Why Topical Collagen Enhancers Don't Work

Topical collagen enhancers are plentiful in the beauty industry. As the mantra goes, “Simply rub this cream on your face and you will look younger.” Do topical collagen enhancers truly work? Can a collagen cream smooth out wrinkles and reverse aging? Experts argue that these creams do not actually work to the extent perceived.

What Is Collagen?

Collagen is a protein. It is the main component of white fibrous connective tissue. Found in skin, tendons, bone, ligaments and cartilage, it is very inflexible in nature and is very much resistant to forces of stretching. To stay youthful looking, you want to preserve the collagen in your body. You want to do things that prevent collagen breakdown.

Topical collagen enhancers seem like an easy solution, and to some extent they may seem logical. If collagen is found in skin, then rubbing these creams on the skin must do the trick. That is the prevalent marketing behind the sale of the products and the motivator for purchasing these creams.

Expert Skepticism

However, experts argue that because the skin has several layers and these creams only treat the surface layer of the skin, the substances intended to enhance collagen are not absorbed at a deep enough level to make a true difference. At best, topical collagen enhancers decrease the rate at which the skin loses water, keeping the skin supple. No scientific studies exist proving that these creams do much more than that.

Most experts, even those involved in selling topical collagen enhancers, will argue that these creams are not more effective than specialized injections that fill wrinkles or even Botox. Nevertheless, the argument persists that creams are more affordable than injections and plastic surgery, and they do make a bit of difference.

Building Collagen Naturally

The holistic health world offers another opinion. Slowing down the aging process is considered an inside job that involves the entire body. Oxygen is responsible for slowing collagen breakdown and preventing premature aging. The argument is that through a healthy diet, exercise plan and stress management techniques, you can slow down the aging process and achieve a youthful appearance that cannot be obtained from a jar of cream.

By eating raw vegetables, fresh fruit and cutting down on animal products, you contribute to oxygenating your body. Greater oxygen in the body is thought to decrease and reverse incidence of disease and aging. It also helps to rid the body of the toxins that interfere with the body’s natural mechanisms; toxin elimination is thought to lead to greater health and a youthful appearance. Drinking enough water assists with ridding the body of toxins and oxygenating the body.

Exercise is also considered a significant anti-aging technique. Regular activity that involves the whole body and includes deep breathing will circulate oxygen throughout the body, rejuvenating and rebuilding the cells.


Topical collagen enhancers simply moisturize the skin. To that extent, they do have some effect in preserving the skin. They do not, however, provide the anti-aging effects of injections, Botox or plastic surgery. Healthy eating, adequate water intake, regular exercise and stress-relieving habits go a long way to slow down the aging process and collagen breakdown.


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