteins.
The main functions of collagen is to:

Keep the skin smooth and hydrated and maintaining the elasticity of the skin.

To promote healing of wounds and fusion of broken bones.

Proper functioning of joints without pain.

To also promotes blood circulation by preserving the elasticity of blood vessels.

Since one of the important functions of collagen is to keep the skin smooth and hydrated it prevents the formation of wrinkles. Therefore collagen is needed to prevent skin aging.

What causes lack of collagen?

There are four main reasons for lack of collagen. They are exposure to sun, smoking, sugar intake and aging.

1. Exposure to the sun’s UV rays

When we move out in the sun we come in contact with the sun’s harmful UV radiation. This radiation is at its peak during the afternoons. Now this radiation is known to be cancer causing. But along with that this radiation also effects skin health.

Free radicals are produced in the skin when you get exposed to the sun’s UV radiation. These free radicals are known to destroy the collagen in our skin. Therefore it is important to protect yourself from the sun and get rid of these free radicals to boost the production of collagen in our skin.

2. Cigarette smoking and collagen

There are around 200 hundred toxic substances in cigarette smoke. But still people smoke cigarettes due to the presence of nicotine. This substance is what makes smoking so addictive.

Nicotine though not cancer causing has a very bad effect on our skin. Like the sun’s UV rays, nicotine is known to create free radicals. As mentioned above free radicals damage collagen which can lead to wrinkle formation. Therefore it is important to quit smoking if you want to look younger. Read more about smoking and aging skin here.

3. Sugar intake and collagen

High sugar intake is linked with the process called glycation. In this process advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) are formed. Now these AGEs reacts with the collagen in our skin.

This makes collagen rigid. This makes the collagen lose its ability to keep the skin firm. Now since the skin is not firm it will be prone to wrinkle formation. This will ultimately make us look older than our age.

4. Aging contributes to collagen loss

The natural process of aging also contributes to loss of collagen. The production of collagen in our skin is at its peak in our adolescence. As we enter our twenties the production drops by 2 percent every year.  This was found in study that was conducted in 2015.

Now as we enter our forties collagen production is down to almost 50 percent. This leads to saggy skin. Which ultimately leads to wrinkle formation.
This is the reason why wrinkle formation starts to increase as we enter our forties.

Collagen loss and its effects on the skin

The loss of collagen is most noticeable on the face, hands and neck. This are the places where the signs of aging like wrinkles and furrows first begin to appear. Along with the loss of collagen the skin also loses its elasticity. This leads to saggy skin. Also you will experience pain in the joints, due to lack of collagen.

The loss of collagen affects the beauty of the skin in severe manner. This is especially true for ladies. Now to maintain smooth skin is a possibility if you use the tactics which we have mentioned below.

Also you can use collagen for external use. Over the years, collagen has been produced from animal parts.

Types of collagen

It will be nice if we take a look at the type of collagen present in our body before finding ways to boost collagen production. Collagen is a family of proteins. It is not a single protein. There are more than 19 different type of collagen. They are closely related but are different from each other. There are five main types.

Type I: It is found mainly in the bones, cornea, dermis and tendons 

Type II: Present in the cartilage. It gives these tissues resistance to intermittent pressure.

Type III: It is in the tissues of the muscles, veins and skin.  

Type IV: Found mainly on the skin. Its function is to give it support and the ability to filter different substances.

Type V: Present mainly in the organs and tissues located inside the body.  How to boost collagen production?

How to boost the production of collagen?

There are many ways by which you can boost collagen production. We have made a list of five important steps that can help in creation of collagen. They mostly address the causes of collagen loss like sun’s UV rays, free radicals due to smoking and pollution and sugar intake.

Use sun protection

We have mentioned the damaging effects that the sun’s UV rays has on your skin. How it causes it to age. Therefore it is important that you protect your skin from the sun. You can use a sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun. Use one with SPF of above 30. Don’t forget to apply it on your neck as well as hands as this parts are prone to wrinkling like the face.

Also avoid the sun during the afternoon. If you have to move out use long sleeves and wear a nice hat. You can also use an umbrella for protection from the sun. Use gloves and scarf for hand and neck protection. Read more about sun and skin care here.

Reduce intake of sugar

We have talked about the process of glycation and how it damages collagen. Therefore it is important to limit the intake of sugar. Avoid foods like white sugar, pastries, soda if you want to limit your sugar intake.

Foods to boost collagen

Now you can boost collagen in your body by eating certain foods which are rich in collagen. Collagen is a protein and by eating certain protein rich foods you can improve the amount of collagen in your body.

Bone broth is by far the largest source of collagen. Egg whites are high in protein therefore good to boost collagen. Fish is another great source of collagen.

Foods to boost anti-oxidants

You have read how free radicals damage collagen in our skin. There is a solution for this and it’s called anti-oxidants. These are molecules that can neutralize free radicals and thereby protect collagen. Therefore you must consume foods that are rich in anti-oxidants to boost collagen.

Many fruits and vegetables are rich in anti-oxidants. Broccoli, spinach, potatoes, sweet potatoes, avocadoes, berries all are rich in anti-oxidants. If you eat these foods then you will be able to get rid of wrinkles. Also cook your food in olive oil as it has lots of antioxidants. Read more about what foods reverse aging here.

Sleep and collagen

It is known that collagen production increase when we sleep well. Therefore it is necessary to sleep for at least 8 hours at night to improve collagen levels in your skin. Try to exercise if you have trouble sleeping or set a daily sleep routine. This will help you to sleep properly. Read more about sleep and skin aging here.

In conclusion

There are several reasons why there is loss of collagen in our skin. These reasons have solutions that we can use to boost collagen production. This will help us to look younger and prevent skin aging.


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