what is collagen?
So what exactly is collagen? Collagen is the most plentiful protein in your body. It’s one of the major building blocks for bones, skin + connective tissues. In the dermis – middle layer of the skin – collagen helps form a fibrous network of cells upon which new cells can grow. The body naturally makes its own collagen by breaking down dietary protein into amino acids.
Collagen is crucial to supple skin. It’s the skin’s structural net that makes skin resilient, strong + elastic, ensuring healthy, plump looking skin.
Sadly collagen begins to deplete as young as age 20. Add to that poor diet, sun exposure, smoking + environmental, emotional or physical stress + a person’s skin can become thinner + more fragile as cellular structures weaken or turn sluggish.
Fortunately there are ways to increase collagen that are fairly simple. Here are five:
- Diet is the most vital step in promoting healthy collagen. Begin by eating foods rich in protein - legumes, nuts + wholegrains. Foods containing beta-carotene can also help - pumpkin, carrots, spinach + parsley. Vitamin C supports the process of collagen formation so munch on broccoli, berries + fruit. Beans, cabbage + garlic are rich in sulphur to help maintain skin integrity. Almonds + walnuts are also foods that work from within to improve your skin's health.
- Massage stimulates collagen production + strengthens muscle memory. With regular stimulation you can lift, tone + tighten your skin + boost blood circulation. Massage your face when you apply your products, using light, upward movements. Never drag your skin. This is your chance to give yourself some extra love.
- Hydration. Keeping your skin hydrated with water, plant foods + hydrating skin care is possibly the easiest way to boost collagen. The more hydrated your skin is, the better environment is created for collagen to thrive. Try our Sanctia spritz for a hydration boost. This lovely rose floral water is packed with nutrients such as gotu kola, guava + nettle root extracts with flower essences to relax your mood. Our face moisturisers also contain natural hydration (floral waters, extracts + oils).
- Stop smoking, decrease sugar + alcohol. Smoking can kill off collagen by restricting blood flow, resulting in prematurely dry, wrinkled skin. Unfortunately sugar and alcohol can have the same effect. When collagen is weighed down by glucose it becomes hard + inflexible, resulting in dull, dry skin. Alcohol also contains sugar + has a drying effect on the skin.
- Natural skincare. Skincare made with chemicals sits on the top of the skin + doesn’t allow nutrients + actives to penetrate. All the goodness is counter-acted by the chemical irritants. If you want to maintain the longevity of your skin, natural products contain the vitamins, proteins, actives + nutrients your skin requires without the glycols + silicones that come from the petrochemical industry.
There are plenty of collagen supplements on offer now but collagen needs a living organism to function so taking it internally won’t always have the desired effect.
The collagen molecule also doesn’t penetrate the skin, it just sits on the surface. You need to choose skincare containing amino acids that deliver to the deeper layers of the dermis for that plumping effect.
Natural plant, nut + seed oils contain amino acids which is why we use them in all our products. Hemp seed for instance contains all 20 known amino acids including the 9 essential amino acids our bodies can’t produce. Pure essential oils also contain a variety of amino acids.
Today we’re bombarded with complexity but bringing your skincare back to nature gives you the best chance of skin health + more importantly, skin longevity.