What is Collagen Cream?

Nychole Price

Collagen creams are skin care products that contain collagen, an elastic, fibrous protein found in connective tissue. Alternately, they include ingredients that help the body form the protein by itself. People use different types of these creams to improve the appearance and function of the skin. Despite their popularity, they have not been proven to be effective and might not be safe for all individuals, depending on exactly what they contain.

Lines are wrinkles.
Lines are wrinkles.

Reason for Use

As people age, they lose up to 30% of their collagen, resulting in the development of wrinkles, crow's feet and sagging skin. These products are believed by many to help slow down or prevent this process from occurring. Many people, especially women of 40 years of age and older, use them to maintain their youthful appearance.

A diagram of younger and older skin showing the decrease in collagen in older skin. Many collagen-based products are designed to replace or boost the production of this protein.
A diagram of younger and older skin showing the decrease in collagen in older skin. Many collagen-based products are designed to replace or boost the production of this protein.


In addition to collagen, these creams often include functional keratin, which is a combination of peptide proteins that help the body form collagen on its own. Elastin, a protein that helps tissues retain their shape after stretching, is another common ingredient. These products also often include substances such as water, mineral oil, retinol, hydroxy acids, copper peptides, cetearyl alcohol, glycerin, various extracts, linoleic acid and fragrance.

A pot of collagen cream.
A pot of collagen cream.


One type of cream that contains collagen is anti-wrinkle cream, which is said to improve the appearance of both fine and deep lines in the skin. Anti-aging creams address this issue as well, but they are designed primarily to make the skin generally more supple and radiant. Some are made to be used at night and are said to work during the alpha sleep cycle to restore natural smoothness, flexibility and firmness.

Retinol face cream may help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Retinol face cream may help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Method of Use

The way a person uses one of these products depends on its exact formulation and purpose, but in general, individuals can use it just as they do any other cream. Normally, people apply it once or twice a day, and they use it most often on the face, neck and hands, as these are exposed and visible to others most of the time. Although some have special applicator sponges or brushes, most are simply applied with the fingertips.


Scientists have proven the importance of collagen and elastin in regard to skin health and appearance. Even so, a major problem with these types of creams is that the molecules for both substances is too large to be absorbed through the skin. Some manufacturers try to get around this and promote sales by breaking the molecules into smaller pieces — this appears as "soluble" or "hydrolized" on the label — but experts point out that removing them from their original source makes them inactive, as well, meaning that they would not be helpful even if their size was not an issue. Many individuals to label these products as little more than snake oil as a result, particularly because they have not proven to be effective in reducing wrinkles or other signs of aging.


Many collagen creams are promoted as safe to use on a long-term basis, but this depends on the ingredients, and in many regions, they are not regulated. In addition, some contain substances that might cause allergic reactions in some people, or which might react with ingredients in other products and medications. For this reason, it is a good idea for someone who wants to use one to consult with a dermatologist before beginning a regimen, and use is essentially at a person's own risk.

Many people, especially women over 40, use collagen creams to maintain their youthful appearance.
Many people, especially women over 40, use collagen creams to maintain their youthful appearance.

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Discussion Comments


I have used collagen cream only recently. I must say it was better than the ones I have been using before. But there are so many different creams available nowadays, that it becomes difficult to spot the right one. I have found Kollagen Intensiv to be effective. Maybe it will work for you as well.


I am 28 years old but I do not have wrinkles (the last time I checked that is!) I have combination skin, oily on the tzones, dry cheeks. I chose Made from Earth Vitamin Enhanced Face Firming Serum because of the good reviews I saw from different online sites. They say it is easier to prevent wrinkles than actually curing them when you get them. I wash my face first before putting the serum.

I have used the Vitamin Enhanced Face Firming Serum for almost two weeks and I have not experienced any rashes, breakouts or red spots. I have no complaints at all. I would use their Vitamin Enhanced Moisturizer also but I think I have to finish up my Oil of Olay stash first. I will definitely use more Made from Earth products.


I was thinking that it would be better to take also a collagen pills combined with the creams?


I am a fan of st. ives collagen elastin range. they work really well, especially the shower cream because you use it every day and I must say it will give you results as little as soon as I shower, then, if you follow it with the lotion it's really even better! i can never live without it. i have tried other brands -- expensive ones -- but I swear by this stuff. Try it.


I started using BEYNatural Collagen Firming Day Creme and what a difference to my skin. When I was out, I started getting the fine lines under the eye. I can pinch and it snaps back! Now the store quit carrying it. I have been on line trying to find them with no luck. When I stopped taking collagen tablets my joints started bothering me--so I'm back on pills also!


I am twenty six and have been using collagen and placenta creams since I was in my teens. I started not because of vanity but due to extremely dry skin and began following the beauty rituals of my mother and grandmother.

What I have noticed is that my skin has responded so much to these creams that with even one night of missing my regime, I wake up to lackluster dry skin. I even noticed, after trying regular old lotion products for a couple of months, that I had some faint lines in between my eyebrows from squinting, but as soon as I began the collagen and placenta cream again, they faded and became unnoticeable within a week.

My grandmother is part Cherokee indian and has relied on natural beauty creams her whole life and at 79 she has amazing skin, as does my mother at 46. I hope to follow in these women's footsteps by continuing this regime!


@pleats -- I've heard that St. Ives has a really nice collagen elastin cream if you're just looking for a drug store version, but I know that some of the nicer brands, like Pevonia and PC make collagen facial creams too.

Are you looking for a kind of all over collagen wrinkle cream, or something more specific, like a collagen eye cream? That can make a difference in your search as well.

I've always used Boots, but that's just my preference -- seems to work well for me. Hope you find a good one!


I heard that women are now supposed to start using a cream with collagen building blocks in it in their twenties! Is that true, do you think, or is that just another myth perpetuated in the name of marketing?

I personally am 37 now, and I started using a collagen skin cream when I was about 30, and it seems to me to be doing just fine -- I can't imagine how it would make a difference to start using one that early.

Is there any science to back that up, or is it just an anecdotal type of thing? Does anybody know?


I have been trying to find a good collagen face cream, my normal one just doesn't seem to be doing it any more. I have been using Pro Collagen Cream, but now I think I may need to switch to something stronger, like an elastin and collagen cream.

What would be the best collagen cream for someone in my situation?

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