How to discover the best collagen cream for your face

How to discover the best collagen cream for your face

Are you looking to improve the appearance and texture of your skin? If so, finding the best collagen cream for your face can rank highly in your thoughts of building a skincare routine. But is collagen worth the hype (and price tag)? 

What is collagen and why do I care?

Collagen, a protein naturally found in the body, plays a vital role in maintaining the structure and elasticity of our skin. As we age, our collagen levels decrease, leading to wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging skin. This decline in collagen production is a natural part of the aging process, but it can also be accelerated by factors like sun exposure, smoking, and poor diet. Without adequate collagen, the skin loses its youthful, supple appearance and becomes more prone to visible signs of aging.

Maintaining healthy collagen levels is essential for preserving the skin's structure, texture, and overall radiance. Collagen helps to keep the skin moisturized, plump, and resilient, while also contributing to a more even skin tone and a reduction in the appearance of blemishes and discoloration. By understanding the importance of collagen for skin health, you can take proactive steps to nourish and support your skin's natural collagen production, ultimately achieving a more youthful, vibrant, and rejuvenated complexion.

Understanding different types of collagen creams

When it comes to collagen creams, there are several different types to consider, each touted to have their own unique properties and benefits, but does the type of collagen actually matter?

The most common types of collagen used in skincare products include:

  1. Marine collagen: Derived from fish scales or other marine sources, marine collagen is known for its small molecular size, which supposedly allows it to be more easily absorbed by the skin. 
  1. Bovine collagen: Sourced from the hides or bones of cows, bovine collagen is another popular option in the world of collagen creams. It is typically larger in molecular size compared to marine collagen.
  1. Chicken collagen: Extracted from the cartilage and bones of chickens, this type of collagen is rich in type II collagen, which is particularly beneficial for supporting joint health. While not as commonly used in skincare products as marine or bovine collagen, chicken collagen can still be found in some Asian skincare.
  1. Hydrolyzed collagen: This form of collagen has been broken down into smaller peptides, making it more easily absorbed by the skin. Hydrolyzed collagen creams are often touted for their ability to stimulate the skin's natural collagen production, leading to a more youthful, plump, and radiant appearance.

So does this matter? From an ethical view - bovine, chicken and even marine collagen is often a no no. Plus if you have a shellfish allergy, marine collagen is definitely off the list. But from a science view, the type of collagen doesn't really have a huge difference in a cream. Ultimately, the effectiveness of collagen in skincare products can vary depending on factors such as formulation, concentration, and individual skin types. 

Collagen molecules are too large to pass the skin barrier

One common misconception about collagen creams is that the collagen molecules themselves can penetrate the skin and directly replenish the body's natural collagen reserves. However, this is not the case. Collagen molecules are simply too large to pass through the skin's protective barrier, known as the stratum corneum.

The stratum corneum is the outermost layer of the epidermis, and it is composed of tightly packed, flattened skin cells called corneocytes, which are held together by a lipid-rich matrix. This structure acts as a formidable barrier, preventing the passage of large molecules, such as collagen, from entering the skin.

While the collagen molecules in creams cannot directly replenish the body's collagen levels, they can still provide benefits to the skin in other ways. When applied topically, collagen creams can help to:

  1. Hydrate the skin: The collagen molecules in the cream can help to draw and retain moisture in the skin, keeping it supple and plump.
  1. Improve skin texture: Collagen creams can temporarily "fill in" fine lines and wrinkles, creating a smoother, more even skin surface.
  1. Enhance skin's appearance: The presence of collagen in the cream can contribute to a more youthful, radiant, and healthy-looking complexion.

To maximize the effectiveness of collagen creams, it's important to understand that they work primarily by providing a temporary, surface-level benefit rather than directly replenishing the body's natural collagen reserves. For more long-term, structural changes to the skin's collagen levels, other interventions, such as supplements or treatments that stimulate the skin's own collagen production, may be more effective.

The benefits of using a collagen cream

Using a collagen cream can provide a wide range of benefits for the skin, helping to address a variety of concerns and improve the overall appearance and health of your complexion. Here are some of the key benefits of incorporating a collagen cream into your skincare routine:

  1. Reduced visibility of wrinkles and fine lines: Collagen creams can help to temporarily plump and firm the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  2. Enhanced skin hydration and moisture retention: Collagen is a natural humectant, meaning it can help to draw and lock in moisture within the skin. This can lead to a more supple, dewy, and healthy-looking complexion.
  3. Improved skin texture and tone: Collagen creams can help to smooth out the skin's surface, reducing the appearance of uneven texture..
  4. Strengthened skin barrier: Our skin's protective barrier, which helps to keep irritants and environmental stressors at bay, becomes less effective when dehydrated. Using a collagen cream can help to reinforce this barrier by hydrating the skin, leading to healthier, more resilient skin.

By incorporating a collagen cream into your skincare routine, you can experience some benefits that can help to address a variety of skin concerns, from aging signs to dullness and uneven texture. But these are temporary benefits, and often no greater than using a skincare with any humectant in - like glycerine - at a fraction of the cost.

So, if your budget allows it, and you like it, use it. If not, there are equally as good and more affordable alternatives.
Photo by cottonbro studio:


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