woman with smooth, firm face

Collagen gives the skin its strength and elasticity, and is also responsible for the replacement of dead skin cells. It is the main structural protein of connective tissues and makes up from 25% to 35% of the protein content in our bodies. But, unlike other proteins, collagen can be found inside and outside cells. And, yes, it does decline as we get older and collagen-boosters are critical components of an anti-aging beauty regimen: certain amino acids, vitamin C, ultrasound and LED, and specific peptides, such as copper peptides and Matrixyl. With these actives front and center, I have put together what I consider to be the Five Best for boosting collagen.

  • Truth Vitality Lux Renew

    Truth Vitality Lux Renew ($279 in shop). Believing wholeheartedly that ultrasound and red LED are just about as effective as it gets when it comes to collagen boosting, I specifically asked the lab conducting our clinical trials to measure this. Frankly, though, we were all surprised by the astounding results: According to instrumental evaluation with a SIAScope 88.9% of subjects showed improvement in collagen. Nuff said. Ultrasound’s waves oscillate the water that surrounds cells and this movement encourages communication between cells and results in the formation of collagen. Danish researchers also found that red LED impacted collagen.
  • Medik8 Firewall

    Medik8 Firewall ($145 in the shop) was a Five Best collagen booster in 2014 and deservedly makes it back again this year. It is well known that copper peptides are important to collagen production. Copper is the key mineral in lysyl oxidase, an enzyme that weaves together collagen and elastin. There are several forms of copper in Firewall. Also important is Matrixyl 3000. This is a combination of two synthetic peptides. Although the manufacturers claims that they increase collagen have not been verified, anecdotal evidence supports that this ingredient works. There are many other interesting actives in Firewall including cysteine, which helps synthesize glutathione, one of the body’s most important natural antioxidants and detoxifiers.
  • ExPürtise Effective Anti-Aging Face Serum

    ExPürtise Effective Anti-aging Face Serum ($120 in the shop). Talking of Matrixyl 3000, here it is in this serum by new kid on the block, ExPürtise. It is one of the few serums to have combined it with newest collagen booster from the Matrixyl stable, Matrixyl Synth’6. This new peptide can synthesize collagen in six different ways. Apple stem cells and epidermal growth factor add up to what is an intelligent formula with no nasties. And it lives up to its name: Effective.
  • Dr. Dennis Gross Triple C Peptide Firming Oil

    Dr. Dennis Gross Triple C Peptide Firming Oil ($62 in the shop). Vitamin C is a co-factor with several amino acids for the synthesis of collagen and a deficiency in vitamin C will result in destroyed collagen. This Dr. Gross serum has three forms of vitamin C. In particular, ascorbyl palmitate, also known as vitamin C ester, and has been shown to boost collagen production (the only vitamin that can do this) and works synergistically with vitamin E (also in this serum). Tetrapeptide-1, when combined with wheat and soy proteins as it is here, is known as Aldenine. Tripeptide 1 mimics the relationship of the growth factors involved in the healing process and synthesis of collagen. Specifically, it is supposed to stimulate the synthesis of collagen I and III. A great serum that has become a staple of my regimen.
  • Kat Burki Form Control Collagen Gel

    Kat Burki Form Control Collagen Gel ($150). The base is the proprietary KB5 Complex with five botanical extracts, including gotu kola, a much researched anti-inflammatory that can strengthen the skin and boost type 1 collagen. The marine collagen in the product title is actually keratin from an alga. Plus, there are plant stem cells. For me, the heart of the formula is the blend of 13 or so amino acids from silk proteins. No fillers and no nasties, just ingredients that do the skin a power of good.