Why Collagen is key to Healthy Skin Ageing

6th September 2018 / Health

Why Collagen is key to Healthy Skin Ageing

Emily Hedgman

Collagen is abundant when we are young, but once we hit our early 30’s it begins to decline. Once springy and resilient skin is replaced with sagginess and wrinkles. Although not everyone is looking to turn back time, most people would agree that hydrated, glowing skin is universally considered to be appealing, and a sign of good health.

Healthy collagen is key to this. Unfortunately, oral collagen supplementation is not as simple a solution as it sounds. Collagen, like many nutrients, is transmitted across the intestinal mucous bound to a specific carrier protein. Where this protein is not present, like in synthetic supplements, the collagen will struggle to make it across the barrier. Fortunately, Food Based collagen is bound to specific protein carriers, that allow it to be transmitted across the intestinal mucous effectively.


Did you know: The body's collagen production peaks at 3am each morning. The term ‘beauty sleep’ is grounded in truth…overnight is when your body is most actively repairing damage done during the day.


How to protect your collagen

If your idea of growing old gracefully includes keeping skin supple and elastic for as long as possible, there are steps beyond taking a collagen supplement that you should be pursuing to preserve your collagen.


Wear sunscreen

Particularly if you have fair skin. Even though the sun can sometimes feel like a rare sight in the UK, wearing sunscreen every day is one of the best things you can do for your skin in the long run. Just a small amount of exposure to UVA rays increases the body’s production of MMP1, an enzyme that degrades collagen.


One Australian study showed that people who consistently applied sunscreen a minimum of four times a week showed no detectable signs of ageing after four and a half years. They also exhibited smoother skin than their sporadically sunscreen applying peers.


Adopt a collagen promoting skincare regime

When it comes to skincare it can be tricky to draw a line between marketing hype and proven science. Two ingredients that have the solid backing of many years of scientific research are retinoic acid (and its non-prescription form retinol) and vitamin C. Though retinol might not be the most exciting skincare ingredient, there is a reason it has stood the test of time. It plays a role in turning on the genes that stimulate collagen production.


Four weeks of treatment with .1% retinol was found to increase levels of procollagen types 1 & 3, which are the body’s precursors to new collagen production. Vitamin C has benefits when taken internally, but has a lesser known stimulating effect on collagen when applied topically. Topically applied vitamin C also has a protective effect against sun damage, one of the main contributors to collagen degradation.


Cut down on sugar

Contrary to the old wives tales, sugar has never been directly implicated as a cause of acne. It has however been linked to a process called glycation. Glycation is a process in which the sugar in your bloodstream is attached to proteins, creating harmful molecules referred to as AGEs. AGE’s can damage adjacent proteins, including collagen, the most prevalent protein in the body.  


To prevent this, cut down on the sugar in your diet, particularly refined sugar of the kind added to cakes, cookies and cups of tea. Enjoy sugar in moderation in the naturally occurring sweetness found in fruits and vegetables.


Quit smoking

Compared to the increased risks of lung cancer and heart disease, damage to your collagen might seem like one of the least compelling reasons to quit smoking. That said, an improvement in skin quality is often one of the first improvements ex-smokers notice after quitting. Smoking damages skin in a number of ways. Nicotine restricts blood flow to the lower layer of skin, the dermis, which means less oxygen is being delivered.


This results in dry and flaky skin. Smoking also depletes vitamin C levels in the body, vitamin C being essential to the manufacture of collagen in the body. The dual threat of not being able to produce collagen effectively, and having collagen under attack from the chemicals in cigarettes is a recipe for premature ageing.


Try Link Nutrition's Beauty Supplement

Link Nutrition's Food Based™ Beauty complex aims to boost your natural radiance with a blend of essential nutrients, marine collagen, silica from bamboo extract, chaga and cordyceps mushrooms. Our Food Based collagen is unique in its ability to be absorbed by the body.