Certain skincare ingredients tend to be in the limelight much more than others, and collagen is one of them. In fact, if you’re already using skincare products designed for dry or mature skin, then chances are that some of those formulas contain collagen.
However, what exactly does topical collagen do for the skin? Do its effects warrant seeking out more collagen-infused products to add to your routine? Read on as Lavelier talks you through the main beneficial properties that collagen has to offer.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is one of the most important structural proteins in your skin. It’s also the most abundant protein in the human body. Many experts refer to it as scaffolding because of how collagen fibers are responsible for holding the skin up from within. It gives the skin its volume, firmness, and smoothness. The more collagen you have in your skin, the plumper and fuller it will look.
The human body produces plenty of collagen when it’s young. However, once a person hits the age of 20, collagen production begins to decline, usually at a rate of around 1% each year. This is enhanced by environmental damage. Everything from sun exposure to pollution degrades the existing collagen fibers in the skin. At the same time, they contribute to an even more rapid decline in natural collagen production. As you can imagine, this leaves the skin significantly lacking in collagen once a person reaches the later stages of their life. The result of this is the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, sagging, and loose skin.
The Benefits of Adding Collagen to Your Skincare Routine
It’s easy to assume that using collagen-infused skincare products would help to bump up the collagen levels in your skin. However, that’s not quite how the ingredient works…
Although more research on the topic is still needed, topical collagen doesn’t have much of an effect on the actual collagen fibers in your skin. These are located in the dermis, which is the middle layer of skin. It sits in between the epidermis (the surface layer) and the subcutaneous tissue (the deepest layer). Most topical skincare ingredients struggle to penetrate into this layer of skin due to their molecular size. Sure, hydrolyzed or soluble collagen consists of smaller molecules. However, even then, it doesn’t seem to be able to reach the dermis.
While that may be the case, topical collagen still has plenty to offer. It’s an incredible ingredient for moisturizing the skin, which is how it’s able to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. By keeping the skin so well moisturized, collagen can also help to improve how firm and smooth the skin looks. It may not be able to alter natural collagen production in the skin, but it still plays an impressive role in keeping the complexion soft, bouncy, and youthful.
The Best Collagen-Infused Skincare Products to Try
Want to try adding topical collagen to your skincare routine? Here are some of the best products to try:
The Eye Firming Concentrate
With the eye area being thinner and more fragile than the rest of the face, it experiences a greater degree of moisture loss. As a result, it really benefits from highly moisturizing skincare ingredients, making collagen a perfect match.
That’s why we’ve added soluble collagen to our Eye Firming Concentrate. It’s joined by glycerin, squalane, and coral seaweed extract, both of which are also revered for their hydrating and moisturizing properties. With the addition of vitamins A, C, and E, this serum is a superstar at smoothing and perking up the look of the skin around the eyes.
The Marine Dark Circle Eye Cream
If you’ve noticed the appearance of dark circles or puffiness under your eyes, then the Marine Dark Circle Eye Cream could very well be the game-changer you’ve been needing.
In this formula, collagen, vitamin E, and coral seaweed extract work together to moisturize the skin. Meanwhile, caffeine and vitamin A help to brighten and de-puff the complexion. Allantoin is used in this formula too. It’s an ingredient that’s loved for the soothing sensation that it pampers the skin with.
This eye cream is also infused with powerful antioxidants, such as resveratrol. This ingredient is fantastic at reversing the appearance of oxidative damage in the skin. This damage often shows up as dark shadows and fine lines. Use it regularly and your eye area will soon look brighter and vibrantly radiant.
The Seagrass Phyto Silk
The soluble collagen in this formula significantly helps with this. It’s combined with a number of other moisturizing ingredients too, including coral seaweed, chamomile extract, and sodium hyaluronate.
You’ll also find several antioxidant-rich ingredients in this serum. While moisture is key when trying to restore a youthful appearance, antioxidants are vital as well. They’ll help to fight the look of oxidative damage in the skin. This will leave your skin looking smoother, brighter, and healthier. From green tea extract to chamomile extract to caffeine, this serum is a must-try if you’re hoping to sport a wrinkle-free complexion in the near future.
The Coralline Collagen Boosting Masque
Another collagen-infused product worth checking out if you have mature skin is the Coralline Collagen Boosting Masque. This intensely moisturizing mask is filled with ingredients that will boost how bouncy and elastic your skin feels, with soluble collagen being one of them.
Other noteworthy ingredients in this formula include vitamin A, vitamin E, honey, and an array of botanical extracts. Although it contains bentonite, which is a clay, all of these skin-loving ingredients ensure that the mask doesn’t dry the skin out. Instead, it will leave your skin feeling purified and detoxified. At the same time, your skin will look beautifully fresh and youthful.
The Coral Luminous Masque
If clay masks aren’t your thing, then consider a collagen-infused hydrogel mask instead, just like the Lavelier Coral Luminous Masque.
In addition to collagen, algae extract, coral seaweed extract, and hyaluronic acid, this mask also contains an ingredient called chitosan. This is an ingredient that many haven’t heard of, but it offers up so many beneficial properties. Studies show that it helps to strengthen the feel of the skin barrier while also deeply moisturizing the skin, making it the perfect accompaniment to collagen.
The Purifying Pre-Masque
If you want to maximize the effects of the collagen-infused face masks featured above, then try using the Purifying Pre-Masque first. The purpose of this product is to gently cleanse the skin to prepare it for the mask that’s about to be applied.
Just like all of the other products on this list, the Purifying Pre-Masque is infused with soluble collagen. It also contains sweet almond oil, olive oil, seaweed extract, and a variety of vitamins. These ingredients ensure that the complexion remains soft and supple while it’s being cleansed. They also perfectly complement the ingredients in the above face masks, which will help to give you even better results.
Are There Any Side Effects of Using Collagen on the Skin?
Since collagen’s large molecular size prevents it from penetrating too deeply into the skin, it’s a relatively gentle ingredient. It’s not known to directly cause any side effects, making it suitable for all skin types.
That said, it’s worth keeping in mind that the collagen used in skincare products can come from various sources. While vegan sources are becoming increasingly available, a large percentage of topical collagen is derived from animals, including cows and fish. Therefore, if you have an allergy to any byproducts from these animals, it would be worth double-checking where your topical collagen has come from. This will help to prevent you from experiencing an allergic reaction when you use that product.
What About Oral Collagen Supplements?
There’s no denying that collagen-infused skincare products have been growing in popularity. However, where do collagen supplements fit into all of this? Many experts claim that oral collagen supplements are more beneficial than topical collagen – is this true?
Well, again, there aren’t many studies available to confirm this. Just like with topical collagen, there’s no proof that collagen supplements are able to impact the rate at which your skin naturally produces collagen.
Collagen supplements aren’t FDA-regulated either. This means that there are several out there that could potentially cause more harm than good.
If your aim is to moisturize your skin more effectively, then topical collagen is the way to go. However, if you were hoping to use collagen to reduce the visible signs of aging, you would most likely be better off turning to other topical ingredients to help you with this, as opposed to depending on collagen supplements.
Of course, let’s not forget that certain foods also naturally contain collagen. Rather than opting for collagen supplements, you could simply try to increase your consumption of these foods instead. From egg whites and sardines to bone broth and organ meats, all of these collagen-rich foods will help to give your body an extra boost of the ingredient, along with plenty of other vital nutrients.
Protecting Your Skin’s Natural Collagen
As mentioned earlier, there is so much out there that can destroy the natural collagen in your skin. While certain skincare ingredients can help to boost this back up, it also makes sense to try to preserve your existing collagen fibers as much as possible.
How can you do this? The most effective way would be to protect your skin from sun exposure. Keep it covered with SPF, along with clothing and accessories that shield it from harmful UV rays.
If you smoke or drink excessive amounts of caffeine, then these habits will need to change too. Both are infamous for degrading collagen fibers. In fact, cut these out of your life and not only will your existing collagen fibers end up more robust and resilient, but you could also increase the rate at which your skin naturally produces this vital protein.
There’s a fair bit of misunderstanding out there when it comes to topical collagen. Although it may not be able to touch the existing collagen fibers in your skin, it’s still a great ingredient for moisturizing the skin. Look for skincare products that combine collagen with other moisturizing ingredients and your skin will soon look smoother, softer, and bouncier than ever before.