Is Collagen Truly The Answer To Ageless Beauty Or Is It All A Lie?

If the production of collagen doesn't take a nosedive from our mid-20s, there’s a chance the skincare industry wouldn't have seen the boom it's now enjoying

By Clavia Okoli

PUBLISHED: September 20, 2023

Is Collagen Truly The Answer To Ageless Beauty Or Is It All A Lie?


A lot of ingredients in skincare are more beneficial to the bottom line than it is for the skin.

The practice of caring for the skin came with our yearning to remain and look younger as we age.

If the production of collagen doesn't take a nosedive from our mid-20s, there’s a chance the skincare industry wouldn't have seen the boom it's now enjoying. But trust the universe to always strike a balance.

Collagen is the protein responsible for maintaining the firmness and elasticity of the skin. But our bodies naturally produce less of it as we age. The consequences of that loss are the appearance of Wrinkles and fine lines.

Collagen is mentioned alongside retinol when it comes to anti-aging ingredients. But does it actually fade away wrinkles and fine lines? Does it firm the skin as it has been advertised and made us believe?

Let's see for ourselves

What is collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies and the main component of connective tissue, the skin included. Most of the skin's collagen is produced in the skin's second layer, the dermis. Collagen consists of a chain of amino acids that make up the protein. Collagen is responsible for upholding the oath of firmness and elasticity in the skin until we turn 25.

What are the benefits of collagen in topical skincare?

Topical skincare products aim to boost firmness, smooth fine lines and wrinkles, and hydrate and moisturize the skin by strengthening the existing collagen and triggering the production of more.

So, is applying collagen as a skincare effective? Does it firm the skin? Does it fade wrinkles and fine lines? The answer is No. Why? Because collagen has a large molecular weight that can't penetrate the outer layer of the skin (epidermis). Only molecules of 500 daltons or less can penetrate the skin but in this case, collagen weighs 30,000 daltons in its raw form. The skin can't absorb it and if it can't absorb it, it can't perform the anti-aging activities it's meant for.

With everything we have learned so far about collagen, it begs the question of where Nigerian organic cream vendors got the idea of using ingestible collagen powders or supplements to formulate their skincare products.

The only way the skin can absorb collagen is if it has been broken down through the process of hydrolysis. If you must invest in buying collagen-based products, you should invest your money in products that are made with hydrolysed collagen instead. But there are other effective ways to improve collagen production

What can you do to improve collagen production?

Since you now understand how ineffective collagen is against anti-ageing. Luckily, there are other options that have proven more effective.

Vitamin C

Topical vitamin C in the form of L-ascorbic acid can improve collagen production. Vitamin C has proven to be anti-aging with a concentration between 5 -15% by inducing the production of collagen type 1 and 3. Other than its ability to promote the production of collagen, Vitamin C can brighten the skin, reduce hyperpigmentation, protect against sun damage, heals wound, and hydrate.


Retinol and its family members are still our best ticket to tackling premature ageing that is caused by sun damage, and other environmental factors.

Tretinoin has proven to work exceptionally well against tackling the issues of wrinkles and fine lines. Topical application of tretinoin can improve the appearance of photoaged skin by triggering new collagen production.

Chemical peels

Chemical peeling is an accelerated form of facial exfoliation created by acids that produce a controlled injury to the skin. Chemical peels can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and many other skin concerns by stimulating collagen remodelling. The epidermis heals in a few days resulting in an improved skin appearance and texture.

Your diet

Your skin appearance is majorly as a result of what you eat. Ever wondered why monks look younger and stronger than their age? It's because they practice holistic living. They are mindful of what they put in their body and mind. Eating foods like eggs, berries, citrus fruits, bell peppers, beans, chicken, fish, garlic, tropical fruits, cashews, vegetables, tomatoes, and bone broth is the most natural way to stimulate collagen production.

What if you already have a collagen-based skincare product? Should you throw it away?

No, it is still beneficial for moisturising the skin. It moisturises the skin better than it fades wrinkles

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