Collagen, a protein which naturally occurs in the body, is what provides the structural foundation of our skin. It makes skin look plump and full, and helps it hold up to damaging environmental factors such as gravity and pollution. When collagen levels become low, that’s when we begin to see fine lines and wrinkles forming in our skin. Sadly, as we become older the amount of collagen in our bodies naturally depletes, which is why wrinkles and sagging skin are synonymous with aging.

Many people are surprised to learn that collagen depletion starts to occur as early as our mid to late twenties. Although this seems like far too early an age to worry about aging skin, the reality is that the sooner we work on boosting our collagen levels, the more we can reduce the risk of wrinkles in later life. Luckily, there are plenty of methods you can use to help maintain and boost your collagen levels. No matter your current age, it’s never too late – or too early – to adopt them.

1. Optimize your diet

Foods high in sulfur have excellent collagen-boosting properties, so be sure to get your fair share of lentils, garlic and leafy greens. We also recommend increasing your consumption of vitamin C, which not only aids in the production of collagen but it also prevents oxidative damage. Finally, curb your sugar consumption. Glucose is believed to contribute to the breakdown of collagen, so by keeping intake to a minimum you can reduce this effect.

2. Drink more water

Collagen and elastin thrive in high moisture environments and the best way to hydrate your body and skin is to drink plenty of water. It’s also beneficial to use hyaluronic acid skincare products every day alongside a high quality moisturizer, which will not only give skin an immediate hydration boost, but also create a light barrier on the skin to keep the moisture locked in.

3. Take the right supplements

Vitamins A, C and E are all excellent for strengthening the skin and boosting collagen production, and a little extra zinc can be helpful too. Look for supplements which contain higher levels of these skin-nourishing vitamins and minerals.

4. Quit smoking

Most of us are aware of the risks of smoking in terms of our lung, heart and cardiovascular health, but tobacco can also do terrible damage to the skin. It eats away at skin proteins, including collagen, which leads to a loss of volume, copious lines and wrinkles, and dull, sallow-looking skin.

5. Treat yourself to facial massage

Who doesn’t love an indulgent massage every once in a while? Well, if you want to boost collagen in your facial tissues, a quick daily facial massage is great technique. Simply apply gentle pressure with your fingertips across your face – it will boost blood circulation which in turns helps with the production of growth factors and collagen, and the process will really awaken and refresh your skin.

Collagen6. Use the right skincare products

There are endless products out there all vying for the top spot on your vanity table, but for the best results, look out for those which contain active growth factors, peptides, retinols and glycolic acid, all of which help to boost collagen production. We have a variety of favorites from leading advanced skincare brands such as Elta MD, Skin Medica, Image Skincare and Revision Skincare and we’re always happy to point you in the right direction if you’d like to adopt a collagen-boosting skincare regime.

7.  Choose collagen-boosting skin rejuvenation treatments

Skin rejuvenation treatments involve applying gentle controlled damage to the surface of the skin in order to stimulate the natural production of growth factors and collagen. By undergoing procedures like chemical peels, microdermabrasion and laser resurfacing on a regular basis, you can continuously boost collagen production and enjoy brighter, smoother and more youthful looking skin.