Are Collagen moisturizers worth it?
When we talk about skin aging, we’re really talking about collagen or, more accurately, a lack thereof. Pretty much every desirable characteristic of healthy skin comes down to collagen content. The more of this protein we have, the firmer, plumper, and juicier our skin looks. But as we age and particularly as we smoke, drink, and get UV exposure while aging, our collagen production drops off, and the collagen we already have starts to break down. This causes wrinkles, as well as a loss of plumpness or fullness. Addressing these symptoms means addressing collagen loss in one way or another. There are a slew of products that have this ingredient and promise to work wonders for our skin. So we get to the question “Can a moisturizer really help your skin cells produce more collagen?
The answer is not really. The vast majority of the collagen in our skin is found in the dermis (the second layer of skin that sits beneath the epidermis), where it’s also produced. Collagen is a pretty complex and massive molecule and that’s why creams formulated with pure collagen simply can’t live up to their claims. Those huge molecules are just too big to penetrate your epidermis, and definitely too big to get down into the dermis where the real magic happens. So even though collagen creams feel nice and may help moisturize the skin, that’s about it in terms of benefits.
Your skin might feel softer and smoother, your wrinkles might look less prominent, but that’s all an illusion. That’s just what’s happening on the surface and not actually building collagen. So if you love your collagen moisturizer or enjoy the perceived benefits and aren’t experiencing any negative side effects, by all means, keep it up. But if you really want to minimize collagen loss, there are more effective options out there, starting with what else? Sunscreen. The number one thing is sunscreen. You obviously want to prevent your existing collagen from being broken down so you can start there.