We investigate the beauty buzzword … and show you how to get more of it in your life.
Maybe you’ve heard collagen buzzed about on a beauty blog or touted as a miracle component of bone broth. By now, most of us know that it has some sort of impact on our health—and on the crow’s feet creeping up around our eyes. But what does collagen do, exactly?
What the heck is collagen?
Collagen is a structural protein found in our skin, bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. It accounts for one-quarter to one-third of all the proteins in the body and helps keep skin smooth and radiant. As we age, our collagen begins to break down, leading to wrinkles and sagging skin. External factors, such as skin-damaging sun exposure, can also mess with the body’s production of collagen.
How to boost it
Seeking smoother skin, a glowing complexion, and fewer wrinkles? (“Um, yes!” –Everyone) Some researchers suggest that when it comes to upping your collagen levels, a multipronged approach is best. Start by eating more vitamin C-rich foods, such as oranges and red bell peppers, as vitamin C promotes collagen production. Sugar is the enemy of collagen, so reducing your intake of sweets is another smart tactic.
Next, consider adding all four of the following methods to your beauty game plan.
Pop a supplement
If you’re looking for beauty benefits, reach for collagen peptides. Studies show they can reduce signs of aging and improve skin moisture (read: help us get that Jennifer Lopez-level dewy glow).
Sip bone broth
Basically soup stock made from animal bones, bone broth is rich in protein and collagen. Although the jury is still out on whether dietary collagen directly benefits our skin, bone broth drinkers have reported improvements in gut and immune health. So this soothing warm drink is definitely worth a try.
Give collagen protein powders a whirl
Beyond bone broth, try collagen protein powders that can be blended into smoothies. Look for a grass-fed beef collagen powder, or opt for a plant-based collagen builder. These days, there are even collagen coffee creamers that can make your daily cup of coffee work as a beauty booster.
Apply a cream
If you’d prefer a topical treatment, look for a collagen face cream or serum. These products can rejuvenate your complexion, helping skin look plumper and suppler. They make us proud to be a part of the collagen-eration.
Getting your collagen on
When it comes to delivering collagen to your body, you’ve got options.