Collagen 101: Misconceptions and Myths

Collagen is found throughout the body, and it is one of the secrets to beautiful skin

What you may not be aware of is that you may have been misled about collagen and collagen supplements.

Collagen is one of those buzzwords that is often heard but not fully understood. Today we’ll help you discover the common misconceptions about collagen.

MYTH #1: You cannot restore your body’s own collagen

THE TRUTH – You can boost collagen with active ingredients found in creams and lotions and by having laser and other similar types of skin treatments
Your body does not stop producing collagen as we age. Rather, it is the rate of collagen production that is reduced as we age. This reduced level of collagen production cannot be increased by the topical application of typical collagen creams. Instead, collagen production needs to be stimulated either with active ingredients applied to the skin or by treatment with lasers or other similar devices.

MYTH #2: Taking collagen supplements gives you radiant skin

THE TRUTH – Taking collagen supplements will have virtually no effect on your skin
When collagen-enriched or fortified products are taken by mouth, your body will digest the collagen molecule in the stomach and use it like food instead of firming up the skin and restoring skin elasticity. Taking collagen supplements will not boost collagen levels in your skin.

MYTH #3: Marine collagen is more effective than animal collagen

THE TRUTH – There is no difference in the effectiveness of marine and animal collagen. When taken by mouth, both have virtually no effect on the skin
Marine collagen refers to collagen obtained from cold water fish. There is really no difference in the effectiveness of marine collagen and animal collagen – both are essentially completely ineffective in boosting collagen in the skin when taken by mouth.

MYTH #4: Collagen creams can penetrate the dermis layers

THE TRUTH – When applied to the skin surface, virtually none of the applied collagen will penetrate deeply into the skin
Because the collagen molecule is so large, it’s highly unlikely that collagen creams when applied topically on the surface of the skin will penetrate deeply into the dermal layers of the skin. The only ways to boost collagen in the skin are either by applying active ingredients to the skin that stimulate new collagen production or by undergoing treatment with lasers, radio frequency devices, and other medical devices.
In your quest to obtain smooth, radiant and youthful looking skin, you may have heard many people speak about the many benefits of collagen, in part due to the onslaught of ‘collagen-infused’ beauty products or ‘collagen-enriched’ drinks and food, which are readily available now. However, before you jump on the bandwagon and load up on the collagen products that claim to restore elasticity in your skin and maintain youthfulness, let’s just say there is very limited, if any, effectiveness with any of them.



Thermage is a non-surgical, non-invasive radio frequency technique that tightens and lifts sagging skin, effectively smoothing lines and wrinkles. It has been used for over a decade, and our office has performed close to 1000 Thermage treatments over the years. Used on the face and eyelids, it can take years off your appearance in a subtle, natural way. Thermage was the first effective non-invasive skin tightening device.


Like Thermage, TempSure is also a completely non-invasive treatment that uses radiofrequency energy to rejuvenate the skin. The radio frequency energy is delivered through a wand that is placed in contact with the skin and smoothly passed over the skin surface. With TempSure, we have complete control of the skin temperature at all times during the treatment. Thermage, however, does not have this type of temperature control. For this reason, you can think of TempSure as the “next generation Thermage.” In our office, we are transitioning our existing Thermage patients to TempSure, and treating our new patients with TempSure from the beginning.

Collagen 101: Misconceptions and Myths
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Collagen 101: Misconceptions and Myths
Collagen is one of those buzzwords that is often heard but not fully understood. Today we’ll help you discover the common misconceptions about collagen.
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Mary Lee Amerian M.D. Dermatology
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