As you look through your old pictures, you may realise how plump, radiant and firm your skin used to be, as opposed to its current wrinkled and sagging surface. However, it may offer some consolation to know that when you’re young, the skin constantly regenerates itself by producing a fibrous protein called collagen that gives it the firmness and elasticity by holding our skin cells together.
As we age, the natural aging process, sun exposure and environmental pollution damages the existing collagen in the skin and slows down its regeneration process. The absence of collagen in skin results in a loose and wrinkled skin surface as we age. Although one can’t avoid aging, luckily, we can do certain things to preserve our existing collagen and even boost its production.
Optimize your Vitamin C intake
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a nutrient present in high concentrations within the outer layers of the skin. This essential vitamin plays a vital part in collagen synthesis and protects the skin from the potential risks of ultraviolet radiation owing to its antioxidant properties. You can boost your vitamin C intake by including citrus fruits, tomatoes and broccoli in your diet, or opt for a topical application to increase collagen production.
In addition to its cardiovascular, anti-cancerous and pulmonary benefits, quitting smoking can also lead to a healthier and firmer looking skin. Tobacco intake decreases collagen production, leading to wrinkled and sagging skin and therefore smoking cessation can help preserve the existing skin collagen and even encourage its regeneration. Scientific scrutiny has revealed that as compares to non-smokers, smokers demonstrate a respective decrease of 18 and 22 percent in Types I and III collagen levels.
Increase your Vitamin A intake
A study by the “Journal of Investigative Dermatology” found that external applications of Vitamin A stimulated the regeneration of collagen in naturally aged skin. Dermatologists also recommend retinol creams and dietary changes to increase vitamin A levels. Sources of vitamin A include spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes, apricots, and fortified cereals.
Skip the Tanning Booth and Opt for Light Therapy
Ultraviolet radiation from excessive exposure to the sun or tanning booths may damage natural collagen production. On the other hand, backed by research and expert opinions on being free of any side effects, Phototherapy, particularly Red light Therapy offers a promising antidote to weathered skin through its deep penetrating approach.
The heat and light boost blood circulation to the skin, stimulating the release of collagen producing cells and giving the skin a plump and tighter appearance within a few days of treatment.