14 of the Best Collagen Creams to Help Restore a Youthful Complexion

SKIN CARE REVIEWS

12.03.21DISCLAIMER

Our favorite is Carrot & Stick The Moisturizer.

Why do you need a collagen face cream? Healthy collagen is vital to firm, plump, glowing skin. Unfortunately, we naturally begin to lose approximately one percent of it each year, starting in our early 20s, when fine lines and wrinkles start to appear.

You can make lifestyle changes to keep your skin looking as healthy as possible during the natural aging process. However, a collagen moisturizer or collagen lotion can help protect, nourish, and moisturize your skin, making wrinkles look less prominent.

What are the Best Skin Care Products of 2022?

But can applying collagen skincare actually stoke fibroblasts that maintain collagen production in your skin? The answer isn’t as clear-cut as you might think — but we’re here to lead you in the right direction.

Here at the Derm Review, we’ve reviewed hundreds of products with a scientific lens to ensure you’re creating a skincare regimen that’s safe and effective. Ahead, 13 of the best collagen creams to help you restore a more youthful-looking complexion.

Best Collagen Creams: The List 

Carrot & Stick The Moisturizer, $60

Carrot & Stick The Concentrate, $70

Formulyst Anti-Aging Night Cream with Retinol, $59

Deep Science Collagen Quench, $70 

Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, $128

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream, $25.12

Dr. Dennis Gross C + Collagen Deep Cream, $72

Algenist Genius Sleeping Collagen, $98

It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream, $34.30

Sisley Paris Night Cream With Collagen and Wood Mallow, $215

Peter Thomas Roth FIRMx Collagen Moisturizer, $85

Mario Badescu Collagen Moisturizer SPF 15

Lancer Advanced C Radiance Cream With Vitamin C Collagen Cofactor 10x, $72

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Firming Collagen Cream, $42

Murad Rapid Collagen Infusion, $103

Caudalie Resveratrol-Lift Firming Night Cream, $69

How to Choose the Best Collagen Cream for You

The reality is, collagen is generally too large of a molecule to be absorbed by the skin, so be wary of any claims that your own production is being boosted with topical collagen. However, when combined with other active ingredients, it may firm, condition, and plump the skin. Let’s take a closer look.

Collagen cream for Women and Girls

Consider Your Skin Goals

Collagen face creams fall into two categories. There are products that contain collagen, and others that help boost collagen production. 

  • A collagen-infused cream helps nourish and moisturize the skin, making wrinkles look less prominent, so it’s a good option for those just starting to see the first signs of age. Typically, hydrolyzed collagen is used, which has been broken down into smaller chains of amino acids, which are called peptides. It’s believed that peptides can penetrate deeply into the skin and may help support collagen production and firm the skin.Peptides work as “messengers” to signal the body to start creating collagen when the body needs to heal after an injury. When peptides are applied topically, they trick the body into thinking an injury has triggered a collagen response.
  • If you’re looking for a collagen face cream with more significant anti-aging benefits while stimulating collagen production, look for a formula containing the vitamin A derivative retinol. Not only does it prevent the breakdown of collagen after UV exposure (known as collagenase), but it also increases the amount of collagen produced by stimulating genes and cells involved in collagen production.

Look for the Best Supporting Ingredients

Retinol and hydrolyzed collagen aren’t the only collagen-friendly ingredient. Look for collagen skincare with: 

  • Potent antioxidants like vitamins C, E, green tea, and pomegranate block damage caused by free radicals (pollution, sun exposure, smoking) attacking collagen and elastin.
  • Super hydrators and protectors such as hyaluronic acid, growth factors, peptides, and stem cells, all of which help support collagen production.
  • Niacinamide plumps and brightens the skin on a short-term and long-term basis. It also helps restore cellular energy and repair damaged DNA. 

When to Apply Collagen Cream

If you’re using a collagen cream formulated with retinol (vitamin A), use the cream at night. You can use a hydrolyzed collagen cream formulated with some of the other ingredients listed above during the day, along with a vitamin C serum and SPF, to boost collagen production and protect against free radicals. 

Best Collagen Face Creams

Carrot & Stick The Moisturizer, $60
This lightweight antioxidant formula is a hydrating powerhouse that leaves the neck feeling remarkably smooth and radiant. Overflowing with potent plant proteins, vitamins, peptides and amino-collagen, plus a stem cell extract from hardy alpine roses, this Moisturizer from Carrot & Stick delivers multi-level hydration. 

Carrot & Stick The Concentrate, $70
This innovative formula contains plant-derived collagen to help boosts skin structure. It’s a plant-based based collagen blend from rice, soy, carrot, quinoa, and ginseng.

Formulyst Anti-Aging Night Cream with Retinol, $59
Specifically formulated to target the visual signs of aging, Formulyst’s Anti-Aging Night Cream profoundly moisturizes and visibly transforms your skin while you sleep. 

This advanced overnight formula penetrates deep below the surface. Innovative Encapsulated Retinol Technology delivers a higher concentrate of the essential vitamin retinol to your skin to help stimulate collagen production while naturally nourishing jojoba and safflower seed oil lock in long-lasting hydration.

Deep Science Collagen Quench, $70
A unique blend of 3 low- and high-molecular-weight and hydrolyzed hyaluronic acids to help estore a plump, smooth appearance to dry, dehydrated skin.

Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, $128
This lightweight but ultra-hydrating gel-cream formula from Elemis helps fight the signs of aging while also firming up the skin. Key powerhouse ingredients in this collagen moisturizer include the Mediterranean brown algae padina pavonica and the antioxidants rose, mimosa absolutes, and ginkgo biloba to fight damaging free radicals.

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream, $25.12
Olay’s Regenerist cream does a little bit of everything, including protecting and restoring collagen. It’s powered by peptides to help boost collagen production, while the antioxidants vitamin E and green tea extract help protect the skin against damaging free radicals. 

This collagen cream feels rich and thick and leaves skin deeply moisturized thanks to hyaluronic acid. Carob fruit extract works to improve skin texture.

Dr. Dennis Gross C + Collagen Deep Cream, $72
This collagen cream by Dr. Dennis Gross is said to deeply hydrate, smooth, and brighten your complexion. It is recommended for those with normal, combination, or dry skin. The formula helps to stimulate new collagen production thanks to 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, a vitamin C derivative. Additional key ingredients include camellia japonica (Tsubaki), rice bran, and sunflower seed oils.

Algenist Genius Sleeping Collagen, $98
This rich, buttery sleeping cream is formulated with Algenist’s proprietary Active Vegan Collagen, a highly concentrated vegan collagen that helps strengthen and condition the skin to visibly improve texture and tone. 

It’s paired with patented alguronic acid, which is clinically proven to visibly minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while boosting the benefits of other active ingredients. 

It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream, $34.30
This fast-absorbing collagen face cream from It Cosmetics turbocharges the skin’s natural rejuvenation process while leaving the face feeling plump and smooth. Confidence in a Cream is loaded with good-for-you skincare ingredients, including collagen and hyaluronic acid, to fill fine lines and wrinkles, giving the skin a fuller look. 

A combo of niacin, peptides, and ceramides work to improve skin texture and boost firmness. The cream can be applied morning and night.

Sisley Paris Night Cream With Collagen and Wood Mallow, $215
This popular luxury night cream from Sisley-Paris is formulated with a high concentration of soluble collagen to help wake up tired skin while helping to correct the visible signs of age. Woodmallow softens the skin and assists with absorption. When used daily, this collagen face cream helps minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, restores the skin’s vibrancy, and promotes a firmer, more youthful look.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Firming Collagen Cream, $42
First Aid Beauty’s nourishing collagen moisturizer is on our best list because it’s packed with several firming and hydrating ingredients such as peptides, niacinamide, glycerin, and squalane. It helps sculpt smooth skin, making it look bouncy, healthy, and youthful with fewer visible fine lines and wrinkles. This rich and nourishing cream is a wonderful option for dry/irritated/lackluster skin types.

Peter Thomas Roth FIRMx Collagen Moisturizer, $85
Best collagen cream for wrinkles? This collagen lotion is a triple threat. It’s formulated with marine collagen, plant collagen, and hydrolyzed collagen to firm and smooth the skin over time. Additionally, it contains several other results-driven ingredients that support natural collagen formation, including hydroxyproline, peptides, and collagen amino acids. 

Mario Badescu Collagen Moisturizer SPF 15
This simple moisturizer from Mario Badescu is an excellent starter product for anyone who’s just beginning to see fine lines pop up. It’s formulated with soluble collagen and cottonseed oil to soften, hydrate, and plump up the skin. SPF 15 helps protect against sun damage and the breakdown of additional collagen. The light, creamy formula doubles as an excellent makeup base.

If you’re noticing more prominent signs of collagen loss, you’re better off with one of the other creams on this list. 

Lancer Advanced C Radiance Cream With Vitamin C Collagen Cofactor 10x, $72
If you can’t make it to Hollywood dermatologist Harold Lancer’s office, give yourself his signature “Lancer Glow” at home with this targeted, potent collagen face cream. 

This rich, water-free formula contains 10% vitamin C and retinol to brighten and stimulate collagen production to promote a more youthful-looking appearance. The addition of shea butter provides soothing moisture. Some say it’s the best face cream with collagen and retinol.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Firming Collagen Cream, $42
First Aid Beauty’s nourishing collagen moisturizer is on our best list because it’s packed with several firming and hydrating ingredients such as peptides, niacinamide, glycerin, and squalane. It helps sculpt and smooth skin, making it look bouncy, healthy, and youthful with fewer visible fine lines and wrinkles. This rich and nourishing cream is a wonderful option for dry/irritated/lackluster skin types.

Murad Rapid Collagen Infusion, $103
This collagen lotion’s claim to fame is its ability to soften the appearance of fine lines in just two hours. Murad’s fast-acting treatment plumps up the skin to provide results after just one use. Collagen amino acids and winged kelp smooth and visibly re-volumize the skin and restore firmness over time. 

Caudalie Resveratrol-Lift Firming Night Cream, $69
This popular night cream from Caudalie harnesses the power of a patented combination of resveratrol, hyaluronic acid, and a vegan collagen booster to help you wake up to relaxed, radiant, and firmer-looking skin. It’s formulated with more than 98% natural origin ingredients and enriched in olive squalane, so it’s also an excellent hydrator. 

Collagen Face Cream: The Final Word 

Collagen is generally too large of a molecule to be absorbed by the skin, so be wary of any claims that your own production is being boosted with topical collagen. However, when combined with other active ingredients like retinol, hyaluronic acid, peptides, and niacinamide, it may firm, condition, and plump the skin. 

Collagen face creams fall into two categories. Some products contain collagen and others that help boost collagen production, thanks to ingredients like retinol. The latter is an optimal pick for those with more significant signs of collagen loss, but you can start using a collagen retinol cream as early as your 30s.

If you’re using a collagen cream formulated with retinol (vitamin A), use the cream at night. You can use a hydrolyzed collagen cream formulated with some of the other ingredients listed above during the day, along with a vitamin C serum and SPF, to boost collagen production and protect against free radicals.

What’s the Best Collagen Face Cream? Our suggestion is Carrot & Stick The Moisturizer. We also recommend Carrot & Stick The Concentrate.

 

FAQs
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. Think of it as the scaffolding that holds up skin, muscles, bones, and ligaments. Thanks to collagen, nails and hair are healthy, shiny, and strong. Collagen in cartilage enables us to bend and stretch our bodies without feeling bones grinding against each other.

When it comes to the skin, collagen is found deep in the dermis and makes up about 70-80% of it. It’s what gives skin that plump, firm, and youthful look. In terms of collagen benefits, it gives skin its “bounce back” quality and contributes to its ability to retain moisture.

Another way to think of the effects of collagen is the difference between a plump, juicy baby cheek and the flat, papery cheek of an older adult. Collagen also plays a role in repairing skin, as it helps to replace and restore dead skin cells.

Dermatologist Dr. Lauren Eckert Ploch shared this tip with the American Academy of Dermatology: She recommends individuals use a retinoid that stimulates collagen for anti-aging concerns as early as their 30s. “Retinoids are my go-to wrinkle treatment for individuals in this age group,” she says. “In addition to improving your skin’s current appearance, they also help build collagen, which can lead to more voluminous skin in your 40s and 50s.”

However, there’s nothing wrong with using a cream formulated with hydrolyzed collagen in your 20s when collagen levels begin to decline.

There are around 16 different types of collagen, and the most common are types I, II, III, and IV. Type I accounts for 90% of the body’s collagen. It’s made from densely packed fibers and gives structure to skin, tendons, bone, cartilage, teeth, and connective tissue.

Type II is found in cartilage and cushions the joints, while Type III supports the structure of muscles, organs, and arteries. Healthline notes that Type IV works on filtration and is found in the skin.

The aging process is just one factor contributing to collagen loss. The sun, smoking, diet, and environmental damage can also accelerate this process. As the Mayo Clinic notes, exposure to ultraviolet light is one of the biggest culprits. “Ultraviolet radiation, which speeds the natural aging process, is the primary cause of early wrinkling. Exposure to UV light breaks down your skin’s connective tissue — collagen and elastin fibers, which lie in the deeper layer of skin.”
The body produces an abundance of collagen naturally when we’re young — but unfortunately, production starts to decline in our early 20s (as mentioned earlier, at the rate of 1% each year). It continues to decrease with age and even more in women after menopause. Collagen also decreases due to additional factors such as smoking, sugar intake, and ultraviolet rays.
The most noticeable symptoms of a lack of collagen are fine lines, wrinkles, and loss of tone. Additionally, collagen loss might lead to brittle hair and nails.

The best defense is avoiding the sun and using a broad spectrum SPF. The AAD recommends using sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. According to the AAD, broad-spectrum sunscreens protect against both UVA and UVB rays.

What’s the difference? “Sunlight consists of two types of harmful rays that reach the earth — UVA rays and UVB rays. Overexposure to either can lead to skin cancer… UVA rays (or aging rays) can prematurely age your skin, causing wrinkles and age spots, and can pass through window glass. UVB rays (or burning rays) are the primary cause of sunburn and are blocked by window glass.”

Here at The Derm Review, we recommend EltaMD SPF 46, La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Clear Skin Dry Sunscreen, and Dermalogica Pure Light Powerbright TRX SPF 50. Check out our entire list of the best sunscreens for the face.

Other ways to protect and restore your collagen include common-sense lifestyle choices, such as quitting smoking (the chemicals in nicotine can damage collagen and cause the skin to sag), staying hydrated (both internally and externally), and eating a well-balanced, healthy diet. Essential foods include lean protein, leafy green vegetables, shellfish, nuts, whole grains, and beans.
Love coffee but worried about how it’s affecting your skin? The dehydrating effects of your daily brew can cause dehydration in the skin, exacerbating wrinkles. However, it’s worth noting that coffee doesn’t destroy collagen, but it inhibits its production.
  • Lina Original review: Jan 11, 2015. Reply

    I see everyone who has written in so far is interested in looking younger. This is not what I am investigating collagen creams for. I used to have naturally long, beautiful nails that many people thought were fake. After menopause, my nails seemed to get thinner and started to get vertical ridges which started to break my nail upward toward the quick. Now all of my nails are doing this and they have broken so far up that I have split ridges in my quick. I need to stop these ridges because this is very painful and it’s hard to use my hands for daily chores. Can a collagen cream build up my cuticles and nails so that the ridges will go away or diminish??? Please help!

  • Laura Original review: Jan 08, 2015. Reply

    Hi Shannon

    Can you confirm which collagen cream you are recommending please.

    Thanks

  • Brenda Original review: Aug 06, 2014. Reply

    Wrinkles are not inevitable. I am 67 and do not have one wrinkle on my face. I have never laid in the sun. I do get injections of natural hyularonic acid for slight sagging of the apostrophe’s and jowl. But sagging and wrinkles are totally different. You can keep wrinkles away with good skin care and stay out of the sun. What works is perscription retin A, glycolic acid, dmae, hyularonic acid, peptides. There is also a new one out now that has promise on actual sagging. If you keep the wrinkles away you can get the hyularonic acid put back in to take care of any slight sag you might get.

  • Tina Original review: Dec 29, 2013. Reply

    I use a product called Pevonic Age-Defying Marine Collagen Cream. You can only buy it from spas. Appears to work well. It feels very luxurious and smells great. I have used it for years since the range is stocked at my local spa.

  • Ximena Original review: Dec 08, 2013. Reply

    What is the best collagen cream for face? I tried lemis pro collagen marine cream and pro collagen marine cream but did not see a major difference in my skin. I have been looking at collagen cream reviews but they have not been helpful.

  • Felicity Original review: Oct 11, 2013. Reply

    i rate garnier ultralift as the best collagen cream.
    it is not natural but it works.
    as soon as you put it on the face looks much heavier and you look like a chubby person.

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