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What Are the Best Tips for Building 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: Anna T.
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 24 July 2014
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The best tips for building collagen include using products containing retinoid, undergoing cosmetic laser therapy, and consuming foods that boost collagen. There are also dietary supplements available at many health food stores and online that contain collagen. Regular skin exfoliation may also help with building collagen. Sunscreen use may also assist in preventing premature collagen loss by blocking the sun's anti-aging effects.

Retinoid products, including doctor-prescribed Retin-A, help the skin produce more collagen by treating not just the outer layer of the skin, but also the inner layer. Many anti-aging products are only strong enough to treat the outermost layer of the skin, and this is typically ineffective against aging because wrinkles start at the inner layer of skin. A person using products containing retinoid may begin to notice that his or her skin looks plumper and younger after extended daily use. Products with retinoid tend to make a person more sensitive to sunlight, so sunscreen use is very important when using these products.

Cosmetic laser therapy may also help with building collagen. Doctors often use an IPL laser, which stands for intense pulsed light, to penetrate and correct fine lines and wrinkles beneath the outermost surface of the skin. In most cases, the laser leaves the outer layer unaffected. This means that there is usually almost no recovery time from this method of laser therapy. The procedure is usually repeated between four and six times before the maximum results can be achieved.

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In addition to creams and cosmetic procedures, there are lots of foods that contain collagen or collagen-boosting substances. Eating these foods regularly may help with building collagen. Green vegetables, soy products, and many types of fish may all be beneficial for collagen production. It is also a good idea to eat foods with lots of omega-3s, such as most types of nuts and avocados.

There are many dietary supplements on the market that advertise promises of building collagen, but consumers should exercise caution before purchasing them. It may be a good idea to research the effectiveness of the supplement and speak with a trusted doctor before spending money on an herbal remedy that may not work. Taking good care of the skin with regular exfoliation may be one of the most effective ways to boost collagen and prevent its loss. Exfoliation sloughs off dead skin cells and stimulates the layers of the skin, which may result in collagen production. Aging cannot be prevented, but a person has a better chance of looking younger than she is if she takes good care of her skin by washing, exfoliating, and using a sunscreen regularly.

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