There Are 6 Ways to Boost Collagen in Your Skin at Home

“You can support existing collagen and new production by eating a healthy diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins, the latter of which contains amino acids, the building blocks of protein — remember, collagen is also a protein,” says Geeta Yadav, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Toronto. “Bone broth is a great source of all of these nutrients. I’d recommend making it yourself over buying it, ideally over several days — the end product should be thick and gelatinous when chilled or at room temperature, which is an indication that it’s rich in collagen.”

Board-certified dermatologist Ava Shamban, MD, recommends seeking out antioxidant rich foods — blueberries, strawberries, spinach, nuts — while Dr. Yadav and Kelly Dobos, a cosmetic chemist, tout vitamin C as an important nutrient to consume rather than just apply topically.

“Collagen synthesis is a complex process and ingested vitamin C is an important factor in innate collagen production,” explains Dobos. “The best way to ensure you’re getting enough vitamin C is to eat a balanced diet.” Dr. Yadav points to dark leafy greens and citrus fruits as two vitamin-C rich foods to add to your grocery list.

Can Collagen Supplements or Drinkable Collagen Boost Collagen in the Skin?

The short answer: You’re way better off eating a big salad than stocking up on collagen supplements or drinkable collagen.

“Despite popular belief that collagen supplements can help strengthen our skin, we have little data to truly support this,” Joshua Zeichner, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and director of cosmetic & clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City previously told Allure. “Collagen is a large molecule that is digested by our intestines into smaller pieces when taken by mouth, so when we ingest powders or supplements, our skin is not seeing the full collagen molecule, but rather protein fragments or individual amino acids.” And there’s no reason to believe that drinking collagen or taking collagen supplements will get more collagen to your face: “[Collagen] doesn’t know where to go in your body,” Keri Gans a registered dietician and nutritionist in New York City, previously told Allure. “It’s not like that.”

Do Any At-Home Devices Boost Collagen?

There are thousands of skin-care devices on the market, but there’s one category our experts (and clinical studies) have given a ringing endorsement when it comes to boosting collagen.

“Light therapy, specifically a device that uses both red and infrared light, is the easiest way to promote collagen production at home,” says Dr. Yadav, pointing to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. That doesn’t mean every at-home device uses a wavelength of red or infrared light that’s been shown to promote collagen production in studies — an especially frustrating fact considering what big splurges at-home devices can be — so it’s best to follow expert recommendations here. Dr. Yadav like Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare’s LED mask, as it provides “infrared and two forms of red light, as well as amber and blue light for comprehensive treatment of signs of aging, redness, and acne.” Allure Best of Beauty-winner TheraFace Pro also uses wavelengths that have been shown in studies to impart benefits to the skin. And Dr. Engelman recommends the Solawave 4-in-1 Red Light Therapy Skincare Wand, which combines red light therapy, galvanic current, massage and warmth in one tiny bar — and it’s another Allure editor go-to.

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro


Solawave 4-in-1 Radiant Renewal Skincare Wand

Can Making Lifestyle Changes Boost Collagen?

If you’ve been looking for an excuse to snag another Stanley cup or flake on plans in favor of crashing early, you can now do so comfortably in the name of plump skin.

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