Natural ways to boost collagen with lifestyle and herbal magic



Published Jun 11, 2024


As we age, the importance of nurturing a positive relationship with our body’s natural processes becomes increasingly apparent.

Collagen, the protein that serves as the scaffolding for our skin, declines as we step into our 20s, and this marks the beginning of visible ageing signs such as wrinkles and sagging skin.

While we cannot halt time, understanding and respecting the relationship between genetics, environmental factors and lifestyle choices can make a world of difference to our skin health.

The primary role of collagen in skin rejuvenation cannot be overstated: it fosters the growth of new cells, thus promoting the skin’s youthfulness and elasticity.

The primary role of collagen in skin rejuvenation cannot be overstated; it fosters the growth of new cells, maintaining the skin's youthfulness and elasticity. Picture: Jessica Felicio /Unsplash

These outside factors, along with our own choices like smoking, hitting the bottle a bit too often, not-so-great eating habits and dealing with stress, can team up to mess with our body's collagen levels.

Skincare and anti-ageing products often crowd the shelves with grand promises, yet a closer inspection of their components can reveal a less-than-glamorous reality.

Many of these products contain chemicals that may offer the allure of quick fixes, but potentially have harmful effects on the skin in the long run.

Traditional medicine brings us the gentle magic of natural herbs, which have been cherished for centuries for their skin-loving superpowers. These botanical wonders can help our skin heal and thrive without the not-so-friendly side effects of synthetic ingredients.

Simple lifestyle tweaks can be collagen's bestie. Shielding yourself from the sun, eating nutritious food, and giving tobacco and excess sugar the cold shoulder can give your body's collagen production a boost and keep it from waving the white flag too soon.

When you team up these lifestyle changes with the goodness of natural herbs, known for their skin-repairing prowess, it's like giving your skin a big ol' hug.

This all-around approach is like a love letter to your skin, helping it stay vibrant and resilient, no matter how many candles you've blown out on your birthday cake.

Signs that your skin on your body may be lacking collagen can include:

Wrinkles and fine lines: Reduced collagen levels can lead to the formation of wrinkles and fine lines on the skin, particularly in areas exposed to the sun and prone to repetitive movements, such as the face, neck and hands.

Sagging skin: A decrease in collagen can result in loss of skin elasticity, leading to sagging or drooping skin, especially in areas like the cheeks, jawline and abdomen.

Dry and dull skin: Insufficient collagen can contribute to dry, rough and lacklustre skin, as collagen plays a role in maintaining skin hydration and radiance.

Stretch marks: Diminished collagen levels can make the skin less resilient, potentially leading to the development of stretch marks, especially during periods of rapid growth or weight changes.

Reduced wound healing: Collagen is essential for skin regeneration and wound healing. If your skin takes longer to heal from cuts, bruises or other injuries, it could be a sign of decreased collagen levels.

How do you restore collagen in your body?

Unfortunately, once your body starts to produce less collagen, there’s no way to encourage it to begin making the levels it once did. Therefore, you have to find alternate ways to get enough collagen into your system.

You can do this by eating more collagen-rich foods and taking supplements. Additionally, reduce your exposure to UV rays and tobacco.

4 Herbs that stimulate collagen production

Recent research on herbal formulations used by the SAD community in Indonesia for skin beauty treatments, reported by Research on Medicinal Plants and Herbs, indicates that 64 plant species are used for skin care.

Among these plants, Toona sinensis, Curcuma heyneana, Curcuma zedoaria, Curcuma longa, and Kaempferia rotunda are the most commonly used medicinal plants with anti-aging properties.

Ginseng: This herb that has become popular for skincare in Western society primarily thanks to K-beauty or Korean beauty. K-beauty refers to skincare products developed in South Korea and sold worldwide.

According to experts, ginseng not only slows down the body’s natural loss of collagen but also has the potential to support new collagen production.

Cinnamon: A study published in 2012 found that applying cinnamon extract to the skin increases collagen production. And the best part is it smells wonderful.

Gingko: Gingko (Ginkgo biloba) is one of the oldest trees on the planet. It is a potent free radical scavenger and anti-inflammatory and when combined with vitamin C, it boosts the synthesis of collagen.

Turmeric: No talk about skin health would be complete without mentioning Turmeric (Curcuma longa), a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.

Turmeric has many well-studied health benefits; but in terms of skin health, it has been shown to increase levels of Type 1 procollagen, which our bodies use to produce collagen.

The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions of turmeric help to prevent sun and environmental damage to your skin.