Rejuvenate Aging Skin by Replenishing Collagen
You’ve seen them at cosmetic counters and drugstores – collagen boosting creams and lotions. They claim to rejuvenate aging skin by replenishing collagen – the protein that gives skin support and keeps it from sagging. Is there any truth to this? Can collagen face products really give you younger looking skin?
Collagen and Skin: Why It’s Important
Collagen is a protein found in the lower layer of the skin – known as the dermis – where it’s synthesized by special cells called fibroblasts. There’s little doubt that collagen plays an important role in keeping skin looking firm and youthful – by providing structure and elasticity for the skin. As collagen synthesis slows down and its breakdown increases due to the effects of sun exposure and the natural aging process, skin loses its youthful firmness and wrinkles and jowls start to form. This isn’t what most people want – so they buy collagen face products to help “turn back the hands of time”.
Can Collagen Boosting Products Make Skin Look Younger?
It sounds simple enough – replace the collagen that’s in short supply – and skin will look younger. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. Collagen is a big protein – which means it has a tough time penetrating the outer layer of the skin to reach the dermis where it can work its magic – so, it stays on the skin’s surface where it does little to make wrinkles look better. On the other hand, it’s not completely worthless, since collagen is a good moisturizer – but it’s not going to rejuvenate aging skin.
Collagen and Skin: There’s Still Hope
Even though collagen face products don’t rejuvenate, there is a way to increase collagen production by using a cream. Numerous studies show that prescription strength Renova boosts collagen production and decreases the appearance of fine lines. Retin A works well also – although it’s approved only for the treatment of acne.
Retinols, a closely related derivative of the active ingredient in Renova and Retin A is added to some over-the-counter skin care products and at least one study shows they also boost collagen production – although not to the same degree as the prescription strength products. The advantage to using retinols is they cause less skin irritation, redness, and flaking compared to Renova or Retin A. Keep in mind that most people need to use Renova or retinols for six to twelve months before seeing an improvement in fine lines and wrinkles.
Collagen Face Products: The Bottom Line?
Don’t waste your money on collagen boosting creams, lotions, and serums. Look for products that contain retinols at the drugstore or ask your doctor about Renova instead.
Cosmetic Dermatology: Principles and Practice. Leslie Baumann M.D. page 95.