Unfortunately, collagen starts to degrade with age, and your genetics can affect how fast that degradation happens. We lose collagen year after year, and make lower quality collagen. Free radicals damage collagen — they are our skin’s enemy, bad lifestyle habits (smoking), and a poor diet (for example one high in sugar) all create free radical formation, which speeds collagen breakdown.
Let’s hit on smoking for a moment. One of the best things you can do for your skin is to never smoke — or quit smoking if you do. Research suggests that smoking allows free radicals to attack collagen fibrils, rendering them weak and of poor quality. It’s not surprising, therefore, that the skin of a smoker tends to look damaged and wrinkled, particularly around the mouth,
What Are the Benefits of Collagen for Your Body?
The protein has a big job in the body. Collagen gives body tissues structure, toughness, rigidity, and texture. In the skin, it’s akin to a layer of leather. And when it intermingles with elastic fibers, it gives skin strength and resilience.
When collagen begins to degrade in the skin and levels of it drop in the body, you may notice wrinkles, stiffer tendons and ligaments, weaker muscles, joint pain, and even GI problems. It’s clear that collagen is vital for the health of every system in your body. Within the skin, taking up to 10 grams (g) of collagen peptides per day can help improve skin elasticity, hydration, and collagen density.
Protecting your natural collagen for healthy skin
Ultraviolet light from the sun breaks down collagen, so it’s important to wear sunscreen daily. Eating foods high in antioxidants, like fruits and vegetables, can also prevent collagen breakdown.
- Egg whites.
- Citrus fruits.
- Red and yellow vegetables.
- White tea.
Written by: Chiamaka Nwoko