If you’re starting to notice the subtle signs of aging on your skin, it could be down to the natural decrease in collagen production that comes with getting older. Skin aging is a fact of life, but by reducing the rate in which we lose collagen levels, we could help maintain a youthful appearance for longer.
Sitting below our outer layer of skin among the structural fibres of our dermis, Collagen is the foundation of connective tissue which supports the skin’s structure - making it essential for younger-looking skin. After the age of 35, the amount of collagen we produce reduces substantially (around 1% each year), which means our skin loses firmness and gradually starts to age. The eventual outcome of this loss in collagen results in wrinkling, sagging skin. (1)
Here at Cel, we’ve discovered the best collagen-boosting foods to help bring a plump, youthful glow to lifeless complexions, and help restore your collagen levels to their former glory.
As well as their high protein content, eggs whites are high in both Lysine and Proline, as well as collagen itself! The yolks are also rich in choline, a derivative of Vitamin B which is converted into glycine - one of the amino acids needed for collagen production. Other foods which have high levels of choline include chickpeas, turkey, salmon and cauliflower.
Blackberries and raspberries, in particular, naturally boost collagen levels in the skin cells thanks to their intense defence against external stressors and free radicals. Their high levels of vitamin C and antioxidants help protect and restore skin cells to retain collagen levels, as well as produce more collagen. Most berries also contain a compound known as anthocyanin, which give them their dark purple, red or blue colours. Anthocyanins work with vitamin C to create cross-links that reinforce and strengthen collagen fibres in the skin.
Good news for fans of Italian food! Garlic is one of the best sources of sulphur we can add to our diet, which is essential for producing collagen in the body. Garlic also helps rebuild collagen fibres that have been damaged, thanks to its high levels of taurine and lipid acid. Not only has garlic been proven to help skin smoothness, but also aids joint pain, too.
Oily fish are high in essential fatty acids, in particular omega-3, which help support the cell membrane and protect them from deterioration. Tuna and salmon are great at providing these healthy cell fats, which can help support the skin’s structure.
5. Red Vegetables
Tomatoes, peppers, beetroot and chillies all contain an antioxidant called Lycopene, which acts as a natural sun-block and increases collagen levels in the skin. By protecting the skin from UVA rays, less collagen is broken down to speed up the signs of aging. It's said that more than 80% of all visible signs of aging are down to over-exposure to the sun's rays.
6. Dark Green Vegetables
Kale, Spinach and Broccoli all contain an abundance of vitamin C, which stabilizes the enzymes that breakdown collagen. Theigh high levels of Vitamin A also encourage the production of more elastin and collagen. The antioxidants in leafy greens also protect the skin against free radicals and further damage.
7. Citrus Fruits
Studies have shown that all citrus fruits have the ability to help amino acids (Lysine and Proline) convert to collagen in the skin. This rate of conversion can counteract the 1% deterioration, and help our skin maintain a level of collagen similar to that when we were under 35.
8. Bone Broth
Probably the best food you can have for collagen production; bone broth is nicknamed "collagen soup"! This powerful way to make wrinkles disappear contains protein, gelatine and the vitamins and antioxidants needed to not only increase collagen levels, but sustain them for longer.