How does collagen in a facial moisturizer work?

Sue Hitzmann
The problem with topical creams is that they don’t work, because they don't absorb or incorporate into the tissues under the skin, where we have the breakdown that leads to aging. What recent science has proposed is that the biologically active types of collagen that are in the superficial fascia (that’s the layer just under and attached to the skin’s underside) are the ones with the anti-aging properties.

Skin’s protective lipid design won’t allow collagen in creams to penetrate to the superficial fascia, where the decrease of collagen really occurs. Collagen is what’s known as a polar molecule, so it won’t bind to the fat cells in the skin.

Think of it like two negatively charged magnets. They always repel each other. The creams might help the skin’s most outer layer and the fine-line issue, but it won’t make a dent in collagen stimulation in any way. So save your money and don’t buy into the $400 skin creams that claim to boost collagen production. 

Collagen can help give the illusion of smoothness, but don’t be fooled into thinking that rubbing a collage-containing moisturizer on your face will suddenly help your skin’s natural collagen. Large collagen molecules cannot penetrate the skin’s deep layers, so they remain on the surface and do not have an effect on how the skin performs.

From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.