Collagen products are everywhere you look! From gummies to protein powders, topical creams, and skincare treatments designed to boost collagen production. But have you ever stopped to consider what it is?
Below we take a deep dive into what collagen is, how to preserve it, and how to regenerate collagen for wrinkles and anti-aging.
What Is Collagen?
At 30%, collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. It is the building block of everything from your skin to your muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and fascia. It’s also a glycine and hydroxyproline-rich amino acid.
Over 25 distinct types of collagens have been identified, with Types I, Type III, and Type IV being the most relevant to the visible signs of aging.
Type I—at 90% of your body’s collagen, this protein provides structure to your skin.
Type III—present in all muscles, including the 30+ muscles in your face and neck.
Type IV—present in the individual dermal layers of your skin.
While naturally occurring in your body, collagen production slows down by about 1% every year after the age of 20—accelerating to a 75% loss by the age of 80 years old.
What Does Collagen Do?
This essential amino acid performs and supports a variety of functions throughout your body. In terms of rejuvenating and maintaining your skin, collagen:
Provides structure and elasticity.
Plays a role in replacing dead skin cells.
Keeps your skin strong and firm.
Delivers a plump and youthful appearance.
Sagging contributes significantly to wrinkles and crepey skin. Gravity accelerates sagging as it pulls down on your skin all day long. While you can’t fight gravity, you can regenerate and preserve these protein layers.
Now let’s dive into how to stimulate collagen for wrinkles and anti-aging. Also, for your whole-body health!
#1 Food Choices
One of the many reasons to eat a diverse and well-balanced diet is to provide your body with essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. This isn’t just for the properties of individual foods, but to benefit from the synergistic effects of properly nourishing your body.
Feed and boost all proteins and amino acids by adding more of the foods below to your daily diet:
Bone broth—in this instance, we are referring to non-vegan and non-vegetarian broths. While vegan and vegetarian broths are delicious, bone broths extract the collagen in the bones into the broth.
Protein-rich foods—foods high in protein help create and combine a variety of amino acids. This includes beef, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
Zinc and copper—meat, shellfish, nuts, whole grains, and beans are typically high in the minerals zinc and copper, which are required for sustaining collagen.
Vitamin C—vitamin C is required to create and nourish collagen. You can take supplements and eat citrus, bell peppers, tomatoes, and dark leafy greens.
Plants and herbs—studies find that Panax ginseng, cilantro, aloe vera gel, and algae can minimize the oxidation that damages existing collagen.
#2 Dietary Supplements
The thing to remember about supplements is that there is no one-size-fits-all dose. While there are suggested daily doses, supplemental needs vary from one person to the next. Even your individual needs will vary from one season of life to the next. This is important to understand because supplements play a role in producing collagen for wrinkles and anti-aging.
It’s not as simple as taking a daily collagen supplement, as this protein and amino acid require supportive vitamins and minerals.
Aging impacts the rate at which you absorb and synthesize nutrients in both foods and dietary supplements. This is one of the many reasons vitamin injections are so popular.
To determine your supplemental needs, request a vitamin deficiency test with your annual physical.
#3 Lifestyle Changes
There is no way around it, if you want to look as radiant as you feel, you must make a few lifestyle changes. What this means varies from one person to the next, but might include.
Stop smoking—nothing damages and ages your skin more than smoking. Not to mention, the whole-body damage smoking accelerates.
Sun exposure—use broad-spectrum SPF 50 products daily. While many moisturizers and makeup products have sunscreen mixed in, it typically isn’t broad-spectrum and the SPF is too low.
Dietary changes—in addition to anti-aging foods and supplements, minimize processed foods, processed sugar, trans fat, alcohol, and caffeine.
Exercise—exercise is an effective way to purge the body of toxins. It also improves sleep, which is essential because sleep is when your body naturally repairs itself.
Whole-body health—aim to prioritize and personalize your mental, emotional, and physical health. Perfection isn’t the key, so focus on incremental progress.
#4 Skip Topical Collagen Creams
It sounds like an excellent idea to apply collagen topically, right? Wrong! There is no scientific evidence that topical products can stimulate or preserve collagen for wrinkles and anti-aging.
Instead, invest in antioxidant-rich serums and moisturizers to nourish, hydrate, and repair your skin.
Also, exfoliate 1 to 3 times per week, deep cleanse once per week, and invest in skincare therapies that repair and rejuvenate the skin.
#5 Personalize Your Skincare Routine
Contrary to the creative marketing by skincare and beauty brands, no singular skincare product or skincare line works for everyone.
- There are 5 different skin types, each with unique needs.
- Skincare needs can change as the weather changes.
- Your overall health or prescription medications can impact your skin.
- Skin condition evolves every 10 to 15 years, and so should your skincare routine.
In other words, the makeup and products that work for you today may not work for you all year round—or in another 5 or 10 years.
Determine what products to use by disregarding skincare trends and following the advice of your dermatologist.
Also, consult with Valley Medical Weight Loss and Med Spa to explore treatments that revitalize your skin. We have non-surgical options for moderate to mature skin, and treatments that can be used as a proactive approach when the visible signs of aging begin to show.
#6 Skincare Therapies
Even with all of the nutritional, skincare, and lifestyle changes above—there is no stopping the visible signs of aging. However, you can slow them down, and even reverse some!
We offer a variety of skincare therapies that preserve and boost collagen for wrinkles and anti-aging.
In addition to being a face volumizer, the poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) microparticles in Sculptra® stimulate collagen production. All fillers stimulate collagen production, but none more than Sculptra®.
Learn more HERE.
This exciting new thread-lift technology targets deeper layers of the dermis than PDO threads. Also formulated with PLLA, it boosts collagen production for up to 2 years. Not to mention—you’ll walk out the door with lifted skin!
Learn more HERE.
Forma facials are a surgery, laser, and injection-free anti-aging alternative. It is a generally pain-free combination of radio frequency and heat that target the dermal layers of the skin, boosting collagen production. Multiple treatments are required.
Learn more HERE.
Morpheus8 is a combination of radio frequency and microneedling designed to rapidly remodel and rebuild collagen. You’ll see results after 1 visit, but you may require more than one treatment for optimal results.
Learn more HERE.
Platelet-rich plasma utilizes your own blood platelets to inject a plasma-rich concentration back into your body for a variety of benefits. In terms of the visible signs of aging, PRP can regrow healthy tissue and boost collagen production. PRP can also be used for scars, hair loss, enlarge pores, and more.
Learn more HERE.
Radiesse® and Hyperdilute Radiesse® are dual-purpose fillers. They instantly plump thinning areas, but also revitalize collagen production to reduce volume loss and smooth away imperfections. Hyperdilute Radiesse® is thinned out with a combination of saline and lidocaine to boost collagen in areas other than the face.
Learn more HERE.
These are just a handful of the aesthetic services we offer at Valley Medical Weight Loss and Med Spa. For your convenience, we have offices in Phoenix, Tempe, and Glendale.
If you know what you want, great! If you aren’t sure what anti-aging treatments are right for you, we will talk you through the best options to boost collagen for wrinkles and anti-aging—and address your skincare and beauty concerns