WHAT IS COLLAGEN?
Naturally formed in the body, collagen is the protein primarily responsible for the strength and structure of the skin. The issue? “As we age, our body’s ability to produce collagen naturally declines,” says Carla Oates, founder of The Beauty Chef.
EAT YOUR WAY TO GLOW
Our body produces collagen by combining amino acids, which it derives from protein-rich foods and collagen-producing foods high in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, copper and zinc. “It is important to eat in a way that supports collagen production, while also combating oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals,” says Oates. “This will cause the skin to age.”
REASONS TO SUPPLEMENT
Even the healthiest diet can be lacking in certain nutrients, which is where supplements can come in. “Recent studies on marine collagen are extremely promising in relation to its effects on skin health and elasticity,” says Mukti, founder of Mukti Organics. “Collagen peptides can travel throughout the body, stimulating cells to create new collagen.” Also seek out supplements with ingredients designed to kickstart collagen production. “Vitamins [including] zinc and vitamin C, as well as antioxidant ingredients help to protect collagen from deterioration,” says Oates.
LOOK AFTER YOUR GUT
We know about the importance of gut health, but you may not know that it directly affects collagen production. “As I always say, ‘beauty begins in the belly,’” says Oates. “The connective tissue that lines the digestive tract is composed of [it], so effective collagen production is imperative not only for plump radiant skin, but also for maintaining gut health.” The gut is also responsible for the breakdown of food and the absorption of nutrients. “Poor gut health will also result in ineffective nutrient absorption,” says Oates.
ADD THESE IN
Keen to boost your collagen levels? These five supplements will give your diet a kickstart.
This article originally appeared in the November 2019 issue of marie claire.