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Things That Deplete Natural Collagen Production In Your Body

When we’re thinking of skin elasticity and something that keeps our body looking younger and glowing–we think of collagen. But what is collagen, really? Why do we need it? And what are the habits that deplete the natural collagen production in our body that we feel the need to replace it?

What is Collagen?

Collagen is a type of natural protein that our bodies naturally produce. It is also a major component of the human body because it makes up different types of our skin, bones, muscles, and joints. It’s not just responsible for our skin’s plumpness, it keeps our hair strong, our bones healthy, our joints properly lubricated, and our digestive system working well. It is more than just a protein that makes us glowing and beautiful.

When we’re young, our bodies produce an ample amount of collagen. But in our mid-20’s, we start to produce less collagen. During our mid-40’s, the collagen we produce might be less than 30% already. This would greatly depend on our lifestyle and the environment that we’re in.

Things That Deplete Natural Collagen Production

Collagen is a very important protein. Without it, our cells can lose structure and become weaker and thinner. It can cause a lot of skin problems as well, such as wrinkles, visible fine lines, dark circles underneath your eyes, dry skin and even cellulites.

Even though collagen supplements are highly available in the market, it’s good to nip the problem in the bud in order to avoid collagen’s depletion. Below are a couple of things that deplete your collagen and some of it’s possible solutions:

1. Coffee

If you’re a heavy coffee drinker, which is about two to three cups (or more) a day, it can stimulate the production of cortisol which is known as the stress hormone. It can accelerate the aging process by thinning out your skin and it can be the culprit for skin woes such as fine lines and other signs of skin aging.

The best thing that you can do is to find substitutes for coffee. A good example of this is matcha, which has calming benefits and is rich in antioxidants.

2. Alcohol

What makes alcohol the culprit to the depletion of collagen is that drinking it can be dehydrating. When you are dehydrated, the fibers in collagen can start to crack and adhere to one another which leads to dry and flaky skin. When your skin is dry, you are prone to wrinkles.

Things That Deplete Natural Collagen Production

I know that alcohol is part of our healthy lifestyle, especially wine. But don’t forget to hydrate yourself or go for a mocktail instead.

3. Sleep

Lack of sleep can be a culprit for a lot of health issues, including the depletion of collagen. When you’re not getting enough sleep at night, your body does not repair damaged cells and collagen in its optimal levels.

You should have a minimum of 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep daily. If possible, eat two hours before bedtime and aim for no gadgets before bedtime in order to relax your senses before going to bed.

4. Sugar

Sugar is known as very toxic and is deemed to be bad for our body. The worst part is that it is equally bad for our skin. Refined sweeteners can help speed up the depletion of key skin proteins like elastin and collagen.

The solution here is to substitute refined sugars with natural sweeteners that the body can properly use. Such as honey, maple syrup, and even dates. These substitutes contain more minerals and antioxidants that can help your skin look better and has a lower glycemic index compared to white sugar.

Things That Deplete Natural Collagen Production

5. Pollution

This one is almost unavoidable because it’s all around us. Exposure to pollution can also break down collagen and can cause premature aging. In order to lessen the effects of pollution against our collagen production, you can opt for an air and water purifier at home, have oxygen-producing houseplants, and to always have a healthy diet.

6. Sun

Daily, we only need about 20 minutes of sun exposure in order to encourage the natural production of vitamin D in our skin. But if we are overexposed to the sun and worse, it results to a sunburn, it can damage our skin. Staying too long under the sun causes collagen to break down faster than the usual.

What you can do to avoid this is to make sure that you’re wearing sunscreen all the time to block those unwanted UV rays.

These are only some of the few things that deplete the natural collagen production in our body. While it’s good to take supplements or aid the collagen production with healthy and nutritious food, preventing the depletion process is the first priority.

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  • So, is it okay to drink collagen powders/drinks?

    • Personally, I’m not a fan of it. People would react differently to supplements like this but what I got were massive breakouts.

    • Freda Spencer says:

      Really? I actually learned from a friend that she didn’t like it either. I think she took capsules.

  • Elsie Thopson says:

    I feel like everything will deplete the collagen in our body.

  • Katie Rodgers says:

    This is why people who smoke and drink a lot don’t have beautiful skin. They all tend to have dry skin.

  • Maggie Lawrence says:

    You can’t really count the collagen percentage in your body so I guess until it just shows on your skin, you have to work on it.?

  • Meghan Medina says:

    I don’t really mind aging, but I want to age gracefully. Which is why it’s important to take note of your collagen intake in food.

  • MARGUERITE Bratton says:

    Always wear sunscreen. I think the reason why most Americans age easily is because they love tanning so much but don’t put proper SPF.?

  • Catherine Lewis says:

    If you live in the city, you’re way more exposed to pollution. Smokes from cars and all that.

  • Ellen Padilla says:

    Prevention is better than remedy. So yup, I would rather prevent the depletion first.?

    • Crystal Oliver says:

      Same, I don’t think it’s safe to overload in collagen too with all the supplements and all.

  • Marsha Reed says:

    I feel horrible, I’m exposed to almost all of this. What am I doing?! That’s why my skin feels and looks so terrible.

  • Mable Stone says:

    If you’re exposed to 3 or more of these things, I bet your skin really isn’t doing well anymore.

  • Melody Phelps says:

    So it means that even wine can be dehydrating?

    • Faith Lucas says:

      I guess so, even wine is considered an alcoholic beverage and it’s also diuretic, so yes.

  • Margaret Burnett says:

    Thanks for the Info, I also found collagen really helped with my skin. But I stopped because I was too short on money, but I might get back to it next month.

    • Darlene Cooper says:

      I wouldn’t call it EASY, but dermarolling is magic for the reversal of the falling face. I’m trying to be brave.

  • Bernadette Cross says:

    Personally, I have seen success in using collagen. Between my hair being stronger, longer, and shinier to my nails and skin 🙂

  • Frances Harris says:

    I’ve taken Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides every day for about a year. No difference in skin, but HUGE difference in my hair.

  • Deborah Wilber says:

    I asked my Curology NP about collagen supplements— she said it wasn’t worth it. She explained some science behind it and compared it being no different than eating peas or steak.

    • Since you can find collagen in food, why not just invest in food rather than buying separate supplements, right?

  • Thanks for sharing your knowledge! I’m really interested in bioavailability – have been for awhile. I’m really curious if there’s maybe a source that lists known bioavailability methods for different things – like vitamin c and collagen and caffeine. My brain goes into overdrive thinking about it, so pardon my word vomit.

  • Minnie Traylor says:

    I have a question about collagen in general, if you don’t mind. It’s been said that hydrolyzed collagen supplements won’t help the skin because the collagen is turned to gelatin by the acid in the stomach. So does that mean that the hydrolyzed collagen supplements also wouldn’t be that effective for joints? Thanks for such an informative post!

  • Tracy Rodriguez says:

    I’ve been wanting to try a collagen supplement. I’m a skeptical, bordering on cynical, ass mofo though so I just assume most “supplements” aren’t gonna do what they claim. Thoughts? Recommendations?

  • Lisa Batten says:

    Not smart here at all so sorry if this is off topic or painfully obvious – my mother in law has to take estrogen, and she chose to have it in topical form, so the skin must absorb some things into the blood?

  • Marilyn Davidson says:

    I recently found out that most collagen beauty products get the collagen from dead animals… I’ve been unknowingly putting that on my face. One of my favourite toners is Etude House’s Moistfull Collagen toner. Bleh

  • Julie Torrey says:

    Great post! Thank you for explaining. i have nothing to add to this beyond a yay, science! i am glad to see it here. there are lots of silly myths in the world that a little science could cure; even in the realm of skincare. thank you for taking the time to make this post!

  • Thanks for the info! If only there was an easy way to up the collagen back again, as I feel like this is the primary cause of a ‘falling’ face, which I find much more indicative of aging than wrinkles or age spots. I wish we’re close to where increasing skin collagen to the degree where you completely negate the slowing of its production as you age is something possible – a very selfish and vain thought – but nonetheless one that crosses my mind every now and then.

  • I love it when science shows up! There’s so much BS claims in the skincare and supplement/vitamin industry. Knowing what is scientifically-backed can really help sort out the selection!

  • Leslie Light says:

    One natural way to increase collagen would be to decrease the rate at which it breaks down. So, avoid the sun, avoid sugary foods and excessive alcohol, eat foods rich in antioxidants.

  • Genevieve Hayes says:

    Great summary! I’ve always been frustrated with collagen drinks etc for that exact reason that they’ll be broken down into constituent amino acids during digestion.

  • Sandra Brown says:

    Why do people take supplements when they can drink a lot of water, eat fruits, green veggies, lean protein? it’s really the only natural way. Don’t forget essential fatty acids from nuts, and legumes!

    • Exactly, Sandra. It’s highly available in the food we eat. We don’t have to spend so much on supplements. All we need is to make sure that our food varies in such a way that we are able to get nutrients and collagen, too.

  • Lorraine Yarbrough says:

    From what I know, collagen molecule is to big to get into your skin. So all those cremes that have collagen, you’re just wasting it There are some creams that have some essential amino-acids which skin can absorb & which skin can transfer into collagen. They are not cheap & they are rare! But they work. 😉

  • Martha Robinson says:

    I wish I knew this a decade ago. I wouldn’t be surprised if excess stress directly or indirectly increases collagen breakdown.

  • Barbara McGhee says:

    I supplement with collagen hydrolysate in my coffee every morning. It makes my nails ridiculously strong and I imagine is good for skin too. Also helps with joints and arthritis and stuff. I can tell when I’ve not been taking it.

  • Kathy Pierre says:

    lets not forget that most collagen supplements don’t just contain collagen but other substances that differ from one brand to the other, maybe the benefit regularly seen comes from one of the added ingredients instead of collagen itself, or maybe a combination of all in some sorts

  • Erlinda Singh says:

    So essentially when you are eating collagen you are giving yourself a bunch of amino acids, most of which your body is very capable of making itself already. Of course some of these will be incorporated into proteins within the soft tissues of your joints, but so would the ones your body makes already. Of course I’m happy to be proved wrong if any studies show a positive effect, but at least from a physiological and mechanistic basis, it’s hard to see how it would be any more beneficial than other protein sources.

  • I get my collagen naturally too. I eat healthy fats. Avocado, veggies, nuts, etc. Also, water water water! 🙂

  • I supplement with lysine, proline, and vitamin c (the building blocks for collagen). I was a nutrition major and remembered learning about this in school. I started taking that combination about 3.5 years ago while I was pregnant because I didn’t want to get any stretch marks… Well not only did I avoid stretch marks, but it improved the texture of my skin quite a bit. May not do the trick for everyone, but it definitely made a big difference for me!

  • Irene Bullock says:

    There’s actually been a trial that shows that a type 3 collagen peptides can help. Taking vitamin C with the collagen can also help stimulate natural collagen production.

  • Vicki Fleming says:

    You’re so beautiful, Rebecca. The photos here are wonderful! ?

  • Edna Carroll says:

    Kinda makes us want to take collagen seriously. She’s so stunning.

  • Melissa Kelley says:

    Refined sugar is really the culprit of health issues. I would rather go for a natural source.

    • Tosha Rood says:

      Sugar can’t be avoided but the natural source have health benefits compared to the refined one.

  • Ella Rasmussen says:

    This is why I always make sure I sleep properly. I adjust my sleeping hours if I really have to wake up early in the morning for something important.

  • Isabel Draper says:

    Before I went vegan I used to I drink homemade bone broth daily and add gelatin to other foods as well as eating bone marrow regularly. Cheaper than supplements.

  • No gadgets before sleeping is pretty accurate. I think 2 hours before sleeping, blue light is a no-no.

  • Nice article, collagen isn’t really one of my concerns, but if I want to look youthful, it would be great to take note of this.?

  • Elizabeth Porterfield says:

    Do air purifiers really work? I honestly can’t tell the difference. They’re very expensive too.

  • Joyce Coyne says:

    I read everywhere that you need to drink water. While many people we should drink more water, I’m not aware of any research linking water consumption and elastin density?

  • Yes! Natural collagen is better. lets not forget that most collagen supplements don’t just contain collagen but other substances that differ from one brand to the other, maybe the benefit regularly seen comes from one of the added ingredients instead of collagen itself, or maybe a combination of all in some sorts.

  • Constance Wilhelm says:

    This information is new to me. Getting the right nutrients is definitely one aspect of maintaining and keeping the production of collagen up to optimum. Thanks.

  • Unfortunately we pay attention to more as we age. I like the natural way and appreciate any other organic methods. Thanks.

  • Mishale Brighton says:

    That’s a very informative article. Somehow we don’t really look beyond citrus fruit juices do we? I’m off to do some collagen replenishing!

  • Charlotte Preston says:

    Excellent article! Very informative! Thank you very much for sharing.

  • Elaine Colbert says:

    Sun is bad for collagen?? This is very illuminating. I’ve learned something, thanks!

  • Christina Eiland says:

    Thanks for the useful tips – we can all use some collagen boosts so can you mention some foods that can do that?

  • Marianne Stewart says:

    This is exactly the information that i was looking for! I’m going to put this info into practice right away. Thank you.

  • hi, this information is very useful! thanks! however is there a way we can put natural stuff on our face? to boost the collagen? i would like to know that!

  • Pearl Stevenson says:

    I wonder if Vitamin C Ascorbic Acid tablet supplements could help? I am taking 500 mg of tablets daily.

  • Amazing work. very resourceful. i really learned a lot by reading this. thank you

  • Thank you! Very informative read that can easily be put into practice.

  • Erma Looney says:

    So useful and inspiring. Thank you. Are there any possible ways to boost collagen formation from the outside? (putting on facial products etc) Thanks.

  • Lots of great information. thank you for taking the time to research and present a great article.

  • Denise Tandy says:

    Does Beauty Booster help with collagen? I have been interested in that product for a while… Hmmm

  • Julianne Dreyfus says:

    Actually people think they don’t need collagen until 30 or 40s, but skin starts to lost elasticity starting by the age 25. So, starting taking collagen before that will delay aging. I’m looking in to this as well, still not sure which brand to get, and in pills or powder form…

  • Florence Constanza says:

    So true! Aging doesn’t happen overnight. I’ve been using powder for over a year and I also recently tried collagen tablets as well.

    • Look, the facts are that the body starts to die as soon as it stops growing. For the love of god, get on this stuff as soon as possible!

  • Greta Mandlebaum says:

    I’ve been taking collagen for a week with no improvements yet. I hope in 30 days my face will start to improve.

  • Is it safe to consume collagen peptide protein powder? Love to hear your thoughts on this!

  • Heidi Newman says:

    I am curious to know if Collagen peptides will raise your calcium levels.

  • I have been taking collagen for a month now and have noticed that my nails are a lot stronger.

  • I have eczema and dry skin, but hate putting creams, lotions & oils on my skin. So I know what immediately works, especially for my eczema, is alot of Vitamin C. I take either gummies or tablets. It’s good for healing, collagen & skin complexion. One thing I noticed is a miracle cure for eczema & dry skin is avocado oil. I rarely use it, b/c I hate putting things topically. I had a really bad case of eczema on top of my hands & back of my wrists. Within a couple days of putting a little avocado oil on them daily, the eczema completely disappeared & it looked like new baby skin. Also, since I hate topical things (I don’t even like to put on jewelry or nail polish), macademia nut oil is the closest to your natural sebum & feels like you put nothing on. Not to mention macademia nuts are highest in vitamin b12, so ingesting those are really good for your brain & blood cells.

  • Oops, sorry. I think macademia nuts are rich in vitamin b1, which is also good for the brain. Not sure about vitamin b12. Check nutritional guidelines. Either way, all of it can contribute to healthy cells which leads to healthy skin. Biotin is good for hair & nails, as well