These 3 Ingredients Are A+ For Firmer Skin & Restoring Collagen
When it comes to promoting healthy skin aging, a few noteworthy players receive the majority of fanfare. Take retinol, for example, which many could consider the gold standard for promoting collagen production and smoothing fine lines. Nothing against the vitamin A derivative (it's popular for a reason—it works!), but it's not the only option out there, especially if you're on the hunt for gentler methods.
Ahead, find a few more beloved ingredients for a dewier, bouncier complexion, no skin purging necessary:
We'll start with the most obvious: If you want to restore your natural collagen levels, one of the best things you can do is consume high-quality collagen peptides. Research shows these peptides are able to enhance your body's own collagen production1 by stimulating fibroblasts, those same cells that make collagen and elastin to begin with.
As a result, consuming collagen can support skin elasticity2 and potentially make fine lines appear smaller. One double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial also found that participants' moisture levels in the skin were seven times higher3 than those who did not take collagen supplements.
Topicals can also spur collagen production (glycolic acid, retinol, and the like), but if you want to secure firmer skin for the long haul, you'll want to consider going internal. Of course, not all collagen powders are created equal, as many don't contain the right dose and/or include unnecessary additives and fillers. No fear: Here, find the best options on the market, all backed by a nutrition Ph.D.
Thought we'd discuss collagen without mentioning good ol' vitamin C? Think again. Your body cannot effectively produce collagen without the antioxidant4; plus, it stabilizes the collagen you already have thanks to its antioxidant properties. Essentially: If you care about youthful skin, you need to have vitamin C in your skin care lineup, be it through topicals or ingestibles.
Some collagen powders may even include vitamin C in their formulas to make it easier for you, but even then you might want to consider your intake and make sure you get enough. If you are looking for an extra nudge, shop our favorite expert-backed vitamin C supplements here—or opt for a serum, if you'd rather go the topical route.
Hydrated skin is the cornerstone of smart skin care: Not only does proper hydration make your complexion appear plump and dewy, but consistent dehydration can lead to premature aging (think sagging skin and wrinkles) down the line.
You can slather on every hyaluronic acid serum you can get your paws on, but again, going internal may provide the glistening, juicy cherry on top. If your skin won't stay moisturized, experts specifically recommend ingesting ceramides; the ceramides naturally present in your skin are what help keep moisture locked inside (you can think of them as the "glue" holding your skin barrier together), but you can consume them orally to increase water retention and restore the lipid barrier.
Here, you can find our list of top-notch beauty supplements, a few of which include ceramides in their ingredient lists. Feel free to top off your skin care routine with a ceramide cream, too, for good measure.
If you're on a quest for firmer, bouncier skin, you have no shortage of options. As always, just make sure to patch test before applying a new product all over your face (this is more important for potent actives, like retinol). But these three ingredients above are generally well tolerated by most, so we bet you'll find success—not to mention, you can ingest them for inside-out support.
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.