Makeup

What Is Collagen Serum? Is It Worth The Splurge?

You spot a dedicated rack just for collagen serums at your local store. Should you grab a bottle or is it making false promises? You deserve the truth.

Continue reading if collagen serums can help turn back time for your skin.

RELATED: 11 Collagen Boosting Foods For Youthful Looking Skin

Collagen Serums | What Beauty Gurus Should Know and You Need to Hear

What Is Collagen Serum?

First, let’s talk about collagen and why you need it.

Collagen is a protein that gives our skin its elasticity. Skin elasticity is what give us our youthful, plump and bouncy skin. Think of it as the glue that holds are skin together.

As we age, our skin loses its elasticity and certain areas begin to sag and show signs of aging. Hello, crow’s feet! This is because we gradually produce less collagen over time. And with less collagen in our skin, it will begin to from wrinkles.

Collagen serums stimulate the skin to produce more collagen. So, no. Collagen serums may not actually contain collagen, but encourage collagen production. Or it may contain some key ingredients your body uses to make collagen.

What Ingredients Should I Look For?

essence bottle put on wooden plate near rose petals | organic collagen serum

The ingredients below could help boost your collagen production. And one of them will work well with your collagen serum to give your skin a complete overhaul.

  1. Retinol. It’s one of the most widely studied (and proven) substances to help with anti-aging. Retinol could increase cell turnover, revealing smooth skin and a clear complexion. And collagen may give you that youthful and plump glow!
  2. Vitamin C. This vitamin also helps boost collagen and has protective properties. Since your body can’t produce vitamin C, best get it from skincare or a healthful diet!
  3. Chemical exfoliants. These come in the form of AHA (alpha hydroxy acids) or BHA (beta hydroxy acids). They’re more gentle than your physical ones. And when paired with collagen could reveal more youthful skin.
  4. Ceramides. If collagen are the building blocks of your skin, then ceramides will be your mortar. Ceramides form a protective layer that shields your skin. In skincare, they could help strengthen your skin barrier, making it more effective in locking in moisture.
  5. Peptides. These are amino acids and are building blocks of proteins like collagen. It could give your a stronger skin barrier and may help boost collagen production.
  6. Antioxidants. They may not boost collagen production, but they have other skin-loving effects that could help you reboot your skin twice as hard. A dynamic combination with your collagen serum! Antioxidants may combat free radicals and environmental damage, while collagen works to bring back that bounce to your skin.

You’ll also come across hydrolyzed collagen, which is broken down collagen. This easily absorbs into the skin when applied topically. It could work just as well as ingredients that boost collagen production.

RELATED: 10 Time Tested Tips to Take 10 Years Off Your Skin | How to Look Younger at 40

How Do I Use It?

person holding white plastic bottle | collagen serum before and after

Take into consideration the ingredients in your collagen serum. Ingredients such as retinol and vitamin C might make your skin sensitive and are potential irritants. So in this case, use your serum only at night.

Because chemical exfoliants may also irritate your skin – especially if you have sensitive skin – use this at night as well.

Other famous skincare ingredients like  aren’t irritating. This includes your ceramides, amino acid peptides/collagen peptides, and antioxidants.

And depending on the directions on the packaging, you might have to ease your skin into these ingredients. It could mean using it every other day on your first bottle.

Also take into consideration that there are ingredients that may not work well together. For example, there are plenty of controversy surrounding niacinamide and vitamin C. This actually has a lot to do with your pH level and if you mix them incorrectly, they could cancel each other out.

Layering it is another story. If your collagen serum is water-based, it might go right after your toner before your creams. Cream-based products are usually your last step.

If you’re wearing sunscreen (and I hope you are), sun protection goes on top of everything.

And unless your collagen serum comes in the form of a moisturizer, you may still need to use a moisturizer.

Skincare Fact: Moisturizers don’t actually moisturize your skin, rather they lock in the moisture. You’ll still need hydrators in your skincare regimen.

When Should I Start Using Collagen Serums?

reflection photo of woman smiling | organic collagen serum

There’s no absolute best time to start using collagen serums. But since you produce less collagen over time, best do it now!

The quality of the collagen your body produces could also deteriorate with age, so starting early might help.

Keep in mind that while collagen serum may help improve your skin’s appearance, it’s not an elixir that will erase your wrinkles. That said, starting out early may help thwart wrinkles and keep them from forming in the first place.

Collagen Serums vs Drinkable Collagen

ethnic smiling woman wiping face with cotton pad | collagen before and after

It’s actually quite a controversial topic. But here’s all you need to know.

There’s actually not enough evidence that ingested collagen can survive in your stomach. On the other hand, studies that show collagen in skincare could be effective in skincare.

The takeaway – let’s stick to the science for now and stick to FDA-approved and proven ingredients. Collagen serums are the way to go, and my bouncy skin can attest to this.

The Verdict

Collagen serums are a skincare must-have. They could work with retinol for an anti-aging power couple. Or find one with antioxidants for an entire skin support system.

Skincare is a handy tool, but your diet and the sun also play a hand in advanced skin aging. Eat a healthful diet, use sunscreen, and I promise your skin will love you for it.

If you’re starting out with collagen serums, stick to your skincare routine. Don’t add any other products to your daily regimen. Otherwise you won’t know if your serum actually does work for you.

Don’t expect it to work overnight either. It could take weeks or months to shave years off your skin. That’s why the best time to start with collagen is today.

Already incorporating collagen into your skincare routine? Will it be geared towards an anti aging routine this time? Let us know in the comments section below! We’d love to hear from you.

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