As soon as we hit 30, our body's production of collagen, a structural protein that keeps skin firm and strong, starts to slow down. The best way to beef up your natural supply is to use ingredients that stimulate your body to produce more of it. Just make sure you're not limiting these super-star ingredients to your face—Shirley Chi, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Southern California, says the skin below your neck can equally benefit.
"As we age, our body’s collagen starts to degrade and becomes less dense under our skin," says Dr. Chi. "This process is worsened by sun exposure, as ultraviolet radiation from the sun causes collagen to break down faster. We can see the signs in fine lines and wrinkles on our skin, the puckering of skin around our elbows and knees, and the crepe-like texture of our arms, legs, and torsos. With regular use, collagen-stimulating body lotions can increase the level of collagen in your dermis and minimize fine lines and crepey skin."
The best ingredients that can help stimulate collagen production are retinoids, explains Dr. Chi. You can also look for alpha-hydroxy acids and beta-hydroxy acids, which trigger an intrinsic cellular mechanism that causes skin cells to think the skin is damaged, making it better at producing its own collagen over time. Peptides and growth factors are also great options.
In addition to using collagen-stimulating ingredients, make sure to use SPF, which helps retain the collagen you already have.
"Wear sunscreen daily on exposed areas such as their neck and arms," says Dr. Chi. "Sunscreen use daily is critical in the treatment and prevention of collagen breakdown on the body."
This skin-smoothing body lotion is made with a blend of retinol and antioxidants that firm skin and diminish the appearance of uneven skin tone. Plus, it includes moisturizing natural butters and plant oils to leave your skin nice and soft without any greasy feeling.
This lotion is a favorite of Deirdre Hooper, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Louisiana. “When I am really good about using this product, and I’m using it daily for at least a month, I do see an improvement in my skin’s quality overall,” says Dr. Hooper, who uses the cream on her arms, legs, and stomach.
Made with salicylic acid and glycolic acid, this formula will exfoliate your skin to leave it soft and smooth while also stimulating the production of collagen. It’s enhanced with green tea, chamomile, and comfrey extracts to heal and soothe.
This intensely hydrating body cream is made with Venn’s proprietary combination of prebiotics, probiotic ferments, postbiotics, amino acids, peptides, and hyaluronic acid, to help firm, plump, and hydrate skin.
This firming body serum from boscia is made with tetrapeptide-3 to stimulate cell renewal and firm skin by targeting premature and existing creases, folds, or ridges in the skin. It also includes niacinamide to promote protein synthesis, which improves overall skin texture; a soothing and anti-inflammatory blend of calendula extract, chamomile, bisabolol, and ginger root extract; and hyaluronic acid to deeply moisturize.
Tri-peptide, yeast extract, and hydrolyzed rice protein all work together in this lotion to smooth, tighten, and firm skin.
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