Essential Facts About Collagen: Keeping Your Skin Young

You may have heard of the word "collagen" floating around on your go-to beauty blogs, or being spoken about by your wellness-obsessed friend; but, like with many health trends, people don't always know exactly what they are talking about.

Collagen isn't just a health trend, though; it is a type of protein essential to the human body — one that everyone needs to keep their body working.

However, you may not know what collagen is, exactly, and why it is so fundamentally important to your health and wellness. Have you ever wondered how it is related to the appearance of your skin? And from where can you naturally source it?

Maybe you have already considered taking a collagen protein supplement but aren't exactly sure which one is right for you. If this is the case, then read on to know the essential facts about collagen — the magic ingredient that helps to keep your skin young.

What is Collagen?

First and foremost, it is essential to understand what collagen is exactly.

Collagen is a group of fibrous proteins that are the most abundant proteins found in animals. The main ingredients of proteins are amino acids which assist in creating your muscles, cartilage, connective tissue, bone, hair and skin.

While the human body has a wide array of these, the amino acids located in collagen are recognized as the most significant as they are responsible for skin production and the composition of connective tissues.

The body naturally produces collagen throughout one’s life with the goal of sustaining bodily tissues and ensuring they remain elastic and resist stretching. However, as people age, the production of collagen slows down which is why taking collagen supplements is recommended. Generally, collagen comes as a white powder, comprising collagen peptides — a type of hydrolyzed collagen.

Moreover, it isn't just the aging process that affects collagen production. Toxins, environmental pollutants, frequent sun exposure, smoking, and consuming a diet high in refined sugar also damages the body’s natural ability to produce collagen.

What Are The Three Main Types of Collagen?

There are at least 16 different varieties of collagen in the human body with each one supporting the formation of the skin, bone, cartilage, and muscle. In fact, 30 percent of the body's protein is made of collagen. Of that percentage, 90 percent of it is either type I, II, or III. These are the three main types of collagen, and here is a look at their different functions:

  • Type I - The most common kind of collagen in the body; this type of collagen is accountable for maintaining the structure of the skin, bones, organs, and tendons and ensuring they stay healthy.
  • Type II - Whereas type I has a wide array of uses, type II is specialized and focused on managing the cartilage. For healthy, strong, and flexible joints, this is the type of collagen that is responsible.
  • Type III - Think of type III as playing a supportive role for type I. This kind is found in the bone marrow.

To sum up, collagen types I and III are stored in the skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments, whereas type II is observed principally in the joints.

What Are The Benefits of Collagen?

Collagen is essential to the body which is why there are so many benefits related to it. Here are seven of the main ones:

1. Skin

Collagen is critical for maintaining firm and hydrated skin. It is collagen that helps to keep your skin smooth and fresh-looking.

2. Joints

There is a reason why so many athletes swear by collagen supplements. Collagen aids the joints in getting stronger and more resilient. It also reduces joint pain and inflammation you may experience after exercising.

3. Tissues

As collagen is the building block for almost everything in the human body, it is essential for tissues to be able to move and to repair themselves.

4. Gut

Collagen strengthens the stomach’s protective lining which helps relieve symptoms of acid reflux, leaky gut syndrome, IBS, and other gut and digestive problems.

5. Nails and Hair

The essential amino acids that you find in collagen are vital for producing keratin which makes nails and hair strong, as well as helping them grow.

6. Bones

If you want strong bones, you need collagen to produce a substantial amount to form bone structures and improve bone density.

7. Hormones

Collagen supports many of the body's hormones and its amino acids decrease stress and improve brain function.

Acknowledging everything that collagen does for you, it is imperative that you recognize the importance of having a regular supply.

How Does Collagen Relate to Skin?

While the overall benefits of collagen are apparent, many people are specifically interested in the relationship between collagen and the skin.

Your skin is made up of two main layers (epidermis and dermis), and the dermis comprises fibroblasts, which are cells that naturally generate elastin and collagen. Over time, these fibroblasts contribute less collagen which, in turn, hurts the structure of your skin. This results in obvious manifestations of aging such as wrinkles and droopy skin.

The only way to stop this process from happening is to supplement the fibroblasts with more collagen. By taking a collagen supplement, you are helping to offset your skin's aging process, promote your skin's hydration, lessen facial lines and wrinkles, and enhance skin elasticity.

Where is Collagen Naturally Found?

Collagen is naturally found in many of the proteins that you are already familiar with: bovine, chicken, fish, and pork. If you are looking to up your collagen intake (as everyone should be) some foods are high in this protein. Bone broth contains a kind of collagen that your body can utilize immediately, making it the top recommendation for boosting your collagen intake.

Additionally, wild salmon, chlorella (single-celled algae), leafy greens, citrus fruits, eggs, berries, tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, avocados, garlic and chia seeds are all natural sources that include the nutrients necessary to produce collagen. Therefore, if you want to reduce or arrest the formation of fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging, then taking a look at your diet is the best place to start.

Strive to obtain your collagen from a variety of sources to ensure that you are getting enough types I, II, and III. Plenty of type I and III can be found in beef, while fish has a significant amount of type I. For type II, you want to be eating chicken.

How to Increase Your Collagen Intake

That being said, the best way to know you are giving your body enough collagen is to take a collagen supplement and use skincare products that contain collagen. Here are some ways that you can start increasing your collagen intake today:

Skincare

As topical creams and serums are often used to promote skin elasticity and to fight wrinkles, a central ingredient in them is (or at least should be) collagen. However, topically applied collagen is fundamentally used for cosmetic gains like enhancing the texture of your skin and tentatively reducing fine lines and wrinkles.

Additional steps you can take in your skincare routine to boost collagen production are using a Vitamin C serum, doing micro-needling (a skin procedure that utilizes small needles to pierce tiny holes in the first layer of skin), and light therapy such as LED and laser which penetrate the skin, making it smoother and plumper.

Unfortunately, skincare alone isn't going to give you all the additional benefits, and it is not going to be a long-term solution.

Powder/Protein

The best way to increase your collagen intake is through collagen powder or collagen protein.

Consuming collagen peptides orally, through either pills or powder, is also an efficient way to improve your collagen reserves. There is already plenty of research proving that collagen supplements enhance skin elasticity, decrease wrinkles, encourage skin hydration, and raise the density of fibroblasts. Generally, after eight weeks of taking collagen supplements, you can expect to see an improvement in your skin.

Recently, more and more people are realizing the benefits of adding collagen directly into their smoothies with collagen powder. If you are interested in doing this, make sure you are choosing a powder that is made from pasture-raised, hormone-free cows or wild-caught fish. Then, all you have to do is mix one to two scoops of powder into your morning smoothie, Bulletproof Coffee, soup, or water, and then repeat daily.  

Bars

For those who are always on-the-go, collagen protein bars are a perfect snack to have in your bag at all times. By consuming a high quality collagen protein bar in a delicious flavor, you can get all the benefits of collagen while also keeping yourself full and focused.

Again, make sure that you are purchasing collagen protein bars that contain collagen protein sourced from grass-fed cows and that have 13g of protein in each bar.

Did you know about collagen before? Is it something that you are trying to include in your daily nutrient intake? If so, do you have any tips and tricks to share with the community? Have you seen any benefits? If not, has this article made you rethink your collagen consumption?

Let us know your thoughts concerning this topic in the comments below!

AUTHOR BIO

Dave Asprey is the creator of the widely popular Bulletproof Coffee, host of the #1 health podcast, Bulletproof Radio, and author of the New York Times bestselling book, "The Bulletproof Diet." Through his work, the Silicon Valley investor and technology entrepreneur provides information, techniques and keys to taking control of and improving your biochemistry, your body and your mind so they work in unison, helping you execute at levels far beyond what you'd expect, without burning out, getting sick, or allowing stress to control your decisions.

DIY at Home Teeth Straightening

For those of you looking to straighten your teeth in the comfort of your own home, you’re in luck!

DIY at home teeth straightening methods are on the rise of popularity. 

Let’s face it, if the possibility of skipping those trips to the dentist to have the old-fashioned, bracketed and wired braces we would skip it! 

What are Invisible Aligners?

Invisible aligners can help correct many oral issues from

  • Help correct an overbite
  • Align widely-spaced teeth
  • Help straighten Crooked teeth
  • And most minor realignment needs

People with more extensive or severe oral issues should find a primary dentist and maintain a routine dental plan.

Braces and invisible aligners are both used to improve the appearance of your smile as well as maintain overall oral health. There are a few benefits of choosing invisible aligners over braces. With invisible aligners:

  • The trays are removable; able to be cleaned often
  • They’re less noticeable
  • More comfortability (because who wants wires and rubber bands in their mouth?)
  • Cleanings at the dentist are much easier

Top 3 DIY at Home Teeth Straightening Products

1. Smile Direct Club

This company has a pretty cool set up when it comes to working in the comfort of your own home, not to mention the pricing is very affordable.

Our smile is very important to us, it can change the way we see ourselves. There are three easy steps in how this product works so let’s break them down.

  • Smile Direct Club will make a 3D impression of your teeth; doing it at home they will send you an impression kit and build it from that mold. They even pay for shipping the mold back or will come pick it up!
  • Once your 3D smile is made, a duly licensed dentist or orthodontist will be reviewed; they will be working with you checking in every 90 days until all treatments are completed. On average, these treatments last about six months.
  • Then, you will be sent a preview of how your teeth will change; delivery of your aligners as well as a premium teeth whiting as a bonus to show off your results! 

Let’s face it; we all want extra white teeth! With the Smile Direct Club, you don’t have to worry about monthly shipments, your entire treatment will ship all in one box.

The best part about this company is you will get FREE overnight shipping, and they will guarantee results. If it turns out these invisible aligners aren’t working for you, they will refund your money.

2. SnapCorrect

Just like the Smile Direct Club this company has a similar set up to how it works at home. The process seems to be just as easy and all fitting into one box to get you started.

  • First, you’ll answer a few simple questions about your teeth and what results you’re looking for
  • You’ll receive an impression kit and everything you need to do it at home in one box
  • Directions in a conformation email for taking pictures of your teeth (for a more accurate invisible aligner)
  • Send impression back (prepaid shipping label is included)

The Snap Correct Company has a clearer and less opaque invisible aligner. The edges of this aligner are also contoured to the teeth, unlike the raised boarder of the Smile Direct Club. This might make this product more intriguing to people.

SnapCorrect will ship your box of custom aligners to you within a month after the initial impressions are made and sent back.  Your treatments will typically range from 3 to 18 months.

3. ClearCorrect

ClearCorrect is slightly different from the other two DIY mentions above. ClearCorrect works with a 3D modeling technology that is sent right from your dentist. Because this advance in technology ClearCorrect can ensures a perfect fit for your teeth.

What’s the cost of ClearCorrect?

  • ClearCorrect comes in two forms of treatments
  • Limited treatment and full treatment
  • Limited treatment can cost you up to $3,000
  • Full treatment can cost you up to $5,000

This is the most expensive of the three options by far, if budget is an issue this is probably not the option for you.

The benefit of ClearCorrect is that the first fitting and treatment decision is factored by your dentist to ensure you get the proper care for your teeth. Being as this treatment is administered by your dentist or orthodontist it will be the most effective route.

What is the Best Invisible Aligner for me?

  • Smile Direct Club is the most affordable for those concerned about the price. This company is very affordable, have had amazing results and reviews, all while being able to realign your smile in the comfort of your home.
  • SnapCorrect seems to be the company with the “best fit” because of their technology used matched with the images of your teeth. SnapCorrect ensures a comfortable proper fit because they believe that is priority. Which can’t we all agree that is the most important in realigning your teeth?
  • ClearCorrect is the most effective due to their technology and working directly with your orthodontist; this is also the more expensive route. This company also has many options for treatment which gives a more personal design, ultimately giving you the best results.

Choosing to use an at home DIY kit without seeing a dentist in person you will run the risk of developing more dental risks due to potentially incorrectly straightened teeth.

Results are not always guaranteed when you skip out on making an in-person impression of your teeth.  

It’s also very important to remember that none of these at home aligners should replace your dentist or orthodontist, especially if you have severe dental issues.

These aligners should only be used to help with minor alignment or dental issues. It is always suggested to consult with a professional before making any decisions. 

All the companies listed above have a customer service line, where a trained and licensed professional can help determine if you are a good candidate for their products.

The 5 Most Damaging Things for Your Skin

Undoubtedly, the part of our body with which we are most concerned is our face.

Our faces are what we use to meet the world every day, and the majority of people are worried about how their face looks. 

Our faces are probably the most overworked part of us, as we use them for eating, drinking, talking, and expressing ourselves.

We frown, smile, laugh, smirk, and squint all the time, often without realizing we are doing so, and every time we do use our faces, it does just a little bit more harm to the appearance of our skin.

Our faces even get something of a workout while we sleep as we go through dreams, and frowning is quite common during our dream cycle.

Be Aware of What Can Harm Your Skin

There are a number of things that can cause damage to your skin, some of which you will be able to control, and some which you will not.

Most of us will expose ourselves to one or more of these from time to time, but keeping them in mind can help to keep your skin looking good for as long as possible.

1. Exposure to the sun

Bad news for those who like to sunbathe is that most of the harm done to our skin is done by the sun.

There is no other element that can hurt your skin more than the UV rays from the sun. The sun produces three kinds of ultraviolet rays: UVA, UVB, and UVC.

We needn’t concern ourselves with UVC rays since they never reach the surface of the earth.

However UVA rays penetrate down into the dermis to damage DNA, collagen, and elastin, and UVB rays affect primarily the epidermis where they cause sunburn, wrinkling, dehydration, and basal cell skin cancer.

2. Stress and anxiety

Stress and anxiety can also cause damage to your skin. When you are under stress, especially unrelenting stress, your body releases cortisol, which normally would give you an edge in ‘threatening’ situations.

Cortisol not only makes the skin much more likely to age too soon, it also can cause acne.

For anyone who is affected by stress caused acne, some answers to your problem can be found at Facing Acne.

3. Smoking

Next to overexposure to the sun, smoking can be one of the most detrimental contributors to aging your skin.

The nicotine in tobacco products causes the blood vessels to become narrower, meaning that the oxygen and nutrients that would normally be delivered to your skin’s cells is diminished, so that they are starving, in effect.

These cells are unable to withstand external and internal pressures being put upon them and are much more likely to wind up as wrinkles. The skin of smokers often looks rather dull and pasty, as well.

4. Hormonal Changes

Hormones can also cause damage to your skin, especially during the years of puberty.

During this period, as the transition is made to adulthood, both young men and women will be subject to fluctuations that can cause their sebaceous glands to produce too much sebum.

Should this excess sebum become trapped by a clogged pore, there will be a good chance that a pimple, and perhaps acne, will develop.

5. Chocolate and fast foods

Chocolate and fast foods will not cause pimples, which is good news for those who enjoy a piece or two of chocolate every day.

However, depending on fast food and junk food can have a direct, and negative impact on your skin.

When the wrong kinds of foods constitute your diet, your body will not have an adequate means of keeping your organs and tissues properly nourished.

A poor diet will not contain the vitamins, proteins, and minerals that your skin needs to stay healthy.

For a Radiant Skin

You will not have much control over genetic factors that might affect your skin, but you can have a good deal of control over external factors.

The start of good, healthy skin is to follow a regimen of care that will keep your skin young looking, and less likely to develop wrinkles or acne.

1. Avoid getting a tan

There is actually no reason whatsoever to actively try to get a tan. Be happy with the skin tone with which Nature has provided you.

Use a sunscreen whenever you go out during the summer, and wear a hat to protect your face further.

2. Avoid over-washing your face

Do not wash your face too much. The temptation is always there, for those who have oily skin especially, to wash your face as soon as it starts to look shiny.

However, this will only stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more oil.

3. Make sure you stay hydrated all the day

Stay hydrated; when your skin is dry, it loses the ability to bounce back when you use your face expressively, so wrinkles are more likely to form.

4. Make a good use of moisturizers

Make sure that you use a moisturizer, even if you have oily or combination skin. There are water based moisturizers that are excellent at keeping oily skin protected without causing any further problems with acne.

5. Avoid and eliminate stress

You should make an effort to remove stress from your life as much as possible. Some people find that meditation or prayers will help them to relax and get their stress hormones under control, but stress is also erased while we sleep, so be sure to get enough hours of rest every night, too.

How to Treat Crepey Skin: The Natural Treatment You MUST Try!

If you’re suffering from crepey skin, you’re not alone. Women and men over 40 tend to get crepey skin, which is a thin, crepe looking layer of skin.

But we have some good news for you! There are natural treatments that can help you get rid of this type of skin and bring the glow, youthful look back.

In today's post we will cover the causes and then reveal a natural treatment that is extremely effective in treating this skin issue.

The Causes You Must Know!

As you age, you start losing collagen, your skin gets drier and loses the natural elasticity in it. That gives your skin that dry, crepe look.

If you tend to expose your skin to the sun often, sun damage will also accelerate the look of crepey skin, especially if you don’t use sun screens.

Can You Treat Crepey Skin, Naturally? 

Yes, you can. While there are some intrusive procedures, such as laser-treatments and even a surgery to remove crepey skin, there are natural treatments as well.

The popular laser treatment, will cause little spots under your skin to heat and produce more collagen. It was found effective, but it is an expensive procedure that might have side effects.

That’s exactly why we recommend trying an all natural treatment first.

Let's talk about the recommended natural treatment that will help you treat this skin problem once and for all.

How to Get Rid of Crepey Skin Naturally?

Now that we understand how this type of skin is formed, we can minimize the amounts of crepey skin we’re getting in the first place.

However, we wanted to tell you about a treatment that we have found extremely efficient when it comes to getting rid of it completely.

This treatment is basically a 3 creams system that deeply hydrates and exfoliates your skin, users have reported results in as few as 1 week of use.

Based on all natural ingredients,  like vitamin E, shea butter and cocoa butter. This system will give your skin deep, long-lasting hydration.

This fabulous treatment is called Crepey-Erase, and it was recently thoroughly reviewed on esthetics hub, read the review by clicking here.

Wrapping It Up

In this post we covered the causes for crepey skin and a recommended form of treatment.  

Having crepey skin is natural and people over 40 tend to get it, there's nothing to be ashamed of. 

Remember to limit your exposure to the sun and avoid eating unhealthy foods, this will help prevent or at least reduce your crepey skin in the first place.

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