When it comes to glowing, youthful skin, it’s all eyes on collagen. Just about everything we do in healthy aging skin care can, on some level, be traced back to the structural protein. It’s why nighttime treatments contain actives like retinol or glycolic acid, as those can stimulate a collagen response. Or why experts rave about vitamin C serums, as they can synthesize production and protect your current cells. And why in-office treatments—like red light therapy, lasers, and peels—have collagen boosting benefits.
See, collagen is like the scaffolding for your skin. It’s what makes your face firm, bouncy, and resilient, all at the same time. But as you age, it declines, as well as because of things like UV exposure, diet, and stress: We credit most signs of premature aging—such as sagging and wrinkles—to its reduction and aged fibroblasts. So you can see why so much effort is put into optimizing your collagen output and production.
Of course, collagen maximization is not just topicals. What you consume plays a huge role in collagen production and protection. And in a recent TikTok video, board-certified dermatologist and mbg collective member Whitney Bowe, M.D., shares her top three foods to consume to support your natural collagen levels.