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How to stimulate collagen production in the skin?


Collagen is an abundant protein in the body, making up a large proportion of our skin and connective tissue. In fact, collagen makes up 70-80% of the weight of healthy skin. Collagen contributes to skin elasticity. As we age, we lose collagen at an average rate of 1-1.5% per year after the age of thirty. As we lose collagen, our skin loses its elasticity, and as a result, wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging skin may start to appear.

Many people seek ways to prevent, slow down, or even reverse this collagen decline. Some techniques can be used to support the collagen structures in our skin and here, we discuss whether it is possible to rebuild collagen structures in the skin. We also explore methods of stimulating natural collagen production and the best products for stimulating collagen production. Finally we explore the best ingredient combinations to look for in collagen supplements to boost collagen levels in the skin and support skin health as we age.

Can you rebuild collagen in the skin?

Throughout your lifetime, you are constantly producing and breaking down collagen. When you produce collagen faster than you break it down, your natural collagen levels will increase. On the other hand, if you are breaking collagen down at a faster rate than you are producing it, your collagen levels will decline.

An image of a beautiful, laughing woman twiling her hair while sitting on a green velvet armchair.

Skin collagen levels are still increasing in your early twenties, and collagen levels peak around age 25-34. It may be possible to reduce the impact of collagen decline by using methods of natural collagen stimulation before, during and after our collagen levels peak in the skin.

6 ways to boost natural collagen production in the skin?

There are some natural ways to boost collagen production in the skin through diet and lifestyle choices. Here are some natural ways of giving your skin collagen the best chance.

  1. Eat plenty of animal protein – eggs, chicken (with skin) and fish (with skin) all contain an abundance of collagen protein and essential amino acids. Make sure to utilise a variety of animal parts, including the bones and skin, to make your own bone broth.
  2. Eat vitamin C-rich foods daily – citrus fruits, bell peppers, tomatoes, kiwis and leafy greens contain plenty of vitamin C. Vitamin C is an essential co-factor involved in the collagen synthesis pathway – consuming an abundance of vitamin C may increase collagen production.
  3. Eat plenty of healthy fats - Salmon, avocados, nuts and seeds are all high in vitamin E. Vitamin E is the predominant antioxidant in the skin that protects the cells from oxidative damage.
  4. Wear an SPF every day – sun damage is the primary cause behind collagen depletion in the skin. Protecting the skin from sun damage may reduce the rate of collagen loss in aged skin.
  5. Eat a healthy, balanced diet – eating a healthy and varied diet including colourful fruits and vegetables will help to ensure that you are getting a variety of antioxidants and nutrients to support skin health and protect the cells from oxidative stress.
  6. Consider your sugar intake – high blood sugars can cause stress on collagen proteins as it leads to a process called glycation, where the collagen proteins become stiff and brittle. Glycation can lead to a collagen decline.
A vibrant array of different foods containing healthy fats and other nutrients – the image shows a salmon fillet, sardines, chia seeds, avocado, nuts, seeds and various vegetables.

The best product for stimulating collagen production?

One method that has been proven to stimulate collagen production is to supplement with collagen peptides. Hydrolysed collagen supplements have been shown to stimulate fibroblasts (a type of skin cell that produces collagen) to make new collagen. These peptides also stimulate the production of hyaluronic acid (also produced by fibroblasts), which are moisture-holding molecules in the skin. In fact, collagen peptide supplementation improved skin elasticity, skin hydration and a decrease in skin roughness and wrinkles after 90 days.

The next task is to consider which peptide supplements are the most effective. Marine collagen peptides are derived from fish and contain a high proportion of Type I collagen fibres – human skin also contains primarily Type I collagen fibres. As a result, marine collagen is believed to be more bioavailable for the skin.

Hydrolysed marine collagen by Peptan® is the leading collagen product on the market. Supplementation with Peptan Marine® has been shown to increase hair strength and decrease the appearance of facial wrinkles after 90 days.

The best supplement ingredients to boost natural collagen formation?

We have already discussed the benefits of marine collagen peptides by Peptan®. Still, here we explore some additional collagen supplement ingredients to look out for when finding a supplement to boost collagen production in the skin.

  • Vitamin C – as mentioned, vitamin C is a co-factor involved in the collagen synthesis pathway, and supplementation with the right doses may be able to increase collagen production.
  • • Hyaluronic acid – collagen and hyaluronic acid are intrinsically linked as they are both produced by fibroblast cells. Hyaluronic acid has been shown to stimulate new collagen production. Hyaluronic acid also contributes to skin hydration.
  • • Vitamin E – as the predominant antioxidant in the skin, it is a worth considering including vitamin E in your skincare supplement regime. However, vitamin E also works synergistically with vitamin C – meaning vitamin E supports the function of vitamin C. The two ingredients are best taken together.
a mixed race woman sitting on the floor with one knee up. She is holding a glass of collagen drink in one hand, the other is resting on her raised knee.

Beauty Complex sachets are powdered marine collagen peptide supplement sachets that contain 7,000mg of marine collagen peptides by Peptan®. The supplement formula also contains hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E and other additional nutrients that are known to support the normal function of the skin, hair and nails. These collagen complex sachets contain a potent combination of ingredients to support natural collagen production in the body as we age.

Shop the Beauty Complex range today

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The benefits of marine collagen and hyaluronic acid supplements for the skin

The benefits of marine collagen and vitamin C supplements

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Marine collagen supplements with hyaluronic acid and vitamins

  1. Aging of the skin connective tissue: how to measure the biochemical and mechanical properties of aging dermis.
  2. Skin collagen through the lifestages: importance for skin health and beauty
  3. Efficacy of Vitamin C Supplementation on Collagen Synthesis and Oxidative Stress After Musculoskeletal Injuries: A Systematic Review
  4. High-dose vitamin C supplementation accelerates the Achilles tendon healing in healthy rats
  5. Vitamin E in human skin: Organ-specific physiology and considerations for its use in dermatology
  6. Nutrition and aging skin: sugar and glycation
  7. The effect of oral collagen peptide supplementation on skin moisture and the dermal collagen network: evidence from an ex vivo model and randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials
  8. Ingestion of an Oral Hyaluronan Solution Improves Skin Hydration, Wrinkle Reduction, Elasticity, and Skin Roughness: Results of a Clinical Study
  9. Collagen Supplements for Aging and Wrinkles: A Paradigm Shift in the Fields of Dermatology and Cosmetics
  10. Cosmetic Potential of Marine Fish Skin Collagen
  11. Peptan Collagens for Beauty from Within
  12. In Vivo Stimulation of De Novo Collagen Production Caused by Cross-linked Hyaluronic Acid Dermal Filler Injections in Photodamaged Human Skin
  13. A review of skin ageing and its medical therapy