When people research skincare routines and anti-aging products, they find plenty of talk about collagen. Ask people what the secret to ageless skin is and most would tell you collagen, but they probably couldn’t tell you why.
What is collagen exactly? What does it do? This guide answers these questions and more, including how CBD and other cannabinoids play an active role in anti-aging, skincare, and potentially collagen production.
The Body’s Building Blocks
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It’s responsible for many different types of tissue. Collagen is just as important in bones as it is in tendons and, yes, the skin.
Collagen can be thought of as the glue that holds everything together. The fibrous strands of collagen molecules, known as fibrils, create connective tissues. They can be harder than steel, but they also give skin its elasticity.
The human body produces its own collagen. As people age, collagen production slows down. This affects the skin’s elasticity, leading to sagging and wrinkles. The lower rate of collagen production in older people can also affect bone health. Since collagen is important to many tissues, it’s used in its repair.
Exposure to UV rays, smoking, and other activities can slow collagen production. Diet also plays a role.
Need a Fix? Call Collagen
Collagen produced in the body is endogenous. However, it is possible to introduce collagen from outside sources as well. This exogenous collagen can assist in tissue repair. For example, a collagen dressing can be used to attract new skin cells to a cut and speed healing.
Some cosmetic procedures use collagen injections, they can be used to improve the appearance of scars or to reduce wrinkles and fine lines.
This protein has also been used in tissue grafts and prosthetics for the vascular system.
Giving Collagen a Boost
The right foods can prevent collagen loss or give collagen production a little boost. A healthy diet also protects against nutrient deficiencies, which can cause rashes and other skin changes.
- Vitamin C does more than just fight colds. It helps with collagen production. Be sure to add peppers, strawberries and other high-C produce to your daily diet.
- Vitamin A, or retinol, can also stimulate collagen production. It’s also useful for treating acne. Find it in animal-derived foods, or colorful fruits and veggies (like carrots).
- Copper is a metal vital to human health in small amounts. It’s key to synthesizing skin proteins like collagen. Find it in shellfish, nuts and red meat.
- Proline is a nutrient that can boost skin elasticity. It’s found mostly in animal products like egg whites, meat, and cheese, but soy and cabbage are also good sources.
- Anthocyanins are plant pigments that assist in the production of collagen and elastin. They produce red, purple and blue colors. Find them in blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.
Collagen itself can be used as a supplement. It’s often sold as a powder and can be added to smoothies or baked goods. Gummies can also be infused with collagen.
Herbs & Skin
Some herbs help clarify skin and brighten it. As people age, the skin becomes thinner and loses elasticity, but it also loses pigment cells. This can lead to dull skin.
- Turmeric is noted for its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant effects. It can help clarify the skin, especially in cases of common skin ailments like acne.
- Stinging nettle leaf is a powerful antioxidant, which can help keep skin healthy and youthful. It also helps control inflammation.
- Probiotics can also help by increasing immune functioning and boosting antioxidants, which can prevent premature aging.
- Plants like aloe vera are sources of Vitamin E, another antioxidant that can help skin stay healthy. One study showed it could decrease damage done by UV rays.
Protecting the Skin You’re in
Improving collagen production is one way to help skin stay youthful-looking. Taking steps to protect the skin is also important.
- Avoid getting sunburned, since it can cause loss of elasticity and pigment changes
- Wear protective clothing and a hat when needed
- Use a high-quality sunscreen, even in the winter
- Avoid smoking
Staying hydrated is also important since it reduces the risk of skin injury. Keeping skin hydrated with moisturizers can also help preserve its youthfulness.
The Other C: Cannabinoids
There’s some research that shows that cannabinoids may affect collagen in the body. One study on broken bones showed that CBD bolstered the fracture callus, which is primarily formed of collagen. The callus knits the broken bone back together and is filled in with stronger bone tissue.
Cannabinoids like CBD may be able to improve the complexion. They also help with the management of some common skin conditions.
CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties are well-known. Inflammation goes hand-in-hand with aging. CBD’s ability to soothe the skin also helps it slow down aging. It’s also a powerful antioxidant, which means it can combat oxidative stress. It can combine with free radicals, which then stops them from damaging DNA.
CBD oils and hemp seeds often contain many of the nutrients healthy skin needs, such as Vitamin E. They’re also good sources of fatty acids, which helps the skin.
It also has positive effects on oil production in the skin. Underproduction of oil can cause fine lines and wrinkles.
Cannabis Favorites for Collagen and Skin
This all-natural balm delivers the moisturization and protection needed for healthy, glowing skin. Not only is it soothing, but its CBD content can also help rejuvenate skin.
Hydrating, lifting and firming action are combined in this powerful all-in-one serum. It will help relieve redness, puffiness, and signs of aging.
THC also has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps fight the signs of aging.
For those who are concerned about smoking’s effect on the skin and collagen, vaping is a good alternative. This cartridge features a high CBD to THC ratio in an easy to use package.
This tincture features a 3:1 CBD to THC ratio. Both cannabinoids help soothe inflammation, which can contribute to aging.
An Ounce of Prevention
The right holistic health regime can help people protect their health. Talk to a doctor and discover how CBD and cannabis could be part of your healthier lifestyle.