Collagen is important everywhere. But nowhere is this more evident than in your skin. Collagen is key to your skin’s appearance. And your skin produces a lot of collagen. So, they’re frequently talked about together.
This structural protein is so important that it makes up 75 percent of your skin’s dry weight. It also gives your skin strength and elasticity. It provides the stable structures upon which your beauty is built.
That’s why much of the skincare conversation is about collagen in one way or another. It’s probably second only to moisture when you talk about the science of skin health, structure, and care.
Collagen is most prevalent in the second layer of your skin—the dermis. Two types of collagen make up the structural elements and connect the middle layer of skin to the epidermis above and hypodermis below.
Since so much of your skin’s structure depends on collagen, it plays a big role in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Adequate collagen production makes skin look smooth and firm. It makes skin appear youthful and vibrant.
Then it’s no wonder that your body’s ability to produce healthy amounts of high-quality collagen depends on your age. Several widely available and easily obtained nutrients have been shown to help maintain healthy collagen production:
- Vitamin A (try sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots, and mangos)
- Vitamin C (found in citrus fruits, red pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, and tomato)
- Copper (you’ll find it in organ meats, shellfish, lentils, almonds, dark chocolate, asparagus, and black pepper)
- Anthocyanidins—the plant pigment the gives blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries their deep colours