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How to Rebuild Collagen in the Face Using These 7 Steps

Do you want to know how to rebuild collagen in the face? This post gives you seven simple steps you can start today to increase your body’s collagen naturally.

Collagen is essential for healthy skin. It provides a supportive structure and gives the skin its elasticity and bounciness.

The amount of collagen in your body reduces as you get older and as you are exposed to UV radiation or pollution in your environment. Typically this decline in collagen starts when you are in your 20s and then drops by about 1% every year.

As your skin starts to loose the elasticity that collagen gives it, you will start to see fine lines, wrinkles and crepey skin.

The good news is it’s not too late to start boosting your collagen levels! This post contains seven steps you can start taking right now to get the bounce back into your skin.

How to Rebuild Collagen in the Face

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure here.

Signs of Collagen Loss in the Face

As we get older our bodies produce less collagen. Signs of collagen loss include dull skin, facial wrinkles, sagging skin, and sallowness. Since collagen strengthens the walls of our blood vessels, a loss of collagen can also lead to broken capillaries, or “spider veins” that appear beneath the skin’s surface.

These are all normal signs of aging. Since collagen also makes up our connective tissues, your joints start to experience more wear and tear as they get older, and may begin to ache.

The image below shows the difference between youthful skin on the left, and older skin with less collagen on the right.

How to Rebuild Collagen in the Face

What Destroys Collagen Production

As you get older the things that can increase the rate that you loose collagen include eating too much sugar, excess sun exposure, and smoking. The biggest factor that causes our skin to age faster is sun damage. There are proven links between loss of collagen in facial skin, and exposure to UV light.

How to Increase Collagen Naturally

There are many lifestyle changes you can make to increase your collagen levels naturally. In this post I explore seven steps you can start straight away which includes things like eating a healthy diet, using the right skin cream, having red light therapy, exercising your facial muscles, and preventing water loss to the skin.

How Long Does it Take for Collagen to Regenerate?

Depending on what steps you are taking to increase your collagen levels, it may take up for four months before you start to notice a difference in your skin tone. Treatments such as dermal fillers will produce immediate results, but if you are trying to increase collagen naturally this could take anywhere from 4 weeks to 4 months.

How to Rebuild Collagen Under the Eyes

The first signs of aging normally start to show on the neck and under the eyes. As well as following the steps in this post, you may also wish to invest in a jade roller to gently stimulate the skin under the eyes. Check out the following post on how to prevent wrinkles forming under the eyes.

7 Steps to Rebuild Collagen in the Face

Follow these seven steps listed below to start rebuilding collagen in your face straight away.

1. Use Retinol, Peptides and Vitamin C in your Skincare Routine

Using the right ingredients in your skincare routine is essential to help stimulate new collagen production. The best ingredients to look for are retinol, peptides and vitamin C. Applying collagen directly to the skin will not help since the collagen molecule is too large for the skin to absorb. Retinol, peptides and vitamin C all work to boost your skin’s own collagen production.

How to Rebuild Collagen in the Face with Retinol

Retinol has been proven to boost collagen production. The following two articles are worth reading. They look closely at some of the evidence we have that retinol increases the elasticity of your skin.

If you are new to using retinol then I recommend you read The Beginner’s Guide To Retinoids Vs Retinol In Skincare before you start.

When I first started using Retinol I used a very mild product since it can cause dryness and flaking. The product I recommend for beginners, because it has such a low dose of Retinol, is the Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramide Capsules.

The Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramide Capsules are available at: Amazon | Elizabeth Arden | Boots

Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramide Capsules
Sale
Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramide Capsules Line Erasing Night Serum, 30-Piece
  • Gently Twist Tab Twice To Open Capsule. Smooth Serum Over Cleansed Face And Neck Nightly Before Your...
  • Visibly Diminish The Look Of Lines And Wrinkles, Improve Skin Texture, Tone, And Clarity With...
  • Retinol Enhances Skin’S Natural Collagen To Visibly Reduce Lines And Wrinkles Whilst Ceramides...
  • A Targeted, High-Powered Anti-Aging Night Serum
  • Improves Skin Texture, Tone & Clarity Each Night

Last update on 2022-11-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How to Rebuild Collagen in the Face with Peptides

Peptides when applied topically can also help signal the skin to produce more collagen.

They are are short chains of amino acids which act as building blocks in your skin and are responsible for your skin’s texture, strength and resilience.

Peptides are able to penetrate the top layer of skin and send signals to yours cells to produce more collagen.

My favourite products containing peptides are by Estee Lauder.

The Estee Lauder Resilience Multi-Effect Tri-Peptide Eye Creme is available at Amazon | Boots | Estee Lauder

Last update on 2022-11-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How to Rebuild Collagen in the Face with Vitamin C

Vitamin C is essential in collagen synthesis, and also has antioxidant properties. It therefore helps both in boosting your skin’s collagen production and preventing damage to collagen caused by free radicals.

For further reading on Vitamin C in skincare I recommend the following articles:

My favourite Vitamin C serum is the Indeed Labs C24 which contains 22% vitamin C.

The Indeed Labs Vitamin C24 is available at: Amazon | Boots | Superdrug

Indeed Labs Vitamin C24
Sale
Indeed Labs Vitamin C24, 30 ml IN911
  • Reduces the appearance of premature ageing, fine lines, and wrinkles
  • Improves the appearance and feel of skin
  • Restores skin's youthful, glowing, radiant, and luminous appearance
  • Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant
  • Phtalate-free

Last update on 2022-11-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2. Protect Your Skin from UV Radiation with a good SPF

UV radiation plays a major role in the degradation of your collagen levels. The single biggest thing you can do to slow down this degradation is to wear sun protection every single day.

I use a sunscreen with SPF 50 every day and my current choice is Elizabeth Arden Prevage City Smart. It’s a broad spectrum mineral sunscreen so it blocks out both UVA and UVB rays with a combination of zinc and titanium dioxide.

I find it very hydrating and it also contains a tint (a bit like a BB cream).

This product is not only a SPF but also contains anti-pollution ingredients creating a barrier against pollutants in the air such as car exhaust and cigarette smoke. It also neutralises free radical damage caused by pollution.

The Elizabeth Arden Prevage City Smart is available at: Amazon | Boots | Elizabeth Arden

Elizabeth Arden Prevage City Smart
Elizabeth Arden Prevage City Smart Anti-Pollution Shield SPF50, 38ml
  • Visibly improves skin’s condition and maintains optimal skin health even in the most heavily...
  • Outsmart pollution. Outsmart the sun. Outsmart visible aging. The first-of-its-kind skin shield to...
  • Apply to pulse points such as the folds in the crook of your elbow, wrist, neck and cleavage....
  • Defends against 98% of harmful UVB rays with a Broad Spectrum SPF 50 formula containing 100%...
  • Visibly improves skin’s condition and maintains optimal skin health even in the most heavily...

Last update on 2022-11-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

I also love the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Daily Defense Moisturiser which has a broad spectrum SPF 35. This moisturiser is slightly lighter than Prevage City Smart and does not have a tint.

The Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Daily Defense Moisturiser is available at: Amazon | Look Fantastic | Elizabeth Arden

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Daily Defense Moisturiser

Last update on 2022-11-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Other ways to protect your skin from UV radiation is to include ingredients such as niacinamide, azaleic acid, reservatrol, vitamin E, green tea and vitamin C into your skincare routine. These ingredients all neutralise free radicals caused by UV rays.

3. Ensure your Skin is Well Hydrated by Using Hyaluronic Acid

The more hydrated your skin is, the better the environment it gives for collagen to thrive.

In order to keep your skin well hydrated I recommend using hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid holds over a thousand times its weight in water and ensures moisture is retained in your skin.

I use hyaluronic acid topically as well as taking supplements. The products I recommend are:

Hyaluronic Acid supplements by Wild Nutrition

Available at: Amazon | Wild Nutrition | Revital

Wild Nutrition’s supplements contain extra low weight hyaluronic acid which has been clinically proven to reach the skin surface.

By having extra low weight it ensures optimum absorption in the skin layer.

I wrote about this product in my article 5 Proven Ways to Reduce Under Eye Wrinkles

Hada Labo Super Hydrator lotion

Available at: Amazon | Superdrug

This product contains three different molecule sizes of hyaluronic acid designed to rehydrate your skin at multiple levels. 

Hada Labo Super Hydrator lotion
Hada Labo Tokyo Anti Ageing Super Hydrator Lotion, Fragrance Free, 150 ml
  • Winner of Best Skincare Treatment 2022 Beauty Awards
  • Multi Layer Hydration With 4 Different Types of Hyaluronic Acid
  • contains Collagen and Retinol
  • Fragrance Free
  • Suitable for Sensitive Skin

Last update on 2022-11-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

I reviewed this product in my article Japan’s Number 1 Skincare Line

Hydraluron Intense Moisture Lotion

Available at: Amazon | Superdrug | Cult Beauty

Hydraluron Intense Moisture Lotion

This product is similar to the Hada Labo Super Hydrator Lotion in that it also contains three different molecular weights of hyaluronic acid.

I found that this product was a very different texture to the Hada Labo serum in that it was thicker and creamier (the Hada Labo serum is very watery).

Sometimes I like to use these together if my skin feels particularly dehydrated. I find that the Hada Labo product is more of a serum whereas the Hydraluron Intense Moisture Lotion can be used as a moisturiser.

Indeed Labs Hydraluron Intense Moisture Lotion, 30ml
  • Provides a multi-layer, long-lasting moisture barrier
  • Leaves parched skin looking and feeling plumped, smooth and hydrated
  • Improves elasticity
  • Decreases the appearance of wrinkles and premature ageing
  • Phthalate-free

Last update on 2022-11-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

I reviewed this product in my article Hydraluron Intense Moisture Lotion

4. Eat a Diet that will help your body produce collagen

Eat Vitamin C Rich Foods

Vitamin C helps with the production of collagen and can boost collagen levels in your body. The following foods contain Vitamin C:

  • peppers
  • broccoli
  • spinach
  • citrus fruits

I also take a vitamin C supplement which contains a form of vitamin c that is encapsulated in lipids to stop the body eliminating it.

The Altrient C Liposomal Vitamin C is available at: Amazon | BodyKind | Planet Organic

Altrient C - Liposomal Vitamin C - Lypospheric Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C -Vitamin C 1000mg - 30 Sachets
  • MAXIMISED ABSORPTION - Altrient Liposomal Vitamin C uses patented Liposomal Encapsulation Technology...
  • CLINICALLY PROVEN - Double blind, placebo controlled, clinically proven to significantly Increase...
  • 1000mg VITAMIN C and extra 500mg phosphatidylcholine per sachet.
  • RIGOROUSLY TESTED - every batch of Altrient is tested to ensure a high level of liposomal...
  • PURE FORMULATION - In other formulas, extra additions like sweeteners can potentially degrade the...

Last update on 2022-11-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This particular form of vitamin c has been proven to increase the elasticity of the skin over time.  

A study showed that over 16 weeks this supplement can increase your skin’s firmness and elasticity by 61.4%. It also leads to a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on both the face and body. You can read the study that was done here.

Eat Proline Rich Foods

Proline is an amino acid that plays a role in collagen production. The following foods contain proline:

  • Asparagus
  • Mushrooms
  • Cabbage
  • Eggs and Dairy
  • Meat
  • Bone broth

Eat Glycine Rich Foods

Glycine also plays a vital role in collagen production. The following foods contain glycine:

  • Beans
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Eggs and Dairy
  • Meat and Fish
  • Bone broth

The main food I always include in my diet which I recommend to boost your collagen levels is Bone Broth.

Bone Broth contains both glycine and proline (two essential amino acids to boost collagen levels). It also contains minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, manganese, zinc and sodium.

Eat Lysine Rich Foods

The third amino acid that plays a role in supporting collagen production is Lysine. The following foods contain lysine:

  • Legumes
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Cheese, particularly parmesan
  • Cod and Sardines
  • Eggs
  • Soybeans

Eat Foods Rich in Copper

Copper plays an important role in maintaining collagen so eating foods rich in copper may help to boost your collagen levels. The following foods contain copper:

  • Nuts
  • Red Meat
  • Spirulina
  • Shiitake Mushrooms
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Leafy Greens

Eat Foods Rich in Vitamin A

The following foods contain vitamin A:

  • Liver
  • Egg Yolks
  • Carrots
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Cod Liver Oil
  • Orange and yellow vegetables and fruits

Eat Foods Rich in Sulphur

Foods rich in sulphur aid the formation of collagen and also help to maintain healthy pigmentation. The following foods contains sulphur:

  • Beans
  • Cabbage
  • Garlic
  • Eggs
  • Fish and Meat
  • Fruit

5. Supplements to Increase Collagen Production

If you have a poor diet, collagen supplements are a good way to increase the body’s collagen levels. This High Strength Marine Collagen Supplement is combined with hyaluronic acid and vitamin C to support natural collagen production, and help delay the aging process.

Dietary supplements are an easy way to get enough collagen if you are not eating a balanced diet. They help to give the skin a youthful appearance, and can also help to strengthen the hair and nails.

You can buy collagen supplements at: Amazon | Boots | Holland and Barrett

High Strength Hydrolysed Marine Collagen Supplement for Women – Powerful 1300mg Type 1 Collagen...
  • Highly Bioavailable Marine Collagen with Hyaluronic Acid – VITAMINI Advanced Collagen complex uses...
  • VITAMINI Advanced Collagen Skin Vitamins – Enriched with vitamin C and E for optimal results....
  • Hair and Nails Vitamins for Women – Expertly formulated high strength hair skin and nails vitamins...
  • Joint Care Supplements – Collagen nutritional supplements promote joint and bone health. Collagen...
  • Supports Gut Health – Fish peptides in our collagen supplements hold a unique patent on gut...

Last update on 2022-11-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

6. Cut Out Sugar and Smoking

How Your Sugar Intake Effects Your Collagen Levels

Excessive sugar consumption may lead to glycation. This is a process where the sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins in your body. It can cause collagen to become weak and brittle and make your skin more likely to wrinkle.

I would recommend cutting out refined sugar from your diet completely. You should check breakfast cereals and store bought products for added sugar. This article on the NHS website may help you find sources of sugar in your diet of which you may not be aware.

A diet with foods containing a low glycemic index can also help to stop spikes in your blood sugar levels. Examples of foods with low GI include oatmeal and barley.

I try to cut out refined sugar completely and make my food from scratch so I know exactly what is in it. I am aware in today’s world we need to find a balance between remaining healthy and also enjoying life so I will occasionally still have a desert on my birthday or special occasions!

How Smoking Effects Collagen Levels

Many of the chemicals in tobacco smoke damage collagen. As a result people who smoke long term will find their skin begins to wrinkle prematurely. If you are a smoker I have listed some resources below which may help you to stop smoking.

7. Rebuild Collagen in the Face with Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy is a great way to stimulate collagen production since it’s effective and has no side effects. Red light is well known for being able to speed up wound healing. It works well at reducing scars and minimising the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. You can find out more information about red light therapy in my post on red light therapy for acne scars.

Red Light Therapy Device to help rebuild collagen in the face

Red Light Therapy devices are available at: Amazon or you can have treatment at a Clinic

Hangsun Light Therapy Acne Treatment LED Mask FT350 Facial Therapy Unlimited Sessions for Acne Face...
  • Features Proved Light Therapy Technology - Individually 3 lights(bule/red/orange). Blue and red...
  • Unlimited Light Treatment Sessions - No activators needed, powered by USB port or portable battery...
  • Free of Chemicals and UV Light - This face mask harnesses the power of proven technology to clear...
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  • Auto Treatment Timer - The light mask will shut off after 10 minutes, goggles are included for...

Last update on 2022-11-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Conclusion on How to Rebuild Collagen in the Face

Here is a recap of the 7 ways you can boost your collagen levels:

  1. Use Retinol, Peptides and Vitamin C in your Skincare Routine
  2. Protect Your Skin from UV Radiation with a Good SPF
  3. Ensure your Skin is Well Hydrated by Using Hyaluronic Acid
  4. Eat a Diet that will help your Body Produce Collagen
  5. Take Collagen Supplements
  6. Cut Out Sugar and Smoking
  7. Red Light Therapy

FAQs on How to Rebuild Collagen in the Face

What foods help produce collagen?

Your body produces collagen by combining amino acids that you get from protein rich foods. It is important therefore to get enough protein in your diet from foods such as meat, fish, beans, dairy and eggs. You should also aim to get enough vitamin C, zinc and copper by eating citrus fruits, peppers, broccoli, tomato, and leafy greens.

What are the side effects of taking collagen?

They may cause heart burn and acne.

What depletes collagen?

Exposure to UV radiation, pollution and cigarette smoke as well as too much sugar in your diet.

What is the best source of collagen?

Your body makes collagen by combining amino acids. The process requires protein, vitamin c, zinc and copper.

Does taking collagen really work?

There has been some evidence to suggest that taking collagen supplements over several months can improve skin elasticity. Other studies have also shown that collagen supplements can increase bone density and improve joint pain.

What is collagen made of?

Collagen is a protein made from the amino acids, glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and arginine.

You may also be interested in the following posts:

This post was all about How to Rebuild Collagen in the Face

Thank you for reading my post on how to rebuild collagen in the face. If you have tried any of these recommendations then please leave me a comment below and let me know how you got on.

Tami Sergio

Wednesday 24th of August 2022

Excellent and informative article

Dawn Swinson

Thursday 20th of February 2020

I have just started taking a collagen supplement. And I am trying to drink more water. My weakness is sugar. I can’t seem to cut it out. Thank you for the tips