Can You Boost Collagen Production? Here Is What The Science Says

Beware the collagen market: know your science and choose what's really best for your skin.

6 Minute ReadHow To

06.11.20 (Updated 29.08.22)

As the science progresses, it's always worth checking in to see if you need to upgrade your beauty routine. The buzz word for good skin, hair and nail care right now is collagen, and rightly so. Boosting your collagen levels is great skincare housekeeping, but beware: this is not the only thing you can do to improve your skin's appearance. Stimulating collagen production is actually easier than you think.

Here we list what you can do to make a REAL difference to your skin, hair and nails, and how to increase the levels of collagen in your face and body.

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What is collagen? Why do collagen levels deplete?

Collagen is the most plentiful protein in the human body and it’s one of the main building blocks of skin, hair, nails, bone, muscles, tendons and ligaments. It provides the body with strength and structure - think of it as the body's scaffolding. In our skin, collagen and its accompanying protein, elastin, provide the skin with strength and elasticity, helping it appear plump and youthful. Unfortunately, as we get older, our collagen levels deplete. After menopause, women experience a dramatic loss in collagen production. However other external factors can also affect the body's ability to produce collagen, specifically, smoking, excess sugar consumption and UV light exposure.

For many, recourse often comes in the shape of collagen creams and supplements. There is little to no science suggesting any of these actually work. Topical creams are unlikely to have any effect as collagen molecules are too large to be absorbed through the skin, and the collagen supplement industry has yet to be proven.

Here is how you can boost your collagen production, naturally:

1. Eat a collagen-boosting diet.

"Your body is very good at producing collagen naturally, building it from amino acids from whichever proteins you eat," says pharmaconutritionist, Dr Paul Clayton. "The amino acids in collagen are common and found in a very wide range of foods."

Dr Clayton believes the first step is to leave behind all processed foods, as they are 'empty calories' with no nutritional value. "Skin requires so many micronutrients. To get these you need to switch to a plant- and herb-rich diet. The Mediterranean diet is a good start.

"Plant-centric foods with high levels of phytonutrients include the spices, green leafy vegetables and berry fruits. Dark chocolate, red wine (in moderation) and even coffee all have a place here. Then add oily fish (mackerel, herring, pilchards, sardines, salmon etc). Edible seaweeds are good too, as are nuts, pulses and legumes."

He also recommends healthy fats, such as those found in coconut, avocado, nuts, seeds and egg yolks to nourish and repair skin from within. Finally, eating foods rich in vitamin C has also been shown to increase levels of both hyaluronic acid and collagen in the body. Should your diet lack some of the vitamins and nutrients that support a healthy skin, consider supplementing.

2. Focus on anti-oxidants.

Lycored Lycopene™ is a powerful, proven natural carotenoid with potent antioxidant properties. Oxidation and the presence of free radicals contribute to a process known as ‘collagenases’. ‘Collagenases’ is the enzymatic breakdown of the skin’s natural collagen reserves, and can occur as a result of sustained exposure to cold or dry climates. Lycored Lycopene™, as formulated at 30mg in LYMA, effectively blocks the free radicals responsible for this process and supports the skin in building back its collagen reserves to a level that leaves you radiant.

Whilst lycopene is present in several foods (tomatoes, grapefruit and papaya to name some of the best sources), it is a fat-soluble nutrient meaning that bioavailability is limited. Therefore, supplementation at a clinically-backed daily dose is recommended in order to bring about appreciable change.

3. Take the right supplements.

"If collagen supplements worked, we would use them in the LYMA formula," says LYMA founder Lucy Goff. "But there is no science there. Instead we chose keratin, a highly bioavailable, patented version which has been proven to directly affect the quality of your skin hair and nails." LYMA contains the world’s first solubilised, active keratin, Cynatine® HNS. Stable and clinically proven, Cynatine® HNS is a form of natural keratin peptides, delivered directly to the skin, hair and nails where it will protect, repair and strengthen. Peer-reviewed studies show 80% improved skin smoothness after 90 days or less, a 65% boost in hair shine, 88% higher nail resistance and a 12% decrease in skin wrinkle depth.

"A few trials have found that collagen supplements might lead to minor skin improvements," says Dr Clayton, "but there are as many trials that have found little or no effect. Collagen itself does not work. It is not a targeted approach.

"However, the amino acid content of keratin (the protein in hair) is quite different from collagen. It contains a huge amount of the amino acid l-cystine; about 25% of keratin is cystine. Taking a cysteine supplement is a way of getting round a bottleneck step in the growing of hair. Cysteine is essential for animals such as sheep to make wool, which is also keratin."

Following a nutrient rich diet and supplementing with LYMA everyday can help to protect and nurture skin, hair and nails. The ingredients in our patented, peer-reviewed formula have been carefully selected and incorporated to promote hydrated, plump, smooth skin because they have the proven scientific studies behind them.

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4. Consider laser treatment.

Laser treatment helps stimulate the skin to produce collagen, naturally. However most lasers do this by distressing skin cells, which is not a healthy long term solution. Instead, cold laser treatment, a medical-grade technology pioneered in hospitals for deep tissue and muscle stimulation, works by rejuvenating skin and muscle deep within the dermis. LYMA's cold Laser is a revolutionary device that brings this technology into the home for the first time.

"The LYMA Laser increases the energy making capacity of your intra cellular battery," explains plastic and craniofacial surgeon Dr Graeme Glass.

"An increased energy state changes the genes expressed by the cell, turning off the genes responsible for cellular death and stimulating the expression of growth factors."

Growth factors specifically include the production of collagen and elastin, stimulating your skin cells to produce more, naturally. Using the laser for a minimum of 15 minutes a day for 30 days will visibly rejuvenate your skin both in its appearance and deep down in its overall structure and strength.

5. Perfect your skincare routine.

The skin is most exposed to the elements during the day, but has the propensity to absolutely transform while you sleep, so you need to ensure that both your morning and evening skincare routines are optimised. Best skincare practise includes double cleansing, toning, applying vitamin C and peptide-rich oils and lathering up with hyaluronic serum. Include a thick moisturiser, and don’t skimp on the SPF - even if it’s cloud-covered and dismal, the sun’s rays can still inflict damage, diminish collagen supply and speed up the ageing process.

When was the last time you felt amazing in your skin? If your skin has been depleted by over exposure, age or other lifestyle factors, LYMA will help to restore that covetable dewy glow and luminosity to your complexion, improving the appearance and feel of your skin all year round.

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