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Skin Care, Skin Health

Collagen Skincare 101: Technology & Uses

by Liz Thompson
June 28, 2024

A naturally occurring protein in the body, collagen is the primary supporting structure in your skin, hair, bones, muscles and connective tissues. Collagen peptide skincare and supplements — including powders, pills and liquid collagen — have grown in popularity due to their potential benefits. But what are these benefits, and how exactly does collagen work?

Here's your guide to the basics, including the latest in collagen skincare technology and how to add it to your routine.

Collagen 101

Collagen is made of proteins called amino acids, which form tiny, rope-like structures that support cells and tissues throughout your body, creating stability and strength. Collagen gives youthful skin its firm, elastic quality.


Collagen is naturally present in animal food sources that contain connective tissue, bones and skin, like meat and fish. While they don't contain collagen, many plant foods also support your body's natural collagen synthesis, including nuts, vegetables, seeds, fruits and grains.


There are five main types of collagen. Cleveland Clinic breaks them down accordingly: Type I is densely packed throughout your body, constituting around 90% of your body's total collagen. Type II is found in elastic cartilage, which supports your joints. Type III is found in muscles, organs, arteries and the skin's middle layer. Type IV is found in the skin's layers, and type V contributes to your eyes and some layers of skin and hair.

Types I and III are most important to maintaining skin structure.

Natural Decline

Starting in your 20s, your collagen production and quality gradually decrease. This decline can be especially steep for women due to hormonal changes associated with menopause. Skin loses about 30% of its collagen within the first five years of menopause, slowing to about 2% each year after that.

External factors also contribute to collagen decline, including ultraviolet (UV) exposure, smoking and a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates.

Collagen Absorption and Micropeptide Technology

So, you can just slather on a skincare product with collagen and call it a day, right? Not so fast. Collagen's large molecular size limits how deep it can penetrate your skin when applied topically. However, advances in skincare science have provided a couple of solutions. Collagen peptides — short chains of amino acids that make up collagen — are small enough to absorb into your skin's deeper layers. Better yet, they signal your skin to produce more collagen and elastin. Micropeptide technology has an even lower molecular weight to improve collagen absorption.

When choosing skincare products with collagen, look for peptides (hydrolyzed collagen) and micropeptides for collagen stimulation to get the most out of collagen's skin benefits.

Other Collagen-Stimulating Ingredients

Beyond adding collagen to your routine through peptides and micropeptide technology, you can also take steps to support your skin's natural collagen production.

Retinol is one skincare ingredient known to promote your natural collagen. Bakuchiol, a plant extract often used as a mild retinol alternative, may also support your skin's collagen when applied topically. Bakuchiol can improve skin texture and tone, diminish fine lines and stimulate new collagen synthesis.

Vitamin C is another ingredient that can support this crucial structure. Vitamin C stimulates collagen synthesis, promotes and protects collagen fibers, and improves skin elasticity for a youthful look.

Benefits of Collagen

Here are some primary ways collagen skincare and oral collagen supplements can benefit your skin, hair and nails.

Collagen for Skin

Studies conclude that oral and topical collagen can reduce or delay skin aging. Specifically, collagen can improve skin texture, reduce pigmentation and support the skin's structure and moisture levels, minimizing the appearance of wrinkles and sagging.

In one study, participants who took oral hydrolyzed collagen supplements saw improvements in skin moisture levels, elasticity and wrinkle depth after 28 days. Researchers also noted improvements in skin softness, firmness and smoothness.

Collagen for Hair

Proline, one of the amino acids in collagen, is also present in keratin, a protein found in your hair. So, it makes sense that collagen would support healthy hair structure. Collagen for hair may also exert antioxidant activity to protect hair follicles from free radical damage, which can cause hair loss or reduced hair growth.

Collagen for Nails

Collagen peptides may help boost nail growth, improve brittleness and ward off nail breakage.

Your Guide to Neutrogena® Collagen Bank Moisturizers

Ready to dive into collagen skincare? Start with Neutrogena® Collagen Bank. Neutrogena® Collagen Bank Moisturizer and Neutrogena® Collagen Bank Moisturizer with Broad Spectrum SPF 30 are made with patented micropeptide technology to defend and support the skin's natural collagen for a healthy, youthful appearance. Developed with dermatologists, this groundbreaking micropeptide technology is two times smaller than leading anti-aging peptides to penetrate more than 10 surface layers deep for clinically proven results.

Benefits of Neutrogena® Collagen Bank Moisturizers

Wondering which new Collagen Bank Moisturizer is right for you? While both visibly improve skin texture, minimize the look of wrinkles and enhance radiance by protecting your skin's collagen, they have different uses.

Since collagen loss starts in your 20s, using a collagen moisturizer can maintain and grow your collagen supply while it's still at its peak. Meanwhile, because the sun is a leading cause of collagen depletion, it's essential to protect your skin from UV rays every day. That's where SPF comes in.

User testimonials showed visible improvement in the early signs of collagen loss. Clinical evidence for Neutrogena® Collagen Bank Moisturizer showed that 84% of users saw an improvement in the look of fine lines, skin plumpness and glow after four weeks of once-daily use. After using Neutrogena® Collagen Bank Moisturizer with Broad Spectrum SPF 30 for four weeks, 86% of users report seeing improvements in the same areas.

How to Use Neutrogena® Collagen Bank Moisturizers

Neutrogena® Collagen Bank Moisturizers are perfect for daily use. Both formulas are suitable for all skin types, including sensitive and acne-prone skin.

Apply Neutrogena® Collagen Bank Moisturizer with Broad Spectrum SPF 30 to clean skin as part of your morning routine. If you'll be out in the sun for an extended time, top it off with a dedicated facial sunscreen and reapply at least every two hours to ensure full protection.

You can use Neutrogena® Collagen Bank Moisturizer in your morning and nighttime skincare routine. If you're using both Collagen Bank products, try the moisturizer with SPF in the morning and the moisturizer with retinol-alernative bakuchiol in the evening.

Preserving Your Natural Radiance

You can't turn back the clock, but you can slow visible signs of skin aging by taking good care of your skin. That calls for a multidimensional approach, including protecting your skin from environmental harm — including UV rays — and leveraging skincare that defends and supports your skin's natural collagen. Help your skin help itself!


Where does collagen come from?

Collagen is a naturally occurring protein in humans and animals, and it's derived from animal sources including fish, poultry and beef.

Is collagen safe for pregnancy?

Talk with your health care provider before adding collagen to your routine while pregnant.

What does collagen do for your skin?

Collagen can improve skin moisture levels, smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and boost skin smoothness, firmness and softness.

Can you rebuild collagen in your skin?

While you can't reverse collagen loss, adding collagen supplements and skincare to your routine can help protect and support existing collagen, slowing or delaying the effects of collagen loss.

What are the symptoms of collagen deficiency?

Signs of collagen deficiency may include joint pain, stiff ligaments, muscle aches, and sagging, wrinkled, dry or crepey skin.

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I’m a freelance copywriter for beauty and wellness brands and creative entrepreneur with an expertise in green beauty.

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