All Topics
Bienfaits collagène peau.

What are the benefits of collagen for the skin?

The skin is composed of several elements, including proteins such as collagen. Naturally present in the dermis, it is one of the guarantors of the firmness, flexibility, and structure of the skin. However, over the years, its quantity decreases, so much so that an external supply may be necessary to ensure skin health.


What is collagen?

Naturally present in the body, collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body: it accounts for about 25% of the proteins found in the body. Produced by fibroblasts, it provides a mechanical resistance to stretching and a structure to many connective tissues in the body, which is why collagen is found, among other places, in the skin, muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, hair...

There exist 28 types of collagen each with different properties depending on where it is located. Type I is the major component of the extracellular matrix of the dermis, representing 80 to 90% of the total collagen. It is characterized by three polypeptide chains organized in a helical manner, each composed of a thousand amino acids linked together by disulfide bridges to form patterns (called sequences). Glycine is the most represented amino acid, but it is also rich in proline and hydroxyproline.

Collagen holds significant importance for the skin. Present in the form of fibers, it ensures tissue regeneration, provides high elasticity, imparts flexibility and resistance, and acts as a binder between skin cells, helping to maintain its structure. The issue is that as the years pass, collagen synthesis slows down. This loss can begin around the age of 25, and the body can lose approximately 1% of collagen per year, and gradually up to 25% per year. Thus, by the age of 80, we have lost 75% of collagen compared to young adults. Moreover, over the years, collagen fibers become rigid, fragmented, and disorganized.

These phenomena promote the appearance of wrinkles, loss of firmness and elasticity in tissues, and sagging of the skin. On the other hand, a lack of collagen in the skin leads to an irregular skin texture: the skin loses its radiance and the complexion becomes less uniform. Unprotected exposure to UV rays, smoking, air pollution, not to mention the role of diet with glycation (the binding of sugars to collagen) leading to a stiffening of this protein, all contribute to this premature degradation of collagen.

What does collagen do at the cosmetic level?

To slow down skin aging, the external supply of collagen can help. Thus, it can be used in cosmetics to compensate for the decrease in production related to age, and thus help to reduce the depth of wrinkles and improve the appearance of the skin. Topically, collagen exerts an action:

  • Anti-radical: studies in vitro have shown that collagen possesses potential antioxidant properties, meaning they are capable of neutralizing free radicals, thereby mitigating the harmful effects induced by oxidative stress;

  • Hydrating: Collagen aids in combating and preventing dehydration by forming a thin film on the surface of the epidermis, protecting the skin against insensible water loss and external aggressions. Moreover, it has the ability to attract and retain water molecules in the tissues to hold water within them, thereby maintaining a good hydration level in the epidermis. Finally, collagen also helps to increase cell-to-cell adhesion in the epidermis, which is involved in the structural integrity of the epidermis and the formation of the barrier;

  • Restructuring: studies in vitro and in vivo have shown that collagen hydrolysate has the power to stimulate the body's natural production of the molecule, while reducing its destruction. Similarly, peptides derived from hydrolyzed collagen stimulate the proliferation and activity of fibroblasts, which are the skin cells responsible for the production of collagen, elastin, and glycosaminoglycans. Furthermore, the increase in cell-to-cell adhesion helps to maintain smooth and firm skin for a longer period. Thus, collagen delays the appearance of wrinkles, improves skin texture, and its elasticity.

What are the terms of use?

Native collagen is a fibrous protein with a high molecular weight (300 kDa). Due to these characteristics, it cannot penetrate the epidermal barrier. However, to be properly assimilated and perform its functions, it must have a molecular weight between 2,000 and 6,000 Da, as the lower the molecular weight, the better the bioavailability.

To address this, the collagen is hydrolyzed, meaning it is broken down into peptides composed of amino acids with molecular weights lower than the original molecule (approximately between 1,000 and 10,000 Da) to facilitate trans-epidermal penetration.

Collagen in Typology skincare products?

Many cosmetic products have incorporated collagen into their composition: at Typology, it is included in the formulation of the serum for wrinkles and loss of firmness, found under the INCI name "Collagen Amino Acids". The hydrolyzed form of collagen was used in order to have a deeper action of collagen and stimulate the natural production of the protein.

Generally, the collagen used in cosmetology is of animal origin: it is either extracted from beef or pork cartilage, or from the skin, bones, and scales of fish. The one used in our serum is of plant origin: these are plant fragments of type I collagen that mimic human collagen and have been transiently generated through wild plants. The Nicotiana benthamiana is the one used as a support. To do this, a synthetic fragment of human type I collagen was cloned and transcribed in vitro, before being inserted into the cytoplasm of the plant cells.

For better absorption and to amplify its effects, we have combined collagen with vitamin C (INCI name: Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate), which is also known to stimulate collagen production. Along the way, it also protects the skin from free radicals, which are responsible for premature skin aging. Tobacco, pollution, sun exposure, alcohol, and an unbalanced diet all contribute to the emergence of free radicals that disrupt collagen production and its quality.


  • VOORHEES J. J. & al. Decreased collagen production in chronologically aged skin. American Journal of Pathology (2006).

  • PIERARD G. E. & al. Kinetics of moisturizing and firming effects of cosmetic formulations. International Journal of Cosmetic Science (2008).

  • CAMELI N. & al. Effects of topical gluco-oligosaccharide and collagen tripeptide F in the treatment of sensitive atopic skin. International Journal of Cosmetic Science (2009).

  • WU C.-J. & al. Effects of sizes and conformations of fish-scale collagen peptides on facial skin qualities and transdermal penetration efficiency. Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology (2010).

  • RODRIGUEZ M.I. A. A review on its sources and potential cosmetic applications. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology (2018).

  • AHUIRRE-ÁLVAREZ G. & al. Collagen hydrolysates for skin protection: oral administration and topical formulation. Antioxidants (2020).

  • GADOMSKA M. & al. Collagen based materials in cosmetic applications: a review. Materials (2020).

  • QI B. & al. Transdermal permeation effect of collagen hydrolysates of deer sinew on mouse skin, ex vitro, and antioxidant activity, increased type I collagen secretion of percutaneous proteins in NIH/3T3 cells. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology (2020).


Understand your skin
and its complex needs.