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Here's the thing: Collagen is having a *very long* moment, (especially where the ingestible variety is concerned). But in all honesty, and because we never want to feed you misinformation here at Byrdie, the jury is still out on whether or not collagen as a skincare ingredient packs the plumping punch we've been led to believe it does. Sure, the best collagen creams definitely won't hurt your complexion in any way, and as celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau confirms, collagen itself may bolster and encourage your hydration efforts. But does it possess the magic to actually regenerate or transform your skin all on its own? Probably not.
That being said, when paired with strategic skincare technology and other helpful ingredients like vitamins, antioxidants, and acids, the best collagen creams can definitely help stave off premature aging, damage, and other possible skin woes. So while collagen creams may not yield results rivaling an in-office treatment overnight, we have discovered a crop of products supercharged with multiple ingredients and benefits which, when combined with collagen, may help maintain and improve the current state of your complexion.
Ahead, the best collagen creams Byrdie editors can get behind.
Best Overall: Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream
Team Byrdie's collagen cream of choice, this marine collagen-infused pick from Elemis features the hero ingredient padina pavonica—a marine extract that reinvigorates the skin while improving the look and severity of wrinkles and dehydration. With continual use, you can expect healthier, firmer, and more luminous skin.
Most Popular: Algenist Genius Ultimate Anti-Aging Cream
A cult-favorite collagen cream within the skincare realm (it's consistently one of the top-reviewed formulas we come across!), this genius iteration from Algenist is an all-star for more reasons than one. Enriched with potent biotechnology to stave off premature signs of aging, it utilizes efficient ingredients like alguronic acid, plant collagen, and microalgae oil to execute smoother, brighter, and firmer, results.
Best for Wrinkles: Murad Rapid Collagen Infusion
Don't underestimate this heavy-hitting, dermatologist-developed collagen cream due to its size. Specifically formulated to target wrinkles and other telltale signs of lost collagen (e.g., less elasticity, more wrinkles), it only takes a small amount of this applauded cream to revive the skin's surface with collagen, amino acids, and hydrators like hyaluronic acid.
Best Splurge: NeoCutis Bio Cream Overnight Smoothing
If you're willing to splurge, this is by far one of the best collagen creams worth investing a portion of your paycheck in. Not only does it contain plumping and glow-enhancing ingredients like growth factors, antioxidants, and matrix proteins, but it's also a dream for practically every kind of skin type—regardless of sensitivity, texture, or age.
Best Budget: Derma E Advanced Peptides & Collagen Moisturizer
As one of the more affordable picks in the bunch, this best-of-the-best collagen cream is a good bet if you're looking for benefits like hydration, radiance, and firmness, without doing a number on your wallet. Argireline helps relax facial muscles (which will lead to fewer wrinkles in the long term), and other MVPs like pycnogenol, vitamin C, and green tea lend luminosity and even skin tone.
Best Drugstore: L'Oréal Collagen Moisture Filler Day & Night Cream
Again, you don't have to spend a fortune in order to supplement your skin with collagen by way of an expertly formulated cream. This one from drugstore-favorite brand L'Oréal comes in at less than lunch and features key technology and ingredients (like natural collagen, shea butter, and Boswellia extract) for a smoother, suppler complexion in the long run.
Best Brightening: Dr. Dennis Gross C+ Collagen Deep Cream
Notable for its fast-absorbing formula and an impressive 3-O vitamin C technology, which can improve the appearance of shadows, spots, and wrinkles, this collagen cream doesn't stop there. It also boasts a blend of rare oils (think camellia, sunflower, and rice bran), which helps discourage water loss and in turn, contributes to a hydrated, dewy finish. (So you can basically bid dull, lackluster skin adieu).
Runner-Up, Best Brightening: Lancer Advanced C Radiance Cream
Scientifically formulated by the esteemed dermatologist Harold Lancer, MD, this super-charged collagen cream unsurprisingly made our best-of list. In conjunction with high-quality collagen, this advanced option also boasts a healthy serving of vitamin C, which helps maintain skin's natural thickness, brightness, and overall youthfulness.
Best for Dry Skin: Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream With Super 7 Complex
Magically, this collagen cream manages to ensure a whopping 24 hours of moisture (a godsend for perpetually dehydrated complexions) while still feeling lightweight and not at all cloying thanks to a special formulation of seven key ingredients which include—but aren't limited to—lotus root extract, maca root extract, fig fruit extract, blue-green algae, a healthy heap of vitamins… Need we go on?