Collagen is a protein that gives your skin its structure, elasticity, and strength; and according to board-certified dermatologist and founder of Avant Dermatology & Aesthetics, Sheila Farhang, M.D., we “lose approximately one percent of our skin’s collagen each year starting at the age of 20.” (Scary, we know.) This can manifest as sagging skin, fine lines, and other signs of aging. We can make up for the inevitable loss with “collagen skincare.” You know, moisturizers that either contain collagen-supporting ingredients or the actual protein itself. There are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for these products.
Skincare With Collagen-Boosting Ingredients
These ingredients work to maintain your youthful complexion by stimulating your skin’s process of creating collagen, according to cosmetic chemist Ginger King. She goes on to say that these ingredients include vitamin C, peptides, Centella Asiatica (a.k.a. Cica, a flowering plant) extracts, and glycosaminoglycans (a fancy-sounding polysaccharide that help maintain your skin’s existing collagen).
There are also creams that are swirled with the protein itself, but be warned: experts say that just because a product contains the protein doesn’t mean it actually helps improve your complexion. “Collagen is structurally a very large molecule,” says dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, who goes on to explain that if the molecule is too large, it won’t penetrate your skin. Farhang suggests looking to see if the products have reputable studies behind them or are dermatologist recommended before purchasing.
To take the guesswork of which collagen creams are worth the splurge, we curated the below list with the help of the industry’s top experts. Read on to learn more.
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Night Cream with Collagen and Woodmallow
This indulgent cream contains soluble collagen to combat signs of aging and leaves skin feeling soft and moisturized. It’s also one of Farhang’s top picks for collagen-infused skincare.
PCA Skin Collagen Hydrator
This comfortable-wearing cream is one of Zeichner’s picks collagen-boosting products. ”It offers light moisturizing and skin-protectant benefit,” he says.
FIRMx Collagen Moisturizer
This collagen-infused moisturizer also includes different types of collagen (including plant-derived and marine) collagen-boosting ingredients (like peptides) to combat signs of aging.
Pro-Collagen Marine Cream
Farhang’s second pick: This silky, fragrance-free pick from Elemis. “It uses plant-based ingredients that stimulate collagen production,” she says.
Collagen Moisture Filler Day/Night Cream
This clinically-tested formula uses the protein to help minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Rejvueness Anti-Wrinkle Cream
“This night cream combines exfoliating hydroxy acids with collagen to help plump, firm, and moisturize the skin,” says Zeichner. Use this dermatologist-tested formula at night, as the acids can up your skin’s sun sensitivity.
Concentrated Firming Moisturizer
Formulated by board-certified dermatologist Dr. Loretta Ciraldo, this lightweight moisturizer contains peptides to help firm skin and increase its resilience.
This consumer panel-tested moisturizer contains plant-derived collagen and bakuchiol (which acts similarly to exfoliating retinol) to boost elasticity and give you a younger-looking complexion.
Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream
This cream is beloved by beauty pros for its gentle exfoliation (thanks to vitamin B3) and overall plumping effect (that’s the mix of hyaluronic acid and peptides working).
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