Of all the buzzy skincare trends we want to try, collagen creams are at once the most enticing and least clear. We know it's associated with age-defying benefits, but what exactly is collagen? A beauty-product ingredient or a naturally occurring protein? After a little research, we found out that it's actually both. Essentially, as we age, our bodies slow down on collagen production, which is the protein responsible for that highly coveted youthful glow. In other words, it keeps our skin supple, firm, and radiant, so when we don't have as much of it, our skin begins to look duller, and fine lines and wrinkles start emerging.
That's where the skincare element comes in to save the day. To target these issues and prevent signs of premature aging, a lot of labels formulate moisturizers that stimulate collagen production. As dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Medical Center, tells Byrdie, "collagen is produced by skin cells called fibroblasts. Topical treatments that stimulate the activity of these cells to produce new, healthy collagen are a cornerstone of anti-aging skin treatments." So now that we understand the basics a bit more and know what ingredients to look out for, we're going shopping for an effective collagen cream.
Scroll through our 16 picks below to choose the best one for your skincare needs and budget.
This silky, protein-rich cream is infused with a trio of Japanese anti-aging superfoods—algae, green tea, and rice—as well as luxurious pearl extract to restore a supple and smooth radiance to your skin.
Drunk Elephant lovers, get excited. This new addition to its skincare line is described as being "like adding a shot of protein to your smoothie" because it's so abundant in nutrients and active ingredients.
If you're looking for a hydrating, all-natural option, this probiotic bioorganic moisturizer is great. It protects your skin against environmental and immune triggers that break down collagen and other healthy cells.
Created to revitalize tired, aging skin, this night cream contains a soluble concentration of collagen protein.
This will help your skin lock in moisture with an advanced form of vitamin C, ultimately restoring a dewy, healthier appearance and texture.
This collagen-boosting cream strengthens your skin's immune response while also giving it a brighter, more even appearance.
Here's another amazing night cream formulated to intensify your skin cell renewal while you sleep. It's super rich without being greasy and has a subtle rose scent that makes this a luxurious addition to a nightly routine.
This cream boasts a lactic acid–based formula that works to rejuvenate your skin as you sleep with peptides that boost collagen production. It's also great for someone who sticks to all-natural beauty products.
If you're looking for something that will target the skin around your eyes and lips (these areas are most prone to aging), this gel is ideal. Weightless, super moisturizing, and packed with protective vitamin E, it'll boost collagen production while also keeping your skin hydrated.
Full of nutrients like vitamins E and C as well as antioxidants, this cream will revive dull and damaged skin while keeping you hydrated so your cells can recover.
Since we know beauty isn't only skin deep, it's not a bad idea to try absorbing collagen-boosting supplements, too. Add this bio-fermented probiotic liquid to your morning smoothie or eat a spoonful before bed for plumper, more radiant skin.
If your skin has been looking tired and worn out lately, try giving it a boost with this anti-aging cream. With tons of nutrient-rich ingredients and floral extracts, it fights free radicals, boosts natural collagen production, and stimulates healthy cell renewal.
This is a nice skincare staple to add to your routine since you can use it both day and night. It contains retinol, nutripeptides, vitamin E, and other superfoods that target premature signs of aging.
If cream-based moisturizers aren't your thing, give this oil a try instead. It's super potent and formulated to renew, plump, and soften up emerging fine lines for a more youthful look and feel.
This cream is a great option for anyone who is working with a smaller budget but still wants something that's effective and nice. It was created to target concerns like loss of elasticity and firmness or fine lines and wrinkles.
This was originally published on January 21, 2018, and has since been updated.