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Collagen is an abundant protein in the body that’s also essential to smooth, supple skin. While it’s mostly associated with beauty, collagen has several functions. It provides structure to the body as the building blocks of our skin, bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The term itself comes from the Greek word kólla, which means glue — since it’s the glue that holds everything together. Here are the main collagen benefits for the skin, and the ingredients that boost them.

Collagen Benefits for the Skin

Collagen comprises 70% of dry skin mass. Collagen fibers, which look like ropes, are what make skin smooth and taut. According to the National Institutes of Health, collagen determines skin physiology, maintains skin structure, and enables all the skin’s functions. Moreover, it can retain water and keep the skin hydrated, contributing to overall skin health. 

The younger you are, the more collagen you have. Meanwhile, the older you get, the less collagen you produce. Therefore, the symptoms of loss of collagen are typically the signs of aging. Physically, your joints may feel sensitive, and you may experience gradual muscle weakness. On your skin, it can manifest as fine lines, wrinkles, sagging, and dull skin.

Ingredients That Boost Collagen Production

Fine lines? Treat them with these collagen-boosting ingredients.

If you suspect that age is taking its toll and your collagen reserves are dwindling, fear not. Here are some ingredients in skin care that can help boost your collagen production.

Hyaluronic acid is necessary for collagen production.

Hyaluronic acid is a transparent, viscous substance that is present in body tissues. Because it retains moisture, it facilitates the smooth movement of joints and moisturizes the skin. Just like collagen, hyaluronic acid in the body reduces as we age. Factors such as smoking, sun exposure, and environmental pollution can aid in this reduction.

This is a bummer because — you guessed it — hyaluronic acid can help boost collagen in the body, states a study in the National Institutes of Health. Topically applying low molecular hyaluronic acid can help improve the skin’s hydration and promote skin regeneration and healing. A study in the NIH suggests that ingesting it, however, can have more lasting anti-aging effects, such as boosting collagen production in the body.

Vitamin C is essential to hyaluronic acid synthesis.

Another way to boost collagen production is through Vitamin C. Apart from being a powerful antioxidant, Vitamin C also regulates the production of collagen and protects the collagen you have. In fact, without Vitamin C, our bodies cannot produce collagen. According to a study on wound healing published in the NIH, this is why Vitamin C supplements are recommended to people who require collagen to recover from injuries. 

Moreover, research by Oregon State University found that applying 3 to 10% Vitamin C on the skin for 12 weeks reduced wrinkles, improved skin texture, and increased collagen production. Additionally, another study published in the NIH suggests that Vitamin C also helps reverse the decrease in collagen synthesis from smoking. It also increases hyaluronic acid production in the body when ingested through food. 

Aloe vera

Aloe vera has vitamins A, C, and E that help promote skin healing and regeneration.

Another powerhouse skincare ingredient, the aloe vera plant has been used for centuries for its medicinal and skincare properties. It is rich in Vitamins A, C, and E, as well as enzymes, minerals, sugars, and amino acids. It is known for its moisturizing actions, anti-inflammatory benefits, and ability to protect the skin from UV radiation damage. 

A study in the Indian Journal of Dermatology notes that applying aloe vera on the skin, especially on a wound, has collagen benefits. It can change collagen composition and encourage cross-linking, which accelerates healing. The same study reports increased synthesis of hyaluronic acid, as well.

Retinol

Retinol is a form of Vitamin A that you can apply topically to the skin. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, over-the-counter retinol can come in doses of up to 2%. You’ll need a doctor’s prescription for anything stronger. It’s a popular anti-wrinkle ingredient, however, it also helps treat acne, and improve uneven skin tone and texture. 

According to Harvard Health Publishing, retinol reduces fine lines and wrinkles by increasing collagen production in the skin. Three to six months of regular use can fade age spots and smoothen rough areas. It does this by increasing the production of hyaluronic acid that boosts collagen and keeps the skin plump and moist. 

Boost your skin’s renewal abilities with POND's Age Miracle Youthful Glow Double Action Serum, which contains retinol. This easily absorbed formula has 30 times skin-renewal actives that increase cellular turnover while supplying intense hydration and a radiant glow.

Reap all these collagen benefits by adding these ingredients to your skincare regimen or adding them to a balanced diet.