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The Truth About Collagen

Your collagen face cream might not be as useful as you think it is. There’s no denying that collagen molecules are essential for healthy, youthful looking skin, as they are what keeps skin feeling elastic, stretchy, and firm. But the makers and promoters of collagen creams sometimes neglect to mention one very important fact that may impact your decision on whether or not to buy one for yourself.

Collagen molecules are too large to be absorbed through the skin. Even if they are broken down and mixed with protein fragments to overcome this obstacle, if they were created synthetically, they will be unable to bond with your skin’s existing natural collagen molecules.

This is not to suggest that collagen creams are a completely useless waste of money. They do serve a legitimate purpose. Collagen molecules are one of nature’s best water binding agents, meaning they will act as humectants and help draw moisture into your skin.

To date, there is only one known way of increasing your skin’s own natural collagen reserves, and that is through ingestion. You may recall from our previous blog article on beauty ingestibles the mention of a collagen bone broth. This is but one way of boosting your skin’s access to collagen by altering your diet, though it might not taste very appetizing.

If you’re looking to boost your collagen levels through diet without having to stare down a bowl of unappetizing broth, the best thing you can do is simply eat healthy, balanced meals rich in protein, as protein is one of nature’s best producers of the natural collagen your skin can use. Some of the best dietary sources of collagen-producing protein include:

  1. Meats. Sorry vegetarians and vegans, but meat is one of the few dietary sources that includes a complete set of all the essential fatty acids necessary for collagen production. Chicken, beef, turkey, and fish are among the sources most high in collagen-producing proteins.
  2. Dairy. Again with apologies to all the vegans out there, natural dairy products are another excellent source of collagen-producing protein. Milk, cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese are particularly useful dietary aids in the production of natural collagen.
  3. Fruits and Vegetables. Vegetarians and vegans, here’s your moment of glory. Fruits and vegetables high in vitamins C and K such as grapefruits, oranges, red peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli are a particularly good dietary choices for boosting your skin’s natural collagen levels.

avocado vitamin a d k creamSpeaking of vitamins, did you know that vitamins A (retinol palmitate), D3 and K2 are right up there with collagen as essential nutrients for beautiful, youthful skin? Best of all, these particular vitamins can indeed be absorbed through the skin, so be sure to look for them the next time you feel like shopping for a new face cream.

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