Looking for plump, smooth, younger-looking skin? Discover how to rebuild collagen and tighten sagging skin with these top tips from leading aesthetic doctor, Dr Galyna

Collagen. It’s the bouncy protein that makes up the main scaffolding of our skin. It’s what gives our skin strength and elasticity and it’s responsible for making our complexions look smooth, youthful, plump and supple. But, as we hit our twenties our collagen depletes rapidly.

‘Production starts to dwindle in our mid-to-late 20s and early 30s and we start losing 1% of our collagen per year after that,’ explains Dr Galyna Selezneva, a leading aesthetic doctor. ‘By 40, collagen drops dramatically, leading to signs of aging such as wrinkles, skin sagging and skin drying.’

‘Collagen is particularly important because of the fact that it supports your skin and provides structure for it. It also works with another protein called elastin to aid the skin’s flexibility so that it can stretch and return to shape when you move and also when you grow or your body changes shape during puberty, pregnancy and weight gain,’ she adds.

And while face creams may help to give the appearance of plumper skin, they may have limitations since collagen molecules are too large to be absorbed by our skin.

5 ways to rebuild collagen and tighten sagging skin: 

1) Rebuild collagen with hyaluronic acid

‘Hyaluronic acid is an incredibly important compound for building collagen in the skin. It is found in foods rich in amino acids, such as beans, root vegetables, and soy. Adding hyaluronic acid to the diet through food can easily help to boost collagen levels.

‘An injectable hyaluronic acid can also provide great results. Profhilo is an injectable skin remodelling treatment containing one of the highest concentrations of Hyaluronic Acid (HA) on the market.’

2) Fight free radicals with Vitamin C

Vitamin C plays an incredibly important role in protecting the skin and creating more collagen in the body. ‘Vitamin C can be taken as a supplement or added to the skin, and is found in many foods. Citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, papaya, strawberries, and broccoli are all rich in vitamin C,’ explains Dr Galyna.

‘Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that fights against free radicals such as pollution. The pollutants cause inflammation, which is the root of numerous skin issues, including breakouts, a breakdown of collagen, and excess melanin production that leads to dark spots.

‘Combining Vitamin C with other active ingredients like retinol in your skincare regimen is a good idea. Use vitamin C after cleansing in the morning and before SPF and then use a retinol in the evening after cleansing.’

3. Try radiofrequency to smooth your skin

A Thermage FLX treatment uses radiofrequency technology to heat the deeper, collagen-rich layers of the skin. The applied heat causes collagen to contract and encourages new collagen to start growing. This helps create smoother skin after just one treatment with results that continue to improve.

‘One of the most effective – and indeed most popular – treatments is proven to be Thermage FLX – a treatment that relies on non-invasive radiofrequency to tighten and smoothen the skin.

‘Thermage FLX is a treatment which addresses signs of ageing in several different areas of the face, including the sagging of the skin on the forehead, the eyelids and tightening the jawline,’ says Dr Galyna.

4.  Try dry brushing to tighten sagging skin

Dry brushing has been practiced for centuries and is a type of Ayurvedic medicine. According to the experts, it has many benefits for both the skin and our overall health.

‘I’m a big believer in the importance of lymphatic drainage for the face as a way of removing toxins, increasing circulation and reducing puffiness, and dry brushing helps to do this for the body,’ says Dr Galyna.

‘It increases circulation and exfoliates the skin, stimulates the lymphatic system and aids the body’s natural way of getting rid of toxins and is also believed to help break down fatty deposits under the skin that can result in cellulite,’ she explains.

5.  Always wear SPF to protect skin’s collagen and elastin

‘Not wearing sunscreen will leave the skin exposed to the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Ultraviolet radiation causes DNA changes to the skin that can lead to premature ageing and of course, in some cases skin cancer,’ says Dr Galyna.

‘Sun damage can destroy the collagen and elastin in your skin too. Collagen and elastin degradation in the deeper skin layers can result in premature signs of skin ageing, such as wrinkles and fine lines. This is because your skin loses its elasticity and firmness.

‘We need to be wearing an SPF of at least 50 on the face. Once you’ve applied your broad-spectrum SPF you should reapply it every two hours.’

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