Elastin and collagen are two vital proteins that contribute to the elasticity of our skin by keeping it smooth and supple. However, somewhere around the mid-twenties, collagen and elastin production begins to slow, and as they decrease the skin begins to lose its suppleness, take on a dull appearance and form wrinkles.
Aside from the natural process of aging, environmental toxicants like smoking, exposure to pollutants, free radicals and UV rays can also cause collagen to decrease. Hold on. Don’t panic. The loss of collagen is a slow rather than fast process, and how soon signs begin to show depend on genetics and how you manage those environmental factors.
To support the skin’s collagen and elastin production try the following:
Exfoliate & rejuvenate
Our body is constantly creating new skins cells to replace old ones. Use a gentle exfoliator to fluff away old, dead cells that build upon the skin. Removing the old creates space for the new by stimulating cell production and is an ideal way to support and boost collagen and elastin in the skin.
Eat to support collagen and elastin production
Proteins are components of collagen and elastin and make up approximately 35% of the body’s collagen. Thus, a surefire way to support maintenance is to eat foods that boost your body’s production. Some of the foods that support collagen and elastin production include citrus fruits, dark green vegetables, fish, protein, and berries.
Take supplements that support collagen production.
- Antioxidants: vitamin C (non-ascorbic acid ) assists in the production of collagen and strengthens elastin fibers, and though it is not a sunscreen, the antioxidant properties cause it to limit the damage of the sun’s harmful UV rays, which are caused by free radicals. Vitamin E helps the cell to eradicate free radicals in the body, and with less free radicals we can enjoy healthier, glowing skin.
- Hyaluronic Acid: found naturally in the body, hyaluronic acid is a hydrator, lubricator, and has soothing effects. It also reduces the signs of wrinkles and fine lines.
- Collagen powder: amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, a component of collagen, and there is some research that supports drinking collagen has positive effects on the skin.’re all biologically unique so it boils down to trial and error.
Remember, we’re all biologically unique so it all boils down to knowing your body and trail and error.
**Talk with your nutritionist, health practitioner or naturopathic doctor about the best course of action when it comes to supplements.
Harmful ultraviolet rays can break down collagen and elastin in the skin. Therefore, it’s important to use a broad spectrum SPF that will give you adequate protection. Anything up to 30 is sufficient.
Dixie Lincoln- Nichols is a biological science educator, certified health coach and entrepreneur. Her work has been featured in media outlets like, Oprah Mag, SELF, Yahoo, Redbook, Natural Health, Instyle, Working Woman, Huffington Post, Essence Online, Tampa Tribune and more. She is currently the Chief Self-care Connoisseur and founder of I. O. Beauty Market, where she curates products that are free of toxic, harmful ingredients.