Collagen – can collagen creams actually penetrate the skin to do something positive for the skin?

Collagen is a protein that plays a crucial role in maintaining the structure and elasticity of the skin. It’s naturally produced by our bodies and contributes to the youthful appearance of our skin. However, as we age, the production of collagen decreases, leading to wrinkles, sagging, and other signs of aging.

Collagen creams and topical products claim to be able to deliver collagen to the skin, helping to restore its elasticity and smoothness. However, there’s some debate about whether these creams can actually penetrate the skin deeply enough to have a significant impact on collagen levels.

The outermost layer of the skin, called the epidermis, serves as a barrier to protect the body from the external environment. The molecules in collagen are relatively large, and it’s challenging for them to penetrate through this barrier. Many studies suggest that collagen molecules are too large to effectively pass through the outer layer of the skin and reach the deeper layers where collagen production occurs.

Therefore, the effectiveness of collagen creams in directly increasing collagen levels in the skin is questionable. Instead, most collagen creams work by moisturizing the skin’s surface, improving its texture and appearance temporarily. Some creams may also contain ingredients that can stimulate collagen production or protect existing collagen from breaking down, but the extent of their effectiveness is still under research.

If you’re looking to improve collagen levels and maintain healthy skin, there are alternative approaches that might be more effective:


Consuming a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin C and amino acids, can support collagen production in the body.

Skin Care Ingredients

Look for products with ingredients like retinol, hyaluronic acid, peptides, and antioxidants, which are known to support skin health and collagen production.

Sun Protection

Protecting your skin from excessive sun exposure is crucial, as UV rays can damage collagen fibers and accelerate the aging process.

Professional Treatments

Procedures like laser therapy, micro-needling, and chemical peels can stimulate collagen production by creating controlled damage to the skin, prompting it to repair itself.

Dermal Fillers

Injectable dermal fillers can provide immediate volume and structure to the skin, although these are temporary solutions.

While collagen creams might have some benefits for superficial hydration and skin texture, their ability to deeply penetrate the skin and significantly boost collagen production is limited. For more noticeable and lasting results, consider a combination of a healthy lifestyle, effective skincare ingredients, sun protection, and professional treatments. Always consult with a dermatologist or skincare professional before making significant changes to your skincare routine.