Knowing several women who practice yoga and look much younger than their age, I wanted to find out whether there was any actual proof showing the relation between yoga and collagen production.
Can you stimulate collagen production with yoga?
Deep breathing, which is a natural part of yoga, reduces stress, and improves circulation in our body. Improving the circulation, nutrients (including collagen) can flow to the skin. Studies prove a positive correlation between breathing and reversing the molecular mechanism of skin aging.
There are some interesting data I’ve found regarding the stimulating effects of yoga on collagen production.
Boosting Collagen Production Or Blocking Glycation?
There are many more benefits of yoga regarding our look and health but the effects on our skin due to BLOCKED glycation are the most visible and desirable. Let’s have a look at what glycation really is.
There are various definitions of glycation but I personally like this one from sciencedirect.com most:
Glycation is a nonenzymatic chemical reaction whereby sulfhydryl protein linkages are replaced by glucose, causing impairment in normal cellular and tissue functions.
Putting it a bit more simple:
When there is sugar in your bloodstream, it binds collagen and elastin and other structural proteins in the skin. It causes the collagen in your skin to age faster.
So that’s the main problem with glycation! It speeds up aging!
There is a difference between real age and perceived age and it is confirmed in a study High serum glucose levels are associated with higher perceived age.
How To Prevent Or Decrease Glycation
Glycation can not be completely prevented as part of our food is converted into glucose that is stored in the liver to be used as fuel later on.
Nevertheless, you should try to limit glycation as much as possible with your diet. In other words, you can decrease the amount of sugar you consume every day avoiding all sugar-loaded products and drinks.
It is not easy, and I can assure you that it’s a life-long battle for me to avoid sweet foods like ice cream, chocolate (at least I switched to dark chocolate), and cakes.
But knowing the detrimental effects of sugar and processed food cause to the skin really helps me avoid them. I’m getting better at resisting those treats.
Of course, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have a piece of cake or ice cream occasionally. But the word occasionally is the most important one in the previous sentence.
What we do every day on a regular basis is what makes us who we are.
How Can Collagen Production Be Naturally Increased With Yoga
Yoga is an amazing way to help the body truly repair. It is believed that yin yoga works really well in this respect.
What is yin yoga?
Yin Yoga is a style of yoga as exercise, incorporating principles of traditional Chinese medicine, with asanas (postures) that are held for longer periods of time than in other yoga styles. Beginners should hold the asanas from 45 seconds to two minutes; more advanced practitioners may stay in one asana for five minutes or more.
According to the theory, the prolonged time in the asanas triggers a stress response to the brain to stimulate repair in the joints. The brain then signals the body to repair by triggering fibroblasts to lay down hyaluronic acid and stimulate collagen production within the cell network.
There are many can go on and on about the benefits of yin yoga and yoga in general.
Research shows that calming the nervous system allows for bodies to repair and rebuild. Stress levels (cortisol), blood sugar, and LDL (the bad cholesterol) are lowered. I think anyone who practices regularly can tell you it clears up the blockages in the body, dissolves tension, and helps the body to repair more efficiently.
If you don’t have any experience with yoga, here’s a very nice tutorial of Surya Namaskar, the sun salutation.
FACE YOGA – DOES IT HELP?
I’ve tried only a part of face yoga dedicated to the eye area. I have to say that getting rid of fine lines (so-called crows feet) under the eyes is not easy. In my opinion, face yoga can’t help with these wrinkles because they are something one’s face inclines to, and secondly, they are caused by the decrease of collagen in the body. Let me explain.
When you look at several girls aged 25 or 30, you can notice that each of them has different areas in the face that incline to wrinkle creation. In my case, it has always been the eye area, in other women, it’s the lines next to the nose (so-called nasolabial folds). In others, it is above the upper lip.
It’s hard to change that.
Facial yoga gurus tell you it is important to control your facial movements, stop frowning, etc. But you can’t stop smiling or laughing!
I personally didn’t experience any improvement after doing face yoga (for a month). When I want to see good effects on my skin, I prefer walking or jogging and I know several women aged between 40 and 55 who have very nice wrinkle-free complexion because of their jogging or biking routine.
There are, however, some facial exercises that can improve existing wrinkles or prevent new ones. And regular facial massage also helps.
Regular yoga practice and meditation work great as well. All asanas with your head down support blood flow in your face and help combat gravity that has bad effects on your face.
What Other Things Boost Collagen Production
1 Foods That Stimulate Collagen Production
All antioxidants i.e. fruits and vegetables.
- Sources of omega-3 fatty acids such as
Other foods that promote collagen production are bone broth, eggs, poultry, and beef.
2 Drinks That Stimulate Collagen Production
- Green tea
- Matcha tea
- Tumeric & ginger tea
- various other drinks that contain anti-oxidants such as mesquite latte, butterfly pea flower tea, or lucuma latte.
3 Skincare That Helps You Increase Collagen Production
After doing some research, it is obvious that collagen creams, lotions, and serums are just a waste of money.
The collagen molecules in the cream are too large to penetrate the skin.
That’s why I don’t buy any skincare products that claim they contain collagen.
You have to stimulate your own body’s production of collagen, not to smear it onto your skin.
However, skincare is a very important part of our anti-aging routine even though exercise, meditation, and a healthy diet are more important. So what can you do for your skin to boost collagen production externally?
One of the best helpers are certain essential oils, but also vitamin C serums and retinol serums being well-known and proven wrinkle-fighting means.
Jojoba oil is one of those helpful oils. Here is my article about the anti-aging effects of jojoba oil.
Researchers have found that jojoba oil encourages collagen type I synthesis. Collagen, being the most abundant protein in our body (thus skin as well), affects skin elasticity. The main reason why we keep losing our youthful succulent look is not the few fine lines or wrinkles here and there, but the sagging and crepey skin caused by a decreased amount of collagen and elastin.
The latest findings also show that Chia seed oil and Opuntia Ficus Indica stimulate collagen synthesis and hyaluronic acid synthesis, thus being valuable means in our anti-aging initiatives.
Chia Seed Oil oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, another active compound necessary not only for skin and hair but also for the brain. It has skin-strengthening properties and is rich in vitamin B3 and zinc, which helps to unclog pores. Similar to grapeseed oil, it’s quite light, so it absorbs quickly into the skin without leaving a greasy look.
4 Facial Massage
Good facial massage also helps as it increases the blood circulation. There are many facial massages on YouTube so you can try some and see which one works for you best.
The picture below shows the directions you should use when massaging your face, in order to achieve the best lifting results while supporting your lymphatic system.
Summary – Can You Stimulate Collagen Production With Yoga?
Collagen production, although on the decrease after the age of 20, is very much affected by our lifestyle. Traditional yoga as well as regular walking or jogging definitely boosts collagen production. If you complete your routine with nutritious foods and pamper your skin with natural organic oils, you will be rewarded with a beautiful and plump complexion, looking 10 to 15 years younger than your age.
8 Topical application of vitamins, phytosterols and ceramides. Protection against increased expression of interstitial collagenase and reduced collagen-I expression after single exposure to UVA irradiation