Losing Collagen as You Get Older, And How You Can Prevent It
May 13, 2020
Collagen is a protein that our body produces naturally that does a variety of important things. For example, it can help our skin look elastic, is the building block of many of our body parts, and even helps our blood clot. In terms of our looks, collagen can help make sure you don’t get fine lines and wrinkles. That means the more collagen you have in your system, the tighter your skin will look, and the less wrinkles you’ll likely have!
Why am I losing collagen in the first place?
While our body may produce collagen on its own, there are certain things that we may do that can damage or decrease our collagen production and the amount in our bodies. For one thing, aging in general causes your body to naturally deplete as we get older. Unfortunately, until we invent time machines, there’s no way that we can prevent this.
Other ways we can lose collagen depend on lifestyle choices – which means we can do things to avoid it! For example, the ingredients in cigarettes and tobacco smoke can not only damage the collagen we already have in our bodies, but it can also affect the elasticity of our skin. Further still, nicotine in general makes our blood vessels smaller, which makes it more difficult for them to carry important nutrients – like collagen – throughout our bodies.
Sunlight and UV rays can also damage our collagen levels and production. While sunlight can be good for the body – and obviously feels amazing! – too much exposure to UV rays from laying out too long or going tanning too often can actually be really bad for our skin. UV rays actually can damage the collagen that’s already in your skin, making it more likely to develop wrinkles and sagging.
Lastly, you may be surprised that what you eat can affect how much collagen your body produces. Sweets and foods that have a lot of sugars can create byproducts in our bodies that attach to healthy collagen, and turn them dry and brittle. Sugar and carbs can actually affect the way collagen is able to repair itself as well, meaning that the more sugar you have in your diet, the dryer your collagen will be, and the less likely it’ll be able to fix itself.
How can I prevent losing collagen and what can I do to treat it?
As we said previously, there are certain things, like aging, that cause collagen loss that we really can’t do much about. Luckily, however, we can make small lifestyle changes in the way we eat, the amount of time we spend outside, and more, which will all have a positive effect on our collagen and the way our body produces collagen. And the healthier our collagen, the less wrinkles you’ll have!
If you’re a smoker, you may notice that you’re more likely than others to get wrinkles, especially around your mouth. That’s actually because the tobacco and nicotine you’re putting in your body is decreasing your body’s ability to produce collagen, which makes you more likely to wrinkle, especially in those areas. And scientific studies also show that cigarettes are also very bad for you for other reasons. As a result, quitting can be great for your health, and for your skin!
Keeping out of the sun or using sun screen can help protect your skin and collagen as well. This doesn’t mean that you can’t go outside, or that you have to hide from the sun every time it peeks out from behind a cloud! One way to protect yourself from the sun and its harmful UV rays is to use SPF lotion or moisturizer when you know you’re going to be outside for extended periods of time. 30 SPF and above will keep your collagen levels up and healthy. Additionally, if you use tanning beds, it may be time to take a break. Your skin will thank you for it!
Keeping an eye on what you eat can also help your collagen levels up as well. Avoiding sugary snacks can make sure that the collagen your body produces doesn’t get dry and brittle. Additionally, there are other foods that can help your body produce more collagen naturally. Next time you’re at the grocery store, take a look at the ingredients of some of your favorite foods. Products with things like Vitamin A and C, cooper, and proline all help your body create more collagen. Foods with high content of these vitamins and minerals include things like egg whites, mean, and cheese.
If you feel like your collagen levels are super low, it may also be time to see a doctor. While there are natural ways to raise the levels of your collagen and keep it healthy, a doctor can also prescribe medication or treatment, depending on what it keeping your levels low. Regardless, keeping your collagen levels up will help with wrinkles, and make you as look young and gorgeous as you feel!
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