Skin is our largest organ and collagen is the building block responsible for holding us up from our bones to muscles. It is responsible for keeping skin healthy, enviably plump and looking youthful.
This age-preventing protein naturally occurs in our bodies and is what keeps skin smooth and wrinkles at bay, but it doesn’t stay that way as collagen starts to naturally decline in our twenties and skin gradually becomes saggy and generally more fragile.
The good news is we can do something about it! Naturopathic Nutrition Coach and Founder of Eat Nourish + Glow, Jessica Shand, has put together four ways to naturally enhance collagen production and therefore help age as gracefully (and slowly!) as possible, from the food you eat to skincare and supplements that actually work.
The foundations of firm skin
Ensure you’re getting enough lean protein, fibre from a diverse range of colourful fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C and an adequate amount of omega 3 fatty acids in your diet. It’s particularly important to eat a portion of protein with each meal to encourage collagen production: get your protein from lean meat, eggs, lentils, chickpeas, quinoa, chia seeds, green peas and nut butters. Aim for two portions of oily fish like salmon each week, sprinkle your meals with nuts and seeds and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. These anti-inflammatory foods are high in antioxidants, phytochemicals and are what your skin needs to thrive – they are all easy ways to boost your meals and make them as skin friendly as possible.
Regularly massaging the muscles in your face has the power to lift and tone the skin as well as boosting blood circulation and collagen production. It leaves your complexion looking fresh and pink just like it would post-facial. It also feels incredible and is one of my favourite ways to unwind at the end of the day, which is an added bonus! I love to follow the Luminous Face Yoga ladies for facial massage routines that work.
is derived from vitamin A, which plays an essential role in the ageing process of skin by increasing cellular turnover, promoting new collagen formation and exfoliating dead skin cells, resulting in smoother, brighter, more even-toned skin. I’m a big fan of REN Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate Oil – it’s a gentle retinol with powerful results.
The cherry on top
Good quality collagen powders and supplements are the cherry on top – one I swear by is Potion London The Collagen Boost. I take it every morning with breakfast as part of my inside-out anti- ageing skincare regime. Marine collagen is the most bioavailable form of collagen to take in supplement form; just try not to drink your morning coffee an hour before or after taking your daily dose as it might affect how your body absorbs it. A little tip when shopping for collagen supplements is to look on the ingredients list for ‘lysine’ as it increases calcium, which therefore encourages collagen formation.