Youthful skin contains an abundance of collagen. Collagen injections plump up and smooth away wrinkles and flatten out indented scars. So collagen in skin care products should also help fight aging, right?
Sadly, topical collagen products aren’t capable of changing anything more than the surface appearance of your skin, and what little effect they have will vanish as soon as the last of the product is washed off of your skin.
Collagen is a protein and the main building block of the connective tissue in your body. In youthful skin, it holds everything tightly together, providing resilience and a firm, smooth texture. UV radiation accelerates the breakdown of collagen in your skin, aging it faster and leading to that loose and leathery look that lifelong tanners tend to get in middle age or earlier. If you want to slow down the aging process and prevent wrinkles, therefore, collagen is extremely important.
Unfortunately, collagen molecules are too large to penetrate the skin. When used in topical products, they can temporarily create a tighter, smoother, and more moisturized surface appearance, but no amount of collagen creams are going to stimulate more collagen production in your skin.
Keep that in mind as you search for your Holy Grail anti-aging products. Skin care brands all over the world sell products that feature collagen prominently on their packaging. The unspoken implication is that the collagen in those creams and lotions will somehow replace the diminishing collagen in your own. Now you know that it doesn’t work that way.
Is collagen real or hype?