Level Up Your Sun Protection With This Simple Hack
Not to sound like a broken record, but sunscreen is arguably the best healthy aging skin care product on the market. If you’re not already lathering on SPF daily, take this as a sign to do so. Otherwise, your skin will suffer—on the surface and below.
For those already committed to daily sunscreen, we applaud you! But if you want to take your UV protection a step further, there is one more step you can do. Below, discover one of the best ways to support skin aging and level up your sun care—beyond a bottle of SPF.
How the sun damages your skin
Before we dive into the tip, let’s clarify exactly what UV rays do to your skin. In short, ultraviolet radiation has the ability to penetrate the epidermis where it damages the skin cells, proteins, and elastic fibers that keep skin firm.
As you likely already know from suntans, it triggers melanin production. While this can be great aesthetically for a short-term summer glow, it can also result in dark spots or "sun spots" in those prone to them already.
Finally, it has the ability to affect the skin cells' DNA. This all leads to what we call photoaging. "Skin photoaging is a result of the oxidative stress from UV radiation," board-certified dermatologist Kautilya Shaurya, M.D. previously told mbg.
Here’s the kicker: The collagen in your skin can also be damaged by UV rays—and collagen is what keeps it looking taut and plump. So even if you’re not concerned about dark spots (lucky you), tight and firm skin is still at stake.
How to support your collagen production
As mentioned earlier, SPF is the best way to support your skin topically. But if you look at skin aging through with a more holistic lens, you’ll see that collagen support is the best way to encourage a youthful complexion from within.
When you ingest collagen, specifically in the form of hydrolyzed collagen peptides, you’re supporting skin elasticity and dermal collagen density1.
There’s a lot of fog around how exactly collagen supplements work (if at all). While the skepticism is valid and welcome, hydrolyzed collagen peptides have been shown to help promote the body's natural production of collagen2 and other molecules that make up the skin, like elastin and fibrillin.
But if you’re going to give collagen supplementation a shot, don’t skimp on quality. Look for hydrolyzed peptides and additional skin-supporting ingredients like vitamin C (as it’s essential for collagen production), hyaluronic acid, or ceramides. This way, your daily ritual will be worth the extra step and the money you pay for it.
To help you sort through the plethora of collagen supplements on the market, we carefully curated the best options into this list—all of which have been approved by a nutrition Ph.D.
If you already wear SPF daily but want to support your skin even more, consider addressing skin aging at the source and focus on your collagen production. One way to do so is by adding a collagen supplement to your daily routine—and a high quality supplement at that. If you want to dive deeper into the nuances of sun damage and proper sun care, check out our breakdown here.
Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more. She previously interned for Almost 30, a top-rated health and wellness podcast. In her current role, Hannah reports on the latest beauty trends, holistic skincare approaches, must-have makeup products, and inclusivity in the beauty industry. She currently lives in New York City.