When I took a look, following a request from a reader, at Dermal FX and the Day and Night Cream ($149.95), which prominently features collagen and elastin the first thing that jumped to my mind was egg yolk.

Now I appreciate that this might seem a bit eccentric, but bear with me. Remember when we all thought it was a bad idea to eat egg yolks. The thinking was that the high cholesterol in egg yolks would increase cholesterol in our bodies. This has long been disproved: eating cholesterol doesn’t accumulate as cholesterol (sugar and fat do that and if you want more on all of this, you can check out my eggs and cholesterol post on Truth In Slimming). Anyhow, back to Dermal FX. The thing is that rubbing collagen onto your face won’t increase the collagen in your skin, anymore than eating a source of cholesterol increases choleseterol levels.

Collagen in topical cosmetics (as opposed to collagen injections) only treats the surface layer of the skin, and even if it is identical to human protein, it won’t supplement collagen deficiencies.

Collagen is a mesh of fibers in the skin. It has high quantities of four amino acids, proline, lysine, hydroxylysine and hydroxyproline. There are 12 different types of collagen throughout the body. Type 1 and 2 are the most abundant in the skin. The amount of collagen in your skin begins to decline as you age. Skin collagen Type 2 begins to decline as the body stops growing, but Type 1 increases until age 35. Then Type 1 also starts to decline.

To stimulate production of new collagen in the skin, a cosmetic formula needs to incorporate ingredients that efficiently penetrate deeply and work together to rebuild collagen. However, the cumulative effect of ingredients like amino acids, copper peptides, and growth factors might. The same holds true for another skin-meshing protein in Dermal FX – elastin.

Even if you want to believe in topical collagen, another problem is that the collagen molecules contained in most of these creams are much too large penetrate the surface of the skin. Now Dermal FX uses both soluble and hydrolyzed collagen. In these, the collagen molecules have been broken down into much smaller fragments, which are able to penetrate the skin's surface. However, according to Smart Skincare they still aren’t able integrate with the skin's own collagen.

Some cosmetics include soluble or hydrolyzed collagen. In this case, the collagen molecules have been broken down into much smaller fragments, which are able to penetrate the skin's surface. According to Smart Skincare, even when this form of collagen enters the skin, the molecule fragments are too small to be able to integrate with the skin's own collagen.

All in all, I believe it is better to look for active ingredients that may actually boost collagen production. Matrixyl 3000 is a good example and it is, in fact, in Dermal FX Day and Night Cream. Unfortunately, it is right near the end of the ingredients list whereas collagen and elastin are the first two.

Other useful collagen boosters to keep an out for are aldenine, vitamin C and  In addition to Matrixyl and Matrixyl 3000, other peptides are ChroLine and hexapeptide. Finally, another good way to encourage collagen is LED light therapy.

Ingredients in Dermal FX Day and Night

Soluble Collagen, Hydrolyzed Elastin, Aqua, Stearic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Glycerin, Isopropyl Myristate, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Polysorbate 20, Butylene Glycol, Cetyl Alcohol, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Parfum, Triethanolamine, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Vegetable Oil, Niacinamide, Beeswax, Propylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Carbomer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Lactic Acid, Diazolidinyl Urea, Polysorbate 60, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Hydrolyzed Elastin, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Retinyl Palmitate.