What’s the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about wrinkle reduction and younger-looking skin?
Collagen production, of course.
It’s the most abundant protein in our body, especially type 1 collagen.
It’s found in your skin, bones, muscles, tendons, gut, blood vessels, and even your teeth.
It’s what keeps your skin’s elasticity and is responsible for replacing dead skin cells.
The problem is:
So, how can we restore collagen in our facial skin?
How to Increase Collagen Production (Naturally)
Plastic surgery is expensive, Botox is not only poison voluntarily injected in your body but often results in the infamous “Oscar freeze”, and all those skincare products, creams, and serums hardly do anything to your collagen-starving face.
Are there any foods, vitamins, and minerals that boost collagen creation?
Yes, there are.
Why Collagen Creams Are a Waste of Money
Collagen creams promise to reduce wrinkles and plump up your skin, but scientists say they are a complete waste of money.
The collagen molecules in these creams are simply too large to penetrate the skin.
They just sit there on your face, drinking coffee and chatting, until they are washed off your face down the drain, along with your hard-earned money.
Collagen is critical to keep your skin healthy and elastic and giving it a plump, youthful look.
Collagen production declines with age.
This doesn’t mean that we have to surrender to time.
There are a few remarkably effective and natural ways to boost collagen in your skin and make it as glowing as it can possibly be.
Combine the 5 ones below, and you have your fail-proof formula to boost collagen levels (and younger-looking skin!)
1. Collagen-Boosting Foods
Don’t worry, you won’t have to start eating shark teeth salad or anything like that.
There are a few little-known foods and food combinations that can rebuild collagen in your face and body.
1. Blueberries contain phytonutrients that help collagen fibers link together in a way that helps your body produce collagen.
They are organic compounds that plants produce to keep themselves “perky”, and apparently not just them.
2. Dark Leafy Greens – Spinach, Kale, and Swiss Chard are all rich in vitamins C and A and encourage the body to produce more collagen.
You’ll also enjoy their other benefits – cancer protection being just one of them.
👉 See how to make your own Vitamin C powder – at home.
3. Garlic – a few studies have shown that vegetables containing sulfur, which garlic has abundantly, rebuild collagen in your joints and skin.
Garlic also contains taurin and lipid acid, which support damaged collagen fibers.
Cabbage, onions, and fish are also sulfur-rich.
4. Eggs & Mango – eggs are naturally rich in amino acids, which are essential for the formation of collagen. Mango, which is rich in Vitamin C, works with these acids to boost collagen production.
5. Carrots – orange vegetables, like carrots and sweet potatoes, are rich in vitamin A, which restores and regenerates damaged collagen.
6. White Tea – according to research by Kingston University, white tea can protect the structure of the skin proteins, specifically collagen.
7. Bone Broth – Bone broth is a source of gelatin, which may break down into collagen in the body.
A 2017 review published in the journal Sports Medicine suggests that gelatin supplementation increases the amount of collagen in the tissues. Here’s how to make a bone broth.
2. Collagen Boosting Oil
The best (proven) collagen-boosting oil (to take internally) is probably Avocado Oil.
Replacing your olive oil with avocado oil in your salad and dressings can have a great effect on your skin glow.
Some studies have found that avocado oil “significantly increased type II collagen”.
3. Vitamin C
Which vitamin promotes collagen production most?
All of the foods above (except for the dark leafy greens), along with the collagen-boosting nutrients in them, will be almost useless without enough Vitamin C, the superhero of vitamins to increase collagen.
And here’s why:
Collagen fibers are made from protein, and they are somewhat unusual in having large amounts of two amino acids, called hydroxyl-lysine and hydroxyl-proline.
These two amino acids are important for the production of all types of collagen and are needed to provide the different collagen types with their proper amount of strength and flexibility.
Vitamin C is required to change proline into hydroxyproline (the collagen form) and lysine into hydroxylysine (once again, the collagen form).
I’ll bet you already know the Vitamin-C-rich foods (citrus fruit, Broccoli, Bell Peppers, dark leafy greens, etc).
And you can always take a good food-based Vitamin C supplement like this one (Which is whole food based, low heat processed, and entirely additive-free, a rare find)
4. Collagen Red Light Therapy
To tell you the truth, red light therapy is my favorite natural collagen builder, and I’m quite hooked on it (and on the compliments I’ve been getting since I got it.
Red light therapy home devices combine red and infrared rays (no UV rays) to stimulate blood circulation, boost collagen production, and enhance the natural ability of your skin to heal.
The heat and light boost circulation, bringing more blood and nutrients to your skin.
(My grandmother used to increase her facial blood circulation by pinching her face a few times a day 😉)
It also instigates the release of chemical messengers called cytokines. As more cytokines are released, collagen-producing cells called fibroblasts leap into action.
👉 If healing is required, then the skin will heal (which makes this an effective scar-removal method too); if it is already healthy, you will get a plumping effect from the extra collagen created.
This is backed by more than a few studies, and gaining more and more popularity each year since it’s a completely non-invasive, side-effect-free natural way to improve collagen in the skin.
To supercharge my results, I use this red light therapy face massager, which is amazing! It combines both collagen red light therapy and gentle massage to boost local micro-circulation, which promotes even more collagen.
(And: the price is relatively low)
5. Collagen Powder
A 2014 study from the University of Kiel in Germany found that taking a specific collagen peptide internally – helped reduce skin wrinkles.
If you want the best and most natural collagen powder, I recommend Vital Proteins collagen powder.
- Because the company has an NSF certification as a Good Manufacturing Practices facility
- Their collagen is made from the hide of Brazilian grass-fed, pasture-raised cattle.
- It is non-GMO
- It is easily digested and absorbed, best for boosting skin collagen.
That’s it, my friends, combine some of these 5 methods above and you are (almost) guaranteed to get a younger-looking, plumped, and glowing skin in no more than a few weeks – without chemicals, surgeries and injections.
I’ve covered many more ways to naturally treat skin conditions and promote skin anti-aging. Don’t miss out on my post about using castor oil on the face, and how to use Aloe Vera for wrinkles!
To your health and happiness,
Avci P, Gupta A, Sadasivam M, et al. Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) in skin: stimulating, healing, restoring. Semin Cutan Med Surg.
Proksch E, Schunck M, Zague V, Segger D, Degwert J, Oesser S: Oral Intake of Specific Bioactive Collagen Peptides Reduces Skin Wrinkles and Increases Dermal Matrix Synthesis. Skin Pharmacol Physiol 2014;27:113-119.
Wunsch A, Matuschka K. A controlled trial to determine the efficacy of red and near-infrared light treatment in patient satisfaction, reduction of fine lines, wrinkles, skin roughness, and intradermal collagen density increase. Photomed Laser Surg. 2014;32(2):93–100.
Werman MJ, Mokady S, Nimni ME, Neeman I. The effect of various avocado oils on skin collagen metabolism. Connect Tissue Res. 1991;26(1-2):1-10. doi: 10.3109/03008209109152159. PMID: 1676360.
DePhillipo NN, Aman ZS, Kennedy MI, Begley JP, Moatshe G, LaPrade RF. Efficacy of Vitamin C Supplementation on Collagen Synthesis and Oxidative Stress After Musculoskeletal Injuries: A Systematic Review. Orthop J Sports Med. 2018 Oct 25;6(10):2325967118804544.
43 thoughts on “The 5 Best Ways to Increase Collagen In Your Skin (Naturally)”
Yes, no reason why it won’t…
Will the infrared light therapy help areas where liposuction has been done
Red light therapy can help with sleep problems, yes, but you’ll need a programmable red light bulb. As for hair growth, you can use a near-infrared bulb or laser cap for hair growth.
Does this red light at-home gadget aid in waking up and stimulating hair follicles to promote hair growth?
Treatment time with red light therapy depends on the device. There are face masks, handheld devices, 2-panel devices (which cover your entire face), and more.
The results differ because we are all different. It takes about 1-2 months to see significant results, and for some people, it only reduces fine lines and wrinkles, and for others, it helps with skin tone as well. The only way to know is to try it out… good luck!
Thanks for the article. How many minutes a Day should you use red light therapy on your face and how often to see results? Can it help fill the face out or only smooth lines? Thanks!
I have a gym membership at Planet Fitness for $20/mo that includes full-body red light therapy. I am in no way compensated for this plug. But it’s an inexpensive option to try out red light therapy. I love it, but don’t use it consistently enough to see the results I would like.
I don’t believe that the dermapen caused a permanent damage to your skin. If the infrared bulb has not helped yet, I would consider trying a few infrared sauna treatments to detox your body. Many people who did these treatments improved their overall health, and were surprised to find their skin improving greatly as well. Worth a try in my opinion.
Dear Metal James,
I did a treatment in October by a beautician with a derma pen. After 4 weeks my skin began to feel lax and lost substance.. I read on REALSELF more of these side effects with this treatment.
I am really really depressed by this. My skin feels not the same, If I smile I have those crepey lines I did not have before. Another beautician who works holistically said it will heal..It is now 4.5 months post en it did not make much progression..
I bought the ruby lux infrared bulb and started 5 weeks ago for my face. I don’t feel much improvement yet. Is there another device you recommend that maybe will work better for me?
I think the red light would work very well for crepy skin, also research CoQ10 for thickening the skin. Lotions with q10 are very good for we gals with thin skin. I would say at your 78 years young, I do not recommend any exercise in a sauna. Just my own opinion and not to go against anyone else.
I think in your case the most helpful thing would be infrared sauna treatments. If you can exercise a bit (very mildly) inside an infrared sauna – you may see quick results.
I am beginning to get crepey skin on my upper arms, upper thighs, and chest. I hate it. I weigh 98lbs
exercise and eat all of the foods you suggest. I just turned 78 years old but actually look much younger.
will this red light therapy work for me.? By the way, my arms are thin and have muscle build-up.
I need help, please.
What can help to heal vitiligo?
Great tip Lina…thanks! 🙂
What about tap, tap, tapping one’s face, specifically around the eyes to increase circulation? I’ve also used my electric toothbrush for that same reason, of course with some eye cream so as not to be abrasive on my delicate eye area. It really brings circulation to the area!
I think all those will help, along with boosting the blood circulation by hanging your head upside down like you said. I would also recommend red light therapy. I use a red LED face mask right now and I already see results after only one week. I love it!
Hi! I’m 20 years old. Is this a good way to prevent saggy dull skin? Also, if I were to take a tablespoon (or more) of avocado oil every day, take the Vitamin C supplement (the one you shared) every day, and drink a cup of the white tea every day, would that be a great way to begin boosting collagen and begin seeing results? Would my skin be more noticeably glowing?
Also, if I were to hang my head over my bed three times a day for 5 minutes, would that take a while before I see results?
Sorry for all the questions!
Thank you 🙂
Does This red light work on acne scars. Thanks.
Nope, never too late.
Is there an age limit on trying to boost collagen naturally considering it starts decreasing with age? Would it be too late at 40? Thanks
I found my red light unit on eBay for about 30 dollars. It has green, red, and blue light therapy with ultrasound. (Which ultrasound I did not like, it made my skin start to sag.) It is called a photon therapy light. Don’t forget to use your goggles.
Which red light would you prefer? Im very interested in trying this but there are just so many out there on the market. Thanks!
Do suction devices work to stimulate blood circulation?
This is based on my research and experience. I have a red light home device for about 2 years and very happy with it. However, if there is a link to a red light home device on Amazon in the post, it is an affiliate link. This means that if you purchase I receive a small commission. The price is the same whether you order it from my link or not. I only link to products I know and trust and use the small commissions to maintain this blog.
I hope this answers your questions and thanks for stopping by:)
do you receive pay in any form from anyone/any company for promoting the red light therapy? Or is this truly based upon your research and your experience?
There are links to them on Amazon, check them out 🙂
where could i find these red light therapy devices??
Yes, the red light can tighten sagging skin, but the results differ from one person to another. It would require at least 2 months of continuous treatments 3-4 times a week, and 1-2 times a week after that to keep the results.
Yes, the red light can tighten sagging skin, but the results differ from one person to another. It would require continuous treatments (3-4 times a week) for a 2 months (some people see results only after 2 months) and maintenance treatments 1-2 times a week after that, to keep the results.
Will the red light also tighten lose skin? I am 68 and have lost some weight, especially in my face and would like to tighten sagging skin and neck.
Thanks for your comment.
You are right about yoga, the problem is you have to increase circulation in the specific area where you want more collagen. For most of it’s our face. Red light therapy is a little more “targeted” in that sense (I have my own device and the results are noticeable).
Thanks again for your input!:)
Red light therapy ……..which stimulates blood circulation ,right!
So i suggest instead of this expensive intrument i will say there are lots of asanas in yoga …..which stimulates blood circulation …and i can guarantee …..yoga will help a lot in it ……which is FREE of cost
Hope this helps
Yes Juanita, no reason why not.
Will the infrared light therapy help areas where liposuction has been done?
Give your body a chance to reproduce new nerve and skin cells. Anyway, it’s worth a try. I would also suggest trying infrared light therapy.
will this work if you have loose skin after a casearian, Mine became loose instantly after the big cut and its never been the same, some say the nerves are damaged hence loose skin. i am more concerned about this area.
Yes, it’s a difficult question, I can only share my own experience with you…for me it took about a month. At least. Other people I know reported less time, about 2-3 weeks of use.
You’ll never know until you try…:)
I know this will be hard one to answer, since our skin is different to the next person. But on average how long until you begin to notice a difference a good difference with your skin by using the red light therapy, weeks, months?
That sounds like a great idea, you could even throw in some inverting with an inversion table…But, that will increase blood flow, like you said – To your head (mainly your brain) and not specific problem areas in the facial skin…
But, good thinking overall:)
Why not ditch the red light therapy and use yoga shoulder stand to increase blood supply to your head or alternatively hang your head over the edge of your bed for 5 minutes 2-3 times daily.
Red light therapy is a specific wavelength that is needed to get the benefits, it’s not just a light bulb colored red.
As for the hair, yes, red light therapy improves circulation and thus brings more nutrients to hair follicles and cab encourage hair growth.
Also, does this red light home device help stimulate and awaken hair follicles to encourage hair growth?
I am a retiree with a very very modest pension income. Will my heat lamp with a red incandescent or grow light bulb? All the other nutritional supplements I can handle finance wise but the red light therapy home device is a too much for me to handle the cost–Sincerely-Larry