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5 Culprits That Are Destroying Your Collagen Levels

We’ve covered some of the foods known to boost collagen levels, but there are a number of foods and activities that can wreak havoc on our skin health. From sugar to smoking, here are 5 you should know about. 

Collagen is a protein that plays a critical role in maintaining the health and integrity of our skin, joints, and other connective tissues. As we age, our body's natural collagen production decreases, leading to wrinkles and a loss of elasticity. But many may notice a more severe – or even premature – loss of collagen. There are several factors that can contribute to a decline in collagen levels – we’ll be unpacking the major ones.

Sun exposure

One of the primary culprits of collagen degradation is sun exposure. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can break down collagen fibres and lead to a reduction in collagen production. Over time, this can cause skin to become less firm and elastic, resulting in wrinkles, sagging and other signs of aging. To protect your skin and preserve collagen levels, it's essential to use sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and to limit sun exposure during peak hours (10 am-4 pm).


Smoking is not only harmful to your lungs and overall health, but it can also damage your collagen levels. The toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke can disrupt collagen synthesis and break down existing collagen fibres. This can result in premature wrinkles, skin discoloration and other visible signs of aging. Quitting smoking can help to preserve your collagen levels and improve your overall health.


What you eat can also have a significant impact on your collagen levels. Diets that are high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and processed foods can lead to inflammation, which can damage collagen fibres. Excessive sugar consumption can negatively affect collagen levels in the skin, leading to premature skin sagging and wrinkling. When we consume excess sugar over a long period of time, it can trigger a process known as glycation. This can result in damage to our collagen levels and our skin's elasticity, with the skin's structural support breaking down. High sugar consumption has also been linked to increased inflammation in the body, which can further contribute to collagen breakdown. On the other hand, diets rich in antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and lean protein can help to support collagen synthesis and protect existing collagen fibres 


Chronic stress can take a toll on our collagen levels as well. Stress hormones like cortisol can break down collagen fibres and reduce collagen synthesis. To reduce the impact of stress on your collagen levels, it's important to practice stress-reducing techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises.

Environmental toxins

Exposure to environmental toxins can also damage our collagen levels. Chemicals found in air pollution, pesticides and other toxins can disrupt collagen synthesis and cause collagen fibres to break down. While it's impossible to avoid all environmental toxins, taking steps to reduce exposure can help to minimise the impact on your collagen levels. This can include using natural cleaning products, avoiding heavily polluted areas, and choosing organic produce when possible.

Whether you’re looking to eat healthier or fight off a sugar addiction, we’re here to help. Join us for the 8-Week Program and we’ll help you change the way you look at food – and that doesn’t mean you have to follow restrictive diets or miss out on your favourite foods; we believe you can still enjoy delicious food without jeopardising your health. You might even consider gifting your mum with the program! With celebrity chef Sarah Glover on our panel of experts, you’ll have an array of fun recipes at your fingertips, along with our own exclusive armoury of simple, tasty and healthy recipes for everything from daily meals to impressive entertaining. We know it can be hard to stick to your health goals – especially when you’re trying to manage it alone. When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:

  1. 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
  2. 90+ member-only recipes.
  3. Community forums to share your journey.
  4. Support and guidance from the I Quit Sugar team.
  5. Exclusive content from our panel of experts.
So, if you’re ready to ditch sugar and the host of maladies that come with it, it’s not too late to join. We’d love to help you get started on your health journey. Sign up HERE today!

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