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Collagen Replacement: Is It Really Working?

More Out of Monday: Beauty Tips

By Jeffrie Ann Hall (Esthetician)

I have some news for you, ladies.  The other day a friend showed me a new moisturizer she had just spent a fortune on. She was so happy about it and wanted my opinion….so I looked at the ingredient list. And, I am sorry to say, I had to tell her that the collagen boosting promise that the company advertised was completely false! The product contained nothing that would actually help her skin to regain lost collagen. She had merely purchased an expensive moisturizer with no real anti-aging benefits!

Don’t Waste Your Money

I want to save you from making that same mistake! I hope that this bit of info is helpful to you. Once you know what to look for, choosing the right product should be a snap!

Many skin care companies offer products that supposedly replace the collagen in your skin. Some do the job, but most can’t.  There is a very good reason why.  Since I am an Esthetician, I can tell you why one treatment product will work and another won’t. You must look at the ingredients listed. Collagen as an ingredient itself is nothing more than an expensive moisturizer. A collagen molecule is much too large to penetrate your skin’s pores.

The Truth About Collagen

Collagen as an ingredient does not promote the production of collagen in your skin. It simply sits on top of your skin and gives very temporary plumping results.

You can INJECT collagen (big ouch! bigger money!) into your skin and fill lines but that is a whole different subject. What I am addressing here is how to choose a treatment product that has cell-communicating ingredients that will tell your skin to start producing its own collagen naturally, as it is meant to do.

Our Internal Collagen Factory

In the deepest dermal (skin) layer, the dermis layer, we have what are called fibroblasts. Think of these as little factories that produce your collagen, as well as elastin and glucosaminoglycans (elastin for skin ‘snap back’ and GAG’s for hydration). Over time they slow down or quit the job altogether. What will get them to start producing again are cell communicating ingredients.

And what is that? PEPTIDES! PRO COLLAGEN PEPTIDES! Collagen is a protein. Peptides are small chains of amino acids, which are proteins, which are tiny enough to actually penetrate your skin’s pores and talk to your fibroblasts – your collagen factories! They attach to the fibroblasts and fill in lost information, so to speak, and recreate that whole intact chain of proteins that enables collagen to again be produced and present in the skin.

Collagen:  The Kind of Plump Every Woman Wants

Now, collagen is not going to firm or lift the skin. Collagen is what will help to fill in those little birdie feet at the corners of our eyes. It will help to fill in the nasty vertical lines on your upper lip that your favorite lipstick so happily migrates into. And how about those parenthesis around your mouth? Yes, those too!

A Different Can of Worms

If you are concerned with firming and lifting the skin, (my friend thought her so called collagen cream would do this too!) that needs to be addressed differently because it’s an issue with loss of elastin, which is also produced by the fibroblast.  Like collagen, elastin is also important to the underlying structure of the skin, the support system, if you will. That is a topic for another day! More on that later.

Savvy Shopping:  Read the Label!

So, look for products that list Peptides for encouraging the stimulation of collagen production. Also be on the look out for Soy Isoflavones as these will also help to smooth out lines and wrinkles while inhibiting metalloproteinase which are enzymes that stimulate the degradation of collagen and elastin. Magnesium is another great ingredient which is a key component in the energy cycle of the skin.

About the Author

Jeffrie Ann Hall has been a practicing Esthetician for over 12 years and is passionate about teaching women how to optimize their beauty and health through knowledge and quality products and services.  

Photo by Rudla

About Jeffrie Ann Hall

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  1. I’m glad you found the article informative! Thank you for your comment!

  2. I thought this was very informative. I’ve often wondered which products actually work, and which ones don’t. Thanks for the tip on ingredients.

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