The Ultimate Guide to Collagen Skincare
Whether you’re looking for an anti-ageing skincare solution, or you’re coveting a radiant complexion that boasts luminosity and hydration, Collagen is an ingredient you will most certainly have heard of. The most abundant protein in the human body, Collagen is the naturally occurring “building block” that keeps your skin smooth, plump, and healthy. But what exactly does Collagen do in skincare? What is the best Collagen for your skin? And how do you maximise its benefits?
Collagen can be transformative, but the truth is, not all Collagen products are created equal. That’s why we’re here to help you sort the wheat from the chaff. Having dedicated years to researching and refining our Collagen-based formulas, we’ve established ourselves as pioneers in this area of skincare. Now, we’re passing that knowledge on to you with our Ultimate Guide to Collagen Skincare.
Here, we’ll explain the skin-plumping, age-defying benefits of our approach to Collagen skincare, dispel common misconceptions, and reveal how to get the most out of this remarkable ingredient. Notepads at the ready, ladies…
What is Collagen?
First and foremost, it’s important to understand what Collagen is and its function in relation to your skin’s appearance and overall health.
“Collagen is a protein molecule made up of amino acids. It provides structural support to the extracellular space of connective tissues. Due to its rigidity and resistance to stretching, it is the perfect matrix for skin, tendons, bones and ligaments.”
Collagen is the main structural protein in skin, making up a significant portion of the dermal layer. It forms a network of fibres that provides a kind of “scaffolding” for your skin, keeping it firm, supple and strong.
Furthermore, Collagen helps bind and retain water molecules. In other words, it helps maintain hydration levels, which, in turn, leaves your skin looking plumper, smoother and healthier. A key component of your body’s natural wound healing process, Collagen also helps repair damaged or irritated skin.
As we age, Collagen production naturally slows down, decreasing by about 1% every year after the age of 30. However, this process can be exacerbated by lifestyle choices and environmental aggressors such as UV exposure, pollution, smoking/passive smoking, poor nutrition, hormonal fluctuations, inflammation, lack of sleep and stress.
This reduction of Collagen is what causes fine lines, wrinkles, laxity and a loss of firmness in the skin.
What are the signs and symptoms of a loss of Collagen?
So, how do you know if your skin needs more Collagen? While these signs and symptoms may result from other factors as well, they can suggest that your skin could benefit from increased Collagen support:
Fine lines and wrinkles
The appearance of fine lines and wrinkles is a telltale sign that your skin’s Collagen levels are starting to deplete. You’ll notice these more around expressive areas of your face like your forehead, eyes, between your brows, and around your mouth.
As we explained before, Collagen is the “scaffolding” that keeps your skin supple and taut. Therefore, a loss of skin firmness and sagging—often noticeable in the cheeks, jowls, and neck—can be attributed to decreased Collagen levels.
Moreover, Collagen’s structural properties help keep your skin looking plump. So, if you notice hollowness in certain areas of your face, such as your cheeks and eyes, this can also be indicative of declining Collagen levels.
If you gently pinch your skin, you’ll probably notice it springs back once you let go. Elastin—another structural protein in the skin—is what gives your skin this bounciness, and it goes hand in hand with Collagen. So, if your skin no longer feels as elastic as it used to, this can also indicate a decline in Collagen.
A strong and healthy Collagen matrix plays an important role in reducing transepidermal water loss, helping to keep your skin looking and feeling hydrated. Reduced Collagen can, therefore, lead to decreased hydration, resulting in dry, dull, lacklustre skin.
Slower wound healing is another sign of decreased Collagen levels. If you’re noticing that minor cuts and blemishes are taking longer to heal, it could suggest that your skin would benefit from increased Collagen support.
What are the most effective Collagen skincare products?
So, now that you know all about the properties of Collagen, you’re probably wondering how you can make it the cornerstone of your skincare ritual. That’s where we can help…
This handbag essential provides on-the-go rejuvenation thanks to advanced Collagen Peptides and Soluble Collagen. Dubbed by Vogue as “a facial in a can,” this fast-acting spray has been clinically proven to improve skin smoothness and texture while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Simply spritz onto your face, neck and décolletage to plump and revive dull skin.
Collagen and Hyaluronic Acid Face Masks
A truly indulgent treatment, taken directly from our in-spa facials, this cooling Collagen mask hydrates, plumps, and rejuvenates skin in just 15 minutes. It’s powered by Collagen Peptides and Native Collagen Fibres to help improve skin firmness and elasticity while soothing your skin and calming signs of irritation.
• Instantly boosts under-eye hydration by up to 55%
• Instantly increases overall skin hydration by up to 38%
• Instantly reduces the depth of fine lines by up to 78%
Collagen Eye Masks
Ideal for travelling or as a prep step before special events, this rejuvenating eye treatment smooths and firms the delicate under-eye area in just 15 minutes. Starring Collagen Peptides and Native Collagen Fibres, this clever mask helps to stimulate Collagen production and replenish epidermal moisture levels.
• Instantly boosts hydration by up to 60%
• Reduces redness and signs of irritation by up to 28%
• Instantly reduces the depth of fine lines by up to 15%
Why choose Carol Joy London’s Collagen skincare?
“Different types of Collagen ingredients have different benefits,” explains Carol Joy London Founder, Carol Hatton. “We use unique combinations of Soluble and Insoluble Collagen and Collagen Peptides in our products to ensure maximum efficacy.”
You may have read that Collagen molecules are too large to effectively penetrate your skin. This is where Soluble Collagen comes in. It has a lighter molecular weight, making it much easier for your skin to absorb.
“Our products are powered by Soluble Collagen, which possesses a remarkable affinity with the skin’s natural structure, enabling deeper penetration and hydration,” explains Carol. “It’s key for facial rejuvenation and helps promote plumper, smoother, glowing skin which is why we use it in our formulas."
Also referred to as Native Collagen Fibres, Insoluble Collagen forms a three-dimensional network that closely resembles our epidermal structure. Acting as a “second skin,” it provides instant hydration while helping to soothe signs of irritation and increase elasticity.
"Insoluble Collagen remarkably enhances the skin’s resilience and appearance. It has been shown to improve skin hydration by up to 28% and boost elasticity by 20%," explains UK trainer, Gerri "The use of Insoluble Collagen in Carol Joy London’s Collagen and Hyaluronic Face Mask dramatically rejuvenates skin by actively promoting a firmer, more youthful complexion."
Collagen is a naturally occurring protein in the skin produced by fibroblasts. When our innate ability to synthesise Collagen slows down, Collagen Peptides can be used to boost Collagen production. They work by sending signals to fibroblasts to produce more Collagen, thereby supporting healthy collagen production and helping to improve the overall health and appearance of your skin.
Can you use Collagen on your skin every day?
High-quality Collagen skincare products are perfectly suitable for use as part of your daily ritual. As well as boasting a range of youth-boosting, skin-soothing benefits, Collagen works in synergy with other ingredients—such as SPF, Vitamin C and Retinol, to name but a few—to help improve overall skin health.
However, it’s worth bearing in mind that everyone’s skin is different. So, like with any skincare product, it’s important to check the full ingredients list to ensure there’s nothing in the formula that will irritate your skin.
What other active ingredients help support Collagen production?
As fantastic as Collagen is for your skin, it can’t do everything—no skincare ingredient can. That’s why it’s important to craft a well-rounded routine that delivers a range of actives with a variety of benefits.
UV exposure accelerates Collagen breakdown and can lead to premature ageing. To prevent this, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily (at least SPF 30) and reapply every two hours—even on cold, cloudy days.
Also known as Vitamin A, Retinol helps to stimulate cell turnover while supporting the synthesis of Collagen and Elastin.
Antioxidants help shield your skin against free radical damage. This damage can cause inflammation, which, in turn, leads to Collagen breakdown. Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Niacinamide are a few examples of potent antioxidants that can neutralise free radicals and help support healthy Collagen production.
Peptides are short chains of amino acids. They send signals to your cells, telling them which proteins to produce, one of which is Collagen. Collagen Peptides are key ingredients in a wide range of Carol Joy London skincare products. In addition to the Pure Collagen Spray, Collagen Eye Mask and Collagen & Hyaluronic Face Mask, they also feature in the Day Care Moisturiser and Forever Cream.
Are there additional benefits to taking Collagen supplements?
Whether or not Collagen supplements are beneficial or not is a topic of ongoing research and debate among experts.
If you are considering ingestible Collagen, make sure that the supplement you’re taking contains bioavailable Collagen with a low molecular weight and is protected against our bodys’ natural digestion processes.
How do you know if Collagen is working?
Like all skincare, Collagen-based products yield the best results when they’re used consistently over long periods of time.
Faeye our head trainer says, “Although skincare products can offer instant hydration and luminosity, the true results come when you use a formula consistently over time. Your skin cells regenerate every 28 days, so we always suggest persevering with products for at least a month, if not two or three, in order to maximise the benefits. This principle applies to all skincare products, including those powered by Collagen.”
If you’re using the products regularly and they’re effective, you can expect to see the following:
Improved texture and tone
Healthy Collagen production enhances your skin’s ability to retain moisture and hydration, reducing roughness. The amino acids found in Collagen can also help minimise dark spots and post-blemish scarring by supporting your skin’s natural healing process. So, after a couple of months of using Collagen, your skin should start to feel smoother and appear more even.
Reduction in fine lines and wrinkles
As the key structural protein in our skin, Collagen provides volume and firmness, which, in turn, reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This kind of significant improvement in skin texture can take several months to become noticeable, often around three to six months of consistent use.
Collagen has the ability to help hydrate skin in the short term while working to improve laxity and hollowness over several months. This results in plumper, bouncier skin that feels firmer and more supple.
At what age should you start taking collagen supplements or use Collagen skincare?
The ideal age to start using Collagen skincare will vary from person to person. It completely depends on your genetics, lifestyle, and environment. With that being said, natural Collagen production generally starts to slow down in your early 20s.
As you enter your late 20s and early 30s, the decline begins to speed up, gathering more momentum as you get older.
“The sooner you start using products that support and boost Collagen production, the better. I’d therefore recommend incorporating Collagen-powered products into your skincare routine in your early thirties. My advice would be to invest in high-quality formulas that offer a variety of Collagen-boosting actives.
“However, even if you are in your 50s to 60s Collagen can still have truly transformational effects on your skin, so it’s never too late to take advantage of this age-defying active.” - Amanda Coveney