It’s the reason we all love Instagram filters so much: just one tap of the finger on the phone screen and voila! Instant cheekbones, a smoothed-out forehead and all-over-glow. But in real life, plumped-up, youthful-looking skin is so much harder to come by.
Any woman over 30 is all too aware that her skin is (slightly! and hopefully slowly!) sagging, but few of us are clued up as to why. Knowing the answer is the key to getting your approach to anti-ageing right.
The primary culprit is collagen. Or more accurately, a lack of it. Collagen is a type of protein that helps keep skin elastic and firm, giving it a plump and youthful feel. Essential for healthy, youthful-looking skin, our natural collagen supplies begin to diminish by 1.5 per cent every year from our mid-20s onwards (sigh). By 40, your body’s ability to produce collagen has decreased by 25 per cent; by 60, by more than 50 per cent. The result? An ever-growing crowd of fine lines, loss of volume and zero bounce.
But there are ways to not only slow your body’s collagen breakdown, but even boost its supply. Follow the steps below for your plumpest, healthiest skin yet.
1/ Try a collagen supplement
Beyond general lifestyle factors like regular exercise, wearing sunscreen and getting enough sleep (all of which are crucial to slow the body’s collagen breakdown), consider taking a collagen supplement to help nourish and improve skin appearance. Fight the signs of ageing from the inside out with Nature’s Way Beauty Collagen Powder, $29.99, a tasteless blend of Verisol bioactive collagen peptides that boosts the body’s collagen production. Simply add 5g into your morning smoothie, juice or just plain water, or even add it to cooking or baking for a sneaky wrinkle-fighting hit.
2/ Give facial massage a go
Follow celebrity facialist Nichola Joss’ advice by incorporating facial massage into your daily skincare routine. Akin to a yoga class for your face, vigorous facial massage strengthens the muscles responsible for lifting the skin, tightening and firming and boosting circulation. Facial massage techniques are even thought to stimulate collagen production.
3/ Don’t be afraid of acid
Hyaluronic acid, that is. Capable of holding up to 1000 times its weight in water, hyaluronic acid is your fast-track to plumped-up skin, making it our top pick of topical skincare ingredients. Look for it in your serum or moisturiser, and invest in an eye cream with hyaluronic acid to fill in any fine lines there. If you’re feeling brave, it also comes in filler form for guaranteed plumpness (but a word of warning: read this first).
4/ Boost your diet
A diet rich in essential fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamin A will work to keep collagen breakdown at bay and promote its production. Collagen-boosting foods include bone broth, fish, flaxseeds, leafy greens, sweet potato, berries and carrots. It should go without saying, but alcohol and smoking do not help our cause.