Collagen is a word correctly associated with efforts to combat the affects of aging, including the lessening of the appearance of lines and wrinkles. But collagen as it appears in the skin is an underlying support system in the bottom skin layers, where creams can have little or no effect.
Skin is made up of seven layers – five epidermis layers and two dermis layers below. Collagen appears in those bottom two layers, far away from something applied to the surface area. It is the breakdown over time of the underlying collagen support network that helps produce wrinkles and folds.
The epidermis, the top layers, is where wrinkles appear, so it’s not hard to understand the insistence on using creams or lotions in a direct attack. Some creams, including those containing collagen, can help the skin’s condition for a time and even lessen fine lines. But surface creams put collagen where it doesn’t need to be.
Where collagen from an external source can be helpful is via injection as a filler, which will get the protein into the dermis level and promote the restoration of the support layer.
Face the facial cream gambit
Facial cream manufacturers, however, continue to tout the benefits of creams containing collagen, perhaps to take advantage of the recognition and association of the word. When they do include it, though, it is only in small amounts.
Most of these creams are made up mostly of water and some type of oily solution, such as mineral oil or glycerin. Collagen appears far down the list of ingredients. In fact, a look at one product label showed collagen in 24th place among other ingredients and preservatives.
An alternative to collagen creams are those that include Functional Keratin, which can help promote new cell growth and aid their replenishment. Most of the cells in the epidermis, after all, are made up almost entirely of keratin proteins.