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  • Skincare

    This Is When You Should Start Considering Using Collagen in Your Beauty Routine, According to an Expert

    Popsugar Australia
    Written by Bianca Davino | Popsugar Australia

    Adapting your skincare routine to suit what your body needs most is essential. While it can be a little overwhelming to choose from the myriad of products and formulas on offer, there are a few things you can bank on to support your skin and inner-health directly.

    Collagen is absolutely one of the few popular ingredients to include and keep at the forefront of self care. Why? It's literally the foundational building block that holds all things together in the body. It's our most abundant protein, responsible for strengthening our skin and giving our bones, tendons and ligaments structure.

    Unfortunately, as we get older, our body's natural deposits of collagen begin to decline, accelerating the process of ageing — however, there's no need to fear. Gaining a better understanding of how exactly collagen works in our bodies is key in developing an idea about how to best use it to our advantage as we age.

    "When we are young, the body produces an abundance of collagen. Collagen is what gives us that plump, structural youthful-looking skin and as we hit our mid-twenties, collagen production begins to decline each year as part of the natural ageing process. With up to 80% of the skin's dry weight being made of collagen — it is a major component of the integrity of the extracellular matrix aka healthy, glowing skin," explained Marina Martic, a member of the Swisse Education team.

    There are also factors like poor diet, cellular metabolism, hormones, environmental exposure, UV damage and genetics that can also play a role in slowing down collagen production.

    So, by the time we hit our mid-twenties, it's important to consider how collagen can be brought to the forefront of our self care routines.

    Marina noted that there are a few key ways to support collagen production in the body. This can include consuming a diet abundant in foods like eggs, poultry, legumes and tofu, which are all great sources of amino acids, that "provide the building blocks to create new collagen."

    "Other beneficial ways to include collagen rich food sources, are from foods containing gelatin. If you're after a quick afternoon collagen hit, a cup of organic grass-fed bone broth contains a natural source of gelatin to assist collagen production. When supplementing the diet, hydrolysed collagen supplements are broken down into smaller collagen peptides to make the collagen easier to digest and more bioavailable."

    It's important to note what nutrients can work in conjunction with collagen — in particular, Vitamin C, as it is required to support collagen production. Consuming dark leafy greens, lemon and citrus fruits, strawberries and capsicum is a sure-fire (and delicious) way of ensuring you're providing your body with enough support in this area.

    Marina explored the connection between diet and how our skin looks and feels, noting there's an intrinsic relationship between gut-health and a feeling of inside-out glow.

    "What we consume and absorb directly impacts how our skin looks, feels and its collagen-producing efficiency."

    Swisse Beauty Collagen Glow Powder ($29.99)

    Not only does collagen help support the aesthetic signs of ageing, it also plays an integral role in keeping our bones and joints healthy as we age.

    Lastly, there are a few no-brainers Marina explained that could really optimise your collagen production in the body — they're simple, but oftentimes can be some of the hardest things to nail.

    "Lifestyle hacks of good quality sleep, being sun smart, reducing toxic environmental load and drinking plenty of filtered water, all help support more optimal collagen production."

    BRB, going to get my 8-hours.

    Swisse Beauty Collagen Renew Powder ($29.99)

    Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Supplements may only be of assistance if dietary intake is inadequate. Swisse Beauty Collagen Renew Powder contains Ashwagandha which is traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to help the body resist the effects of stress.

    You can find more information on the points raised by Marina here.