Collagen: it’s what we all want and need. The key structural protein in our body’s tissues, collagen gives our skin that plump, bouncy look of youth. As we age, our skin’s ability to produce this protein slowly diminishes, leading to less-defined contours and a slackened appearance. Combined with the collagen breakdown caused by pollution and harmful UV rays, it’s enough to strike fear into the hearts of even the most devoted skincare fanatics.
In recent years, you may have noticed many animal collagen supplements flooding the market and promising to fill in fine lines with a pill or a powder, but the studies are iffy at best. And topical collagen in skin care products? Mostly a marketing technique with temporary results. Fret not — science is on our side, and there are plenty of breakthroughs in the beauty world that have been proven to actually trigger collagen synthesis. Whether you prefer a product, a tool, or a treatment, you’ve got options when it comes to maintaining a lifted and sculpted face. Read on to discover the solutions we love for keeping your collagen production trucking along.
It’s tried and true for a reason. Retinol and its prescription counterpart, tretinoin, have been studied extensively for their abilities to improve everything from acne to skin firmness to rough texture. With consistent use, tretinoin has been shown to boost collagen production in skin that was previously UV-damaged, meaning that even if you were a sun worshiper in the past, you can find great results with the ingredient. Just make sure to listen to your dermatologist, follow the instructions, and always, always apply your SPF.
Beloved by derms and skincare obsessives alike, microneedling is a star for its ability to heal. Using ultra-tiny, sterile needles, the surface of the skin is pricked with hundreds of “micro-injuries” (it sounds scarier than it is). The process triggers collagen synthesis and is particularly useful for smoothing out textural irregularities, like deeper acne scars, while also working to create an overall tighter and firmer complexion. You can try a classic session of microneedling with a pro to start, then add a PRP infusion for the ultimate skin-plumping treatment.
Microcurrent devices are a celeb favorite for prepping for the red carpet, as they create the appearance of instantly sculpted cheekbones with zero downtime or discomfort. Some studies have shown that with continued use, microcurrent has the ability to boost the skin’s healing abilities and improve collagen synthesis. Like a workout for your face, using a microcurrent device such as the ZIIP creates results that build and improve each time you gently zap your skin. If you’re looking for a quick lift and skin that gets bouncier over time, microcurrent is for you.
French maritime pine bark extract is an incredibly powerful antioxidant. More commonly known as Pycnogenol®, this ingredient is the new kid on the block in terms of anti-ageing ingredients. However, promising studies of the uniquely skin-protective ingredient have shown that topical application caused an increase in hyaluronic acid retention and collagen synthesis, meaning serums with this ingredient are ideal for plumping fine lines and boosting hydration levels for drier skin types. Try The Ordinary Pycnogenol 5% to experience for yourself.
Red light therapy
Originally used in sports therapies to recover injured muscles, red light therapy has also been shown to boost the skin’s ability to repair itself. Paired with your regular skin care routine, powerful-yet-relaxing red light therapy is a great way to trigger collagen synthesis and repair skin damage. We love the Dr. Dennis Gross SpectraLite™ FaceWare Pro for a spa-quality experience at-home.