In skincare, there are a few cardinal rules: hydrate, listen to your body, and understand that collagen is the key to healthy-looking skin.

Collagen is a much-loved term in the skincare ecosystem and for good reason. Considered a ‘building block’ of all tissues in the body, this abundant protein is formed naturally, but decreases in production as we age. Skin aging is directly traced to the loss of collagen. Seeing that collagen can deplete up to 1.5% a year, it’s critical to not only understand what collagen is, but the steps one can take to boost collagen production at every age.[1] And yes, the delightfully relaxing ritual that is the GuaSha + Hemp Seed Oil Barrier Repair Facial Oil help!

So — what is collagen? 

Collagen is a critical structural protein composed of 18 amino acids. This protein strengthens the body’s connective tissues, which supports the elasticity and function of everything from our ligaments, to our hair, to our skin.[2]

Collagen plays a key role in keeping our skin firm, hydrated, and resilient. Seeing as collagen makes up 30% of the body’s protein and up to 70% of the skin’s protein, when collagen production falters, it shows up thinner, drier, and with less elasticity.

If you’re looking to boost your collagen, here’s what you’ll want to do:

  • Relax: Stress — in whatever form — causes the increase of cortisol. Research published in 2017 concluded that cortisol directly decreases collagen production due to the bodies redirected focus on combatting stress, rather that sustaining collagen production.[3]

In addition to assessing what’s causing stress in your life, incorporating practices that remind your body relax can make a significant impact. We love the power duo that is the GuaSha + Hemp Seed Oil Barrier Facial Oil — the calming and repetitive movements of the GuaSha circulate blood while the facial oil introduces revitalizing and nourishing hemp seed to the skin barrier.

  • Reduce UV Exposure: studies show that excessive UV exposure increases free radicals (unpaired electrons) production, which breaks down collagen through oxidative stress. Wear plenty of sunscreens and consider your sunhat a friend!
  • Consider your diet: inflammation can weaken the skin’s cellular foundation, thanks to foods that are processed or rich in simple carbs or sugar. While these foods may be comforting, high-inflammatory choices can weaken the skin’s foundation, thus impacting collagen. You’ll want to reach for foods rich in natural collagen (fish and shellfish), vitamin C (berries, citrus, tropical fruits), antioxidants (dark leafy greens), and high-protein (beans, eggs).

 

Reality check: at the end of the day, collagen will naturally decline. That’s life — and there’s beauty to celebrating the natural transformation of the skin. Aging shows a life well-lived…and keeping skin at all chapters hydrated and happy (hello Ageless Face Mask!) is key to ensuring that the inevitable transition is seamless.

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[1]Varani J, Dame MK, Rittie L, Fligiel SE, Kang S, Fisher GJ, Voorhees JJ. Decreased collagen production in chronologically aged skin: roles of age-dependent alteration in fibroblast function and defective mechanical stimulation. Am J Pathol. 2006 Jun;168(6):1861-8. doi: 10.2353/ajpath.2006.051302. PMID: 16723701; PMCID: PMC1606623.

[2] Reilly, Lozano. Skin collagen through the lifestages: importance for skin health and beauty. 2020. Recent Advances in Skin Anti-aging Agents

[3] Yabing Mi, Wangsheng Wang, Chuyue Zhang, Chao Liu, Jiangwen Lu, Wenjiao Li, Rujuan Zuo, Leslie Myatt, Kang Sun, Autophagic Degradation of Collagen 1A1 by Cortisol in Human Amnion Fibroblasts, Endocrinology, Volume 158, Issue 4, 1 April 2017, Pages 1005–1014, https://doi.org/10.1210/en.2016-1829