Did you know your collagen starts depleting from 25! TWENTY FIVE! Still practically a baby to the actual world yet having to combat one of the main signs of ageing already! Collagen is the building blocks of bouncy skin making up around 40% of it. It contributes to elasticity and plumpness of skin as well as flexibility in joints and muscles. We all want to age gracefully and looking after your collagen production factories will help you do so.
A beauty expert I work closely with recites one solid piece of advice that the first sign you notice of collagen loss is pillow lines – and I’ve started to get them! It is A LOT easier to take active steps to continually produce collagen than try to gain everything back once you pass a certain point, and despite a lot of people telling me I don’t need to worry just yet, I’m past that 25 year age bracket and I have been paying particular attention to this lately.
There are a wealth of products available already that contain collagen (derived from animals) however topical products contain collagen molecules are actually too large for your skin to absorb and reap any benefits so you’re paying a hefty price tag for something to sit atop your skin layer. Today I’ll be debunking some Collagen myths and looking at how we can boost collagen levels with just a few small changes in a cruelty-free and vegan way.
Collagen cream will fix everything so lather collagen cream on you – This is actually a terrible thing to do twofold, especially around the eyes! If you put too much cream on, your product will actually build up in the most sensitive area of skin, producing a bulbous effect and leading to bags, milia etc. The second reason this won’t work is something I’ve already touched briefly on which is that collagen molecules are actually too big to penetrate your skin to a deep enough level so simply using a cream is not enough to break through and ‘add collagen’ you need to stimulate this production from within.
Only marine collagen will help you – now it is a fact marine collagen obtained by fish is closer to ours and more effective than bovine collagen, but again the molecules are just too big to be obtained topically and eating it your body processes it into food rather than plumping and lifting. There is marine collagen derived from algae which isn’t as effective as fish collagen but definitely better ethically.
You don’t need to worry till you’re in your 40/50s – As I said collagen starts depleting in your 20’s so it’s never too early to make a few small lifestyle changes to continue a higher level of production, if you get into the habit early it’ll become second nature and won’t seem like a big change for rapid results.
The only way to boost your collagen is to eat or apply it – Humans don’t actually need to eat, nor apply, collagen from another being to have healthy levels of the protein within their bodies. There is a big misconception that simply eating collagen will automatically boost your levels and whilst it definitely helps add some it is such a small percentage as your body breaks the collagen down to food proteins, it’s not to know you want to divert the collage to firming up the skin or restoring elasticity.
“You cannot restore your body’s own collagen” – YOUR BODY DOES NOT STOP PRODUCING COLLAGEN! It is only the level of production that is reduced and that level can’t be increased by topical application of collagen creams as we’ve discovered. Instead, the production needs to be stimulated by active ingredients and from within your body and that’s what we will explore now…
HOW I COMBAT COLLAGEN LOSS IN A CRUELTY-FREE & VEGAN WAY
A good facial – I’m lucky that I don’t need to be in a spa to enjoy spending an hour or two on skincare every Sunday. I don’t find it taxing, I enjoy relaxing and playing around with products. I can understand it’s quite time consuming and may not be relaxing for some. That’s why I take time in my daily routine to use products like Retinol – see my Retinol bible here, to exfoliate at a deeper level, exfoliating dead, sun-damaged or congested skin. An SPF is also standard come rain or shine, protecting your skin to reduce the outward appearance of damaged skin and continually promoting glowing skin. If you don’t have the time or energy to dedicate to weekly facials then implement small changes into your daily routine specifically focusing on removing dead skin cells and stimulating production of fresh ones.
Red light – Working harmoniously with the above point I’ll give myself an at-home red light facial weekly (twice a week when I have time and frankly can be bothered) There are plenty of stimulating products. I use the Opatra Dermisonic weekly and the Dermi-eye Plus daily to add my eye cream (mainly because my eyes are my main area I’d like to preserve) It’s such an adaptable product I can utilise it for around lips or any other smaller areas of concern, making it a lot better for daily use. Red light helps your products penetrate deeper into your skin so the ingredients in them can actually work at a deeper level rather than just at the top layer, therefore being more effective.
Diet – Vegan diets generally contain more plants which are rich sources of anti-inflammatory properties so effortlessly eating good foods will help. Low-starch foods, leafy greens, nuts, lentils, beans, citrus fruits and avocados are just a few examples of foods that will promote collagen production by reducing inflammation. Vitamin A,B3 and C contribute to higher levels of collagen production for healthy skin, hair and nails and limiting salty, sugary, alcohol or caffeine will help not to counteract these (Don’t worry, I’m still constantly with a coffee in my hand, we have to have some vices)
Load up on antioxidants – There are things called free radicals (which I only learnt about during research for this post) They’re caused by toxic cells releasing from the likes of alcohol, tobacco, etc. They can be neutralised by antioxidants and frankly I’m lucky enough to love foods rich in antioxidants (especially blueberries!) so to me this isn’t really something I’ve had to implement it’s just about understanding how to do it right. I’ll naturally eat antioxidant rich foods throughout the day but if I’m treating myself to smoothies I will always opt for cold pressed and this is something I was doing wrong for years. Most shop bought smoothies contain a tonne of sugar and have the nutrients stripped out of them, even ones you make at home. This is because when they’re being made the motor spinning it heats up and kills off all of the nutrients. That’s why you want cold pressed to keep all of those benefits such as Vitamin A and C which we know work in tandem with your body to promote collagen production.
SO THAT’S THAT.
When it comes to collagen start working on it early, the small changes or additions you implement now the more collagen you will continually produce and the easier it will be BUT REMEMBER It’s not all or nothing – what’s a life worth living if you aren’t enjoying yourself, so think of this as a kind of menu where you pick and choose the small changes you can implement without obstruction, small changes are better than letting it pass you by. And it’s good to look good for your age, not questionably young/fake.
Do you work daily on keeping your collagen levels up?
What tips and tricks do you have?
Let me know in the comments below!