Collagen is a protein produced by the skin to provide elasticity, smoothness and resilience. It is in the second layer of skin called the dermis. When collagen production decreases, saggy lines and wrinkles can form. Women often experience a loss of collagen production due to aging, smoking or prolonged exposure to the sun. Although there is no guaranteed way to increase collagen production, some creams, masks and lifestyle changes may help.
Apply creams designed to increase collagen. Topical retinoids treat collagen loss that is caused by ultraviolet ray exposure. According to Smart Skin Care, creams containing vitamin C help promote collagen production. These creams are available over the counter or with a prescription for higher concentrations.
Make a face mask containing avocado oil, which hydrates skin and is compatible with your skin's natural oils. This also increases collagen in the dermis. Mix 2 teaspoons of avocado oil with 1/4 cup of honey and apply the mask to your face using your fingertips. Rinse the mask off with cool water after 15 minutes. Apply the mask once a week.
Consume foods that increase collagen production and benefit skin. Soy products, such as soy milk, cheese and meat substitutes, contain genistein that helps block enzymes that break down and age the skin.
Dark green vegetables like spinach, kale and asparagus have lutein, which increases hydration and elasticity in skin. Red fruits and vegetables such as red peppers, beets and tomatoes have lycopenesl, an antioxidant that increases collagen production.
Discuss medical treatments with your dermatologist. Laser and light therapy can help stimulate the skin and increase collagen production, and may be an option if you are experiencing premature aging or are not having luck increasing collagen production on your own.