Collagen is the beauty buzzword at the moment, and there is a constant quest to improve it or get more of it. Some people take ingestible powders while others apply skin care products that aim to enhance collagen function. In the simplest of terms, collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, and it is responsible for ensuring healthy skin, nails, and hair. That means that what you do, what you eat, and what you put on your skin can affect collagen and the skin carrier.
As you age, the body’s ability to produce collagen declines and skin loses elasticity as a result. This is why skin starts to sag or wrinkle, but there are things you can do to prevent this from happening early on in life. We aren’t saying that you can avoid aging altogether, but there are habits to both take up and break to achieve a glowing complexion. For example, you can click here to learn more about foods that help enhance collagen production. And you can continue reading to learn about common habits that damage your collagen.
There’s no denying the wonderful feeling that comes from laying in the sun on a pristine beach. You want to tan the skin to achieve a beautiful bronze hue, but sun exposure is a big problem for your skin. UV damage breaks down collagen at a faster rate than natural aging. UV rays penetrate the dermis (middle layer of the skin), causing an abnormal build-up of elastic fibers (responsible for wrinkles). Additionally, UV damage increases the production of free radicals, raising the number of enzymes that break down collagen. If you decide to spend some time in the sun, use sunscreen and find shade whenever you can.
You may have heard that stress contributes to early signs of aging, and you heard correctly. Stress can increase inflammatory markers in the body, ultimately decreasing the body’s production of collagen. Granted, that isn’t the only negative effect that stress has on the body. It can also worsen mental health and increase unhealthy eating habits. This is why so many health experts encourage people to incorporate more stress-relieving activities into their lives. Anxiety or stress is not a walk in the park, so take the steps you need to take in order to curb the effects. Practice meditation, breathing techniques, aromatherapy, massage therapy, yoga, or Tai Chi to help manage stress.
Lack Of Sleep
Everyone always says they need to get their beauty sleep, and there is truth to this. Sleep does wonders for immune function, mental health, and the body’s largest organ: the skin. Several studies found that lack of sleep can affect collagen production in the body. When the body produces less collagen, the signs of aging are more noticeable. Sleep experts encourage adults to get seven to eight hours of sleep every night for optimal health. Can healthy sleep habits make you look younger? This is up for debate, but it is one step to help to prevent collagen levels from declining.
Not Enough Vitamin C
In addition to enhancing immune function, vitamin C stimulates collagen synthesis. This happens whether you apply a vitamin C product topically to the skin or eat vitamin C-rich foods. It is also a powerful antioxidant, which helps to fight free radicals that aim to break down collagen in the body. Because the human body cannot generate vitamin C on its own, it is your responsibility to obtain it via diet or supplements. You can click here to learn more about the best vitamin C foods to eat.
These common habits can damage the collagen in your skin and contribute to accelerated skin aging. Remember, apply sunscreen when you go out in the sun and find ways to combat the stress in your life. Finally, get your beauty sleep and continue to eat vitamin C-rich foods to encourage optimal collagen production.