Collagen is a protein commonly found in human skin and other tissues. As we age, the production of this protein slows down, and we start seeing the first signs of aging such as fine lines. To combat aging, many turn to collagen serums as they are being promoted as a key in reducing collagen decline in one’s skin.
However, according to the current scientific knowledge, applying collagen-containing serums on your skin may not yield the desired results. This is because collagen particles are too large to be absorbed through the skin. Nonetheless, there are many active ingredients used in collagen serums that may boost the production of this protein and thus deliver anti-aging results.
In this article, we will explore some of the best collagen serum products that may help to rejuvenate and revitalize your skin. In the following list, we included a wide range of serums that contain active ingredients linked to increased collagen synthesis.
Best collagen serum: a shortlist
- CLEARSTEM — best collagen serum for acne
- LunaMD — best collagen serum for face rejuvenation
- Instytutum — best collagen face serum with hyaluronic acid for deep hydration
- Facetheory — best collagen boosting serum with retinol for anti-aging
- Geologie — best collagen serum with vitamin C for skin protection
- Joieuse — best collagen booster serum with multi-peptides for improved skin texture
How we evaluated the best collagen serum?
|Contains ingredients that may boost collagen production
|Does not contain irritating ingredients
|Offers refunds, positive customer reviews
- Active ingredients. Serums are known for having higher concentrations of active ingredients than face creams. We picked products that contain certain ingredients that are capable of positively influencing collagen production.
- Formula. To ensure the product is not irritant for most individuals, we checked the formula for any potentially sensitizing or harsh ingredients. However, if you have sensitive skin, it is best to consult with a dermatologist before incorporating any new products into your routine.
- Price. Price is an important factor when choosing beauty products. We included products from a wide range of price points.
- Customer experience. We evaluated factors that can impact customer satisfaction such as refund policies and subscription models. Moreover, we analyzed customer reviews to find any pain points that might be associated with the product.
Best collagen serum for face: overview
There are plenty of options to choose from if you are looking for a serum that may boost collagen production. After analyzing a wide range of serums on the market, we identified some of the best collagen serums that are worth considering.
1. CLEARSTEM — best collagen serum for acne prone skin
Formulated to help manage hormonal acne, CELLRENEW® by CLEARSTEM stands out as the top choice for collagen serums. The main ingredients in this product that are intended for acne are saw palmetto, green tea, and reishi Mushroom. Besides that, according to the brand, it features a proprietary blend of stem cells proposed to stimulate collagen production.
Additionally, this serum includes hyaluronic acid, one of the most potent moisturizers in cosmetics. Since hyaluronic acid can retain up to 1000 times its weight in water, it may efficiently lock hydration into the skin and make it more plump and radiant.
If you opt to purchase CLEARSTEM, one bottle (1 fl oz. or 29 ml) is currently priced at $62.
2. LunaMD — best anti-aging collagen serum
Made from a wide array of skin-nourishing ingredients, LunaStem© from LunaMD takes the top spot as the best collagen serum for aging skin on our list. Not only is this product proposed to target skin aging, but it may also increase skin brightness, improve texture, and minimize the appearance of pores.
The effects of this Luna MD serum are mostly attributed to ingredients such as lunasin® (peptide), vitamin C, lilac stem cells, marine algae extract, and undaria algae extract.
Peptides, for instance, are a type of amino acid that may possess anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, vitamin C is one of the most potent antioxidants in skincare, known for its potential to limit the damage caused by UV rays.
LunaMD is recommended to be used twice per day after thoroughly cleansing the face and neck area.
One 1 fl oz (30 ml) bottle is currently available at $150 without a subscription. Purchasing with a subscription will allow you to save 5% off the product. Furthermore, this serum is covered by a 30-day refund policy.
3. Instytutum — best hyaluronic acid-infused collagen serum
Instytutum’s Collagen Booster Super Serum is an ultra-lightweight and fast-absorbing serum featuring multi-molecular hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is known for its remarkable water-binding ability, making it a go-to choice in cosmetics as a reliable moisturizer that may keep the skin plump and elastic.
The serum also features collagen itself. Certain data suggest that collagen also possesses similar abilities to retain water (similarly to hyaluronic acid) making it a viable choice as a moisturizer in topical skincare products.
Other ingredients in this product (e.g., peptides and polysaccharides) may also support skin elasticity.
Moreover, this product is free of harsh ingredients and, according to the manufacturer, delivers calming and pore-refining benefits.
One 1 oz (30 ml) bottle of Instytutum is currently priced at $129. All unopened bottles may be returned for a refund within 14 days after the delivery date.
4. Facetheory — best collagen boosting serum featuring retinoic and hyaluronic acid
Vitamin A derivatives such as retinol, retinal, and retinoic acid are becoming increasingly popular in cosmetics due to their ability to rejuvenate the skin. This Hyaluret Serum from Facetheory stands as a customer-favorite retinol serum used to tackle aging and improve skin texture.
Moreover, it contains other ingredients linked to increased collagen synthesis, for instance, niacinamide (or vitamin B3) and vitamin C.
Due to its formula, this serum may be irritating and should be introduced into your routine gradually. Using SPF is essential if you opt for retinol serums, as they make your skin more sensitive to UV rays.
As of now, one bottle of this serum (1 fl oz or 30 ml) is retailed at $43 if you buy it as a one-time purchase. Subscribing allows you to save a total of 15% on your purchase. In addition, Facetheory offers a generous 365-day refund policy for their products — even the opened ones.
5. Geologie — best collagen face serum with vitamin C
Vitamin C in skincare is used for its potential to stimulate collagen production, protect the skin from free radicals, and brighten complexion by fading dark spots and hyperpigmentation. If you are seeking to incorporate this potent vitamin into your skincare routine, this Geologie serum stands as an excellent choice.
Geologie's serum contains 5% of vitamin C together with vitamin E. Vitamin E is known to work in synergy with vitamin C.
To ensure the stability of the vitamin C in this serum, ferulic acid has also been added. This is crucial as vitamin C can be rather unstable in skincare products.
As of now, a 30 ml (1 fl. oz) bottle of this product is priced at $48 for those who purchase the product without the subscription. You can save an additional 10% off the product if you opt in for auto-refills. Although the subscription can be canceled anytime, keep in mind that this company does not accept returns.
Comparison of the best collagen serums
|Main active ingredients
|Hyaluronic acid, reishi mushroom, aloe vera, proprietary blend of stem cells
|30-day money-back guarantee
|1 fl oz. (29 ml)
|Lunasin® (peptide), vitamin C, lilac stem cells, marine algae extract, undaria algae extract
|30-day money-back guarantee
|1 fl oz. (30 ml)
|Hyaluronic acid, peptides, collagen, tripeptide-5, polysaccharides, pro-vitamin B5
|14-day money-back guarantee
|1 fl oz. (30 ml)
|Retinoic and hyaluronic acid ester, beta glucan, dill extract
|Anti-aging and skin rejuvenation
|365-day money-back guarantee
|1 fl oz. (30 ml)
|Vitamin C, vitamin E, ferulic acid, and hyaluronic acid
|Skin protection and anti-aging
|1 fl oz. (30 ml)
* — Prices may vary depending on your purchase type (one time or with a subscription).
Why should you use a collagen serum?
Collagen production in our bodies, including the skin, starts to diminish way sooner than you might think — starting even in our mid-to-late 20s. This reduction contributes to the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and loss of elasticity, although the effects of it may not be seen immediately. Consequently, collagen serums are presented as both a way to minimize the visible signs of aging and prevent it before it becomes a concern.
However, contrary to what the term suggests, collagen serum usually does not contain collagen itself. This is because the collagen protein molecule is too large to be absorbed through the skin directly. As a result, if you are seeking to incorporate collagen into your routine, you can opt for liquid collagen supplements as opposed to topical products with collagen. Several systematic reviews have concluded that oral collagen supplementation is beneficial for one’s skin and may enhance skin hydration and elasticity, and even reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
Nonetheless, this is not to say that collagen serums cannot improve one’s skin. The best collagen serum will incorporate various ingredients that may increase collagen production. These ingredients include such actives as retinol (or similar vitamin A derivatives), vitamin C, and niacinamide. You can often find these ingredients in anti-aging products such as collagen creams because they have been clinically studied and found to be beneficial for either skin protection or rejuvenation.
Moreover, it is worth noting that collagen in topical formulations may also work as a moisturizer. It is proposed that collagen has the ability to retain water and prevent the skin from drying out — much like hyaluronic acid. However, the data on this effect is still limited.
How to apply collagen serum?
Collagen serum is usually applied in the same manner as any other serum.
Firstly, you should cleanse your face and apply toner if it is part of your routine. If not specified otherwise, the serum comes after these steps but before oils, moisturizers, and creams.
Usually, you need 3-4 pea drops of collagen serum to cover the entire face and neck area. If your collagen serum comes with a dropper, hold it above your face or drop the serum on your hands when applying. Avoid direct contact with skin to prevent bacterial contamination.
After applying the serum, it is advisable to wait for the serum to be absorbed (at least 90 seconds) before moving to another step in your skincare routine.
However, keep in mind that every serum may have different potencies and textures, and, in turn, may require different application methods. For the best results, carefully read the label for instructions on how to apply your chosen collagen serum.
Collagen serums vs. other skincare products
Serums are cosmetic products that contain higher concentrations of active ingredients than moisturizers and creams. For this reason, they are used as a tool to tackle specific skin concerns, for instance, milia, dullness, fine lines, and dark spots.
In most cases, collagen serums are promoted as rejuvenating products since low collagen levels are associated with signs of aging — fine lines, wrinkles, and sagginess.
Furthermore, serums usually come in thinner water or gel-like consistency making them easy to be layered on top of each other or with creams and moisturizers. If you decide to combine multiple serums, be mindful of the active ingredients as some may cause irritation when used together.
If you are unsure about your skincare routine, it is always best to consult a certified dermatologist, especially if you have sensitive skin or any other more severe skin concerns.
How to incorporate collagen serum into your skincare routine?
Once you have chosen the best face collagen serum for your case, it is important to incorporate it into your routine correctly.
Collagen serums usually include active ingredients that could be making your skin more sensitive to UV rays. For instance, retinol is known as a potent ingredient in anti-aging products, but it can make your skin more sensitive. If your collagen serum contains sensitizing ingredients, it is crucial to use SPF during the day to protect your skin.
It is also important to understand that certain active ingredients should not be layered together as they may irritate the skin (e.g., retinol and glycolic acid).
Always read the label of the beauty product carefully to understand the best application methods and how to seamlessly incorporate it into your skincare routine. If you are unsure about any of the ingredients, it is best to consult with a professional.
Find out other beauty products
If you are seeking to improve your complexion, you can also explore our best collagen cream article.
Liquid collagen supplements may be also worth considering if you are looking for ways to minimize wrinkles and fine lines.
Consider trying our different hair growth products to improve hair volume and health.
Collagen supplements for joints may be beneficial for people seeking ways to support overall joint health.
Furthermore, the best collagen products for women over 50 may contribute to enhancing both skin and joint health.
How often should I use collagen serum?
It depends. Always look for the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use the serum. Certain active ingredients could be irritating if used daily, others can be applied twice per day. For instance, some vitamin C serums can be used twice daily.
Are collagen serums safe for sensitive skin?
Some collagen serums can be safe for sensitive skin. Read the label carefully before purchasing any serums or discuss your options with a professional.
How long until I see results with a collagen serum?
It depends on the active ingredients, the current condition of your skin, and the desired results. For instance, after using collagen serum with vitamin C you may start seeing some changes within a few weeks but it may take months to start noticing any significant results.
Can collagen serum replace Botox or cosmetic procedures?
Although some collagen-boosting serums may be able to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, their effectiveness is unlikely to be matched to more invasive procedures such as Botox.
- Nutrients. The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health.
- Indian Dermatology Online Journal. Vitamin C in dermatology.
- Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Ferulic Acid Stabilizes a Solution of Vitamins C and E and Doubles its Photoprotection of Skin.
- Advances in Dermatology and Allergology. Retinoids: active molecules influencing skin structure formation in cosmetic and dermatological.
- Molecules. Advantages of Hyaluronic Acid and Its Combination with Other Bioactive Ingredients in Cosmeceuticals.