Does your face seem more sunken than usual? If you’re a fan of dermal filler injections, you’re not imagining things.

The stress of COVID combined with the demands of lockdown have left many of us on Team Costhetics looking a little haggard, to be honest. Imagine how thrilled we were (and you’ll be) to learn that you can plump your skin from the inside out by simply adjusting your diet.

How much plumping can you hope to achieve? Consider this: female study participants who took a chicken-derived collagen supplement daily for 12 weeks had:

  • 76% less skin dryness
  • 12% fewer visible wrinkles
  • 6% higher collagen levels
  • Improved circulation to the skin

Let’s eat!

1. The Incredible Edible Egg White

Egg whites give your body a heap of ingredients it uses to form collagen. These include lysine and proline, both of which have important roles in collagen production. Egg whites also have the distinction of being rich in collagen itself.

2. Oh Boy, Soy!

In addition to protein, soymilk, tofu, and soy products of every stripe contain genistein. Genistein is an isoflavone researchers have studied for use in the Dietary Management of Skin Health. It binds to estrogen receptors associated with collagen production, which decline with age, especially in menopausal women.

3. Bone Broth: Protein You Can Sip

Would you like your collagen with a side of super nutrition and delicious taste? If so, then bone broth is for you. Bone broth is, as the name suggests, made from bones, themselves rich in collagen. That collagen can boost your collagen, keeping your skin plump and firm. Bone broth is also rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc, making it an all-around good health choice.

4. Kiwi: So Close & You Didn’t even Know It

Enjoy some kiwi fruit with your egg white omelette and you’re giving your body a major collagen boost. Kiwis are rich in vitamin C and help the amino acids lysine and proline convert to collagen. Another skin-friendly benefit of the sunshine vitamin is its ability to help neutralise the free radicals responsible for breaking down elastin and collagen in the skin.

5. Capsicum: Make Mine Red

Red capsicums are rich in the same vitamin C that makes kiwis good for your skin, but they have so much more to offer. Red produce – tomatoes, peppers, beets – all contain lycopene. An antioxidant, lycopene acts as a natural sunblock and increases collagen levels, too.

6. Sweet News for Sweet Potato Lovers

Sweet potatoes and other orange vegetables such as carrots contain oodles of beta-carotene and provitamin A carotenoids. These substances help destroy free radicals that break down collagen. They can also help restore and regenerate previously damaged collagen.

7. Shell Game: Oysters

When it’s time for your body to start producing collagen, it turns to its supply of copper, manganese, and zinc. To keep your supply ready for the demand, slurp down a few oysters. Low in calories and high in healthy benefits, they also get high marks for being one of the most sustainable seafood choices you can make. (Would it be impolite to mention that oysters are also known for their aphrodisiac properties?)

8. Sauerkraut: Your Fermentation Friend

The same fermentation process that gives sauerkraut its tang also creates a strain of probiotic bacteria. These bacteria, superoxide dismutase, produces a powerful antioxidant (superoxide dismutase) that may prevent the breakdown of collagen by reducing the production of free radicals.

9. Garlic: Sulphur Goodness & a Wicked Smell

Garlic lovers rejoice! You sometimes smell, but our always delicious favourite contains sulphur, an element necessary for collagen synthesis. Adding more garlic (sulphur) to your diet can help your body maintain its collagen production levels. Sulphur is also necessary to synthesise glutathione, one of the most important antioxidants in the body. Here’s the cherry on the garlic cake: sulphur provides the body with lipoic acid and taurine that help rebuild collagen fibres that have been damaged.

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