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How Do I Increase Collagen?

A pot of collagen cream.
A diagram of younger skin and older skin showing how the decrease in collagen can lead to wrinkles.
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  • Written By: Eugene P.
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 13 August 2014
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There are only a few proven ways to significantly increase collagen in the face to tighten the skin. These methods include laser resurfacing of the face, use of a retinol cream, collagen injections, and hyaluronic acid injections. Each method has benefits and drawbacks, but an alternate way to increase collagen is to encourage the body’s natural production and prevent collagen loss through diet and exercise.

Retinol cream, a form of vitamin A, is one of the ways to increase collagen and tighten the skin of the face. The cream is applied to the surface of the skin, where it is absorbed into the dermis. The skin responds by beginning to produce collagen, though the effects of the retinol are only temporary.

Laser resurfacing is a medical procedure that uses a laser to remove the outer layer of the skin. The result is that new skin grows to replace it. The new skin is more youthful and there is an increase in collagen production. This procedure can have long-lasting effects, but recovery times while the skin grows back can be months long. The skin also must be kept out of direct sunlight for up to one year.

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Collagen injections use different types of generated collagens to help directly increase collagen in the face. The collagen is injected directly into areas where wrinkles appear. This causes the skin to become tight and helps to start more collagen production. The procedure is only temporary, though, because the collagen injected will eventually deteriorate, just as if it were naturally produced.

Injections of hyaluronic acid can be performed to fill wrinkles or other lines on the face. This chemical interacts with other chemicals in the dermis and can increase collagen production. Like many other treatments, it is temporary and requires maintenance injections over time.

One method to help increase collagen in the face without undergoing a medical procedure is to raise the amounts of vitamins A, C and E in a diet. This could be through supplements or it could be through a diet that includes dark greens such as spinach and fruits such as oranges. When combined with exercise, the healthier state of the body can help to reduce the amount of collagen lost while also encouraging collagen production.

It also is important to be careful about exposure to the sun, which can damage the skin. Avoiding habits such as smoking also can aid in preserving the youthful appearance of the skin. Using moisturizing creams or lotions also can be beneficial over time.

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anon940222
Post 4

Perhaps a better way to increase your vitamin A, C and E levels are spinach, wheat germ (it's cheap and tastes good. It's the best source of vitamin E) and kiwi fruit vitamins. Juicing is a very good idea too.

ddljohn
Post 3

@ysmina-- Before going the route of supplements, why don't you try to increase collagen naturally with the foods you eat? Our body produces its own collagen. This production decreases as we age, but we can help promote it with what we eat.

Vitamin C, for example, has been proven to boost collagen production, so you can add more vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables to your diet. Same is true for foods rich in antioxidants and omega 3 like flaxseeds, red and dark green fruits and vegetables.

I also found out during a skin care workshop recently that turkey and chocolate is also excellent for collagen production. The type of protein in turkey meat and the antioxidants in chocolate help us produce more collagen for our skin. Avocado oil applied topically is also good for this.

bear78
Post 2

@ysmina-- I have friends who take collagen supplements regularly. One says that it really works, her skin has become plumper, softer and better hydrated. The other one says that it did absolutely nothing for her.

I personally think that collagen supplements work, but you have to make sure that you're taking the right kind of collagen (type I and III for skin) and that the collagen molecules are small enough to be absorbed by the body.

That's actually an issue for any kind of collagen treatment. We can't absorb it unless it's small enough. I think as long as you pay attention to these factors, the supplements will be helpful too. But you probably need to take it for some time to see results unlike collagen injections.

ysmina
Post 1

Retinol cream sounds good but I don't think I'd be willing to get laser treatments or injections. I know that they are quite costly and I've read that collagen is eventually absorbed by the body. So a single treatment shouldn't be enough for very long.

I'm curious, won't the collagen supplements be beneficial? It must be right? There are so many people using them regularly, I hear that it's especially a rave in Asia. Why would so many people use them if they don't help?

I've heard about hyaluronic acid supplements too. What about those?

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