As the beauty buzz word of the moment, we trust that you have a pretty good idea of what collagen is and the role it plays in your beauty routine (no doubt you’ve heard us harp on about the benefits of marine collagen and our love for Vida Glow’singestible powder, which FYI, you can also add to your morning coffee). In case you need a refresher—collagen, in its simplest terms, is the most abundant protein present in the human body and responsible for the maintenance of youthful-looking skin, healthy hair and strong nails.
Naturally, as we age, our body’s ability to produce collagen starts to decrease (damn it) and as a result, the skin starts to lose its elasticity (yes, even in your 20s and 30s) which means we need to work a little bit harder in order to keep things looking the way we want them to. Although the ageing process is an inevitable part of life, this isn’t the only thing that’s having an effect on our quest for a glowing complexion. Here are some everyday lifestyle habits that are sneakily damaging your collagen stores and, most importantly, what you can do to top those bad boys up again.
1. Sun exposure
We know we’re stating the obvious here, but unprotected sun exposure is the number one culprit when it comes to ‘things that are bad for your skin’. UV damage causes collagen to break down at a faster rate than the normal ageing process and does so by penetrating the dermis (middle layer of the skin) which causes the abnormal buildup of elastic fibres (responsible for wrinkles). Not only that, UV damage also generates the production of free radicals which increase the number of enzymes that break down collagen (as well as alter a cell’s genetic material which can lead to cancer). Ensuring that your daily skincare/makeup products contain an SPF component or otherwise applying a minimum of SPF 30 is one thing you can do every day to help protect yourself against these effects as well as more sinister outcomes such as melanoma.
2. Not enough Vitamin C
We look to Vitamin C to boost our immunity, however, did you know that it’s also a non-negotiable when it comes to achieving glowing skin? Research finds that vitamin C (taken both topically and orally) stimulates collagen synthesis and, being a powerful antioxidant, also helps target free radicals, which again, acts as a catalyst in the breakdown of collagen. Since the human body cannot generate vitamin C on its own, a diet rich in vitamin C is critical for maintaining collagen production. Foods you can add in your diet to increase your Vitamin C intake include citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons, dark leafy greens like kale and all the red and yellow coloured produce you can get your hands on (strawberries, papaya, peppers, tomatoes, etc) for their high antioxidant count.
When it comes to topical solutions, look for skincare products that contain potent concentrations of Vitamin C. Vida Glow’s Active Vitamin C Serum boasts the powerful combination of hydrolysed red algae marine collagen and antioxidants from the Kakadu plum and hibiscus extract for a fool-proof solution to your skin concerns (talk about a double whammy!).
3. Lack of sleep
Beauty sleep is actually a thing, you guys! With the all-important role as the biggest organ of the human body, it’s no wonder your skin needs rest too. We all know that sleep plays a major role in restoring the immune system, however, further studies in this area have shown that when you’re overly fatigued, your immune system suffers and in turn, negatively affects the integrity and production of collagen making the signs of ageing more noticeable.
Through a natural physiological process called glycation, sugar molecules (which come from the foods we eat) attach themselves to the collagen and elastin in our skin which can result in wrinkles, inflammation and a number of other different skin conditions including acne. Public Health Nutritionist, Jennifer Peters of That Sugar Movement states on the website that “glycation can cause the type of collagen produced to change, from the strong type III to the weaker type I, making skin more susceptible to damage, especially from the sun.”
When this happens, the skin looks and feels less supple. Peters goes on to explain that the “enzymes which are a product of inflammation can also break down the collagen and elastin fibres,” not to mention that sugar is extremely dehydrating and can contribute to dull, puffy-looking skin.
To give yourself the best chance of looking youthful skin, steer clear from highly processed foods and aim for a wholesome balanced diet full of fresh fruit and vegetables, be diligent in the sun, prioritise eight hours of sleep and if you haven’t already, check out Vida Glow’s range of collagen-loving products including ingestible powders, luxe skincare, beauty bars and their newly-launched collagen water which will leave you glowing from the inside out! Visit https://ausnz.vidaglow.com/ for more.