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Collagen, a type of protein, is naturally produced by our skin, but both natural factors (i.e. getting older) and environmental aggressors (like ultraviolet rays) lead to a decrease in collagen production over time. Replacing this essential protein isn’t quite as simple as applying topical products that contain collagen, though — instead, it’s better to apply lotions that are enriched with ingredients that help boost collagen production. So the best collagen body lotions contain either collagen as well as other skin-supporting ingredients, or are made with collagen-boosting ingredients like retinol, AHAs, or vitamin C.
In addition to using a quality body lotion every day, experts say that eating a balanced diet with enough protein, vitamins, and minerals helps support collagen production. Equally essential is wearing sunscreen daily and practicing other ways to be sun safe, like reducing your time in the sun and wearing sun-protective clothing, since UVA rays break down collagen fibers which, over time, can impact your skin’s appearance and elasticity.
Below, you’ll find seven excellent collagen-containing or collagen-boosting body lotions to choose from. And if you’re looking to add more collagen to your beauty cabinet, you might want to work in a collagen serum, or one of the best collagen creams for your face, too.
1. Tie: The Best Drugstore Body Lotion
If you want a body lotion that actually contains collagen, this one, from Palmer’s, is a great choice. It’s made with collagen and elastin to promote smoother skin, along with nourishing ingredients like vitamin E, shea butter, and the brand’s signature cocoa butter (which gives this lotion a delicious, cocoa-y smell). Another key ingredient in here is Coenzyme Q10, a powerful antioxidant with all sorts of skin-supporting benefits. In this bottle, you get 10.6 ounces of product for just over $5, so it’s a great value, too.
2. Tie: The Best Drugstore Collagen Body Lotion
Another great, affordable body lotion that contains collagen and elastin, Jergens’ skin-firming moisturizer is made with the brand’s proprietary Hydralucence blend to impart a luminous, glowy finish. This oil-infused body lotion leaves skin feeling so smooth and soft, and it has a lovely, fresh scent as well. This also costs just over $5, like the Palmer’s lotion, but you get even more product in this bottle — 16.8 ounces, to be exact.
3. The Best Collagen-Boosting Body Lotion With Retinol
Of all the skin-supporting ingredients out there, retinoids — the category under which retinol falls — have the most proof of their ability to encourage collagen production. Naturally, then, Paula's Choice Retinol Skin-Smoothing Body Treatment is one of the best body lotions you can buy if encouraging collagen production is a priority for you. This also contains antioxidants and plant-based oils to hydrate and soften skin, and the lotion glides on easily, absorbs quickly, and doesn’t contain any fragrance.
4. The Best Collagen-Boosting Body Lotion With Glycolic Acid
12% glycolic acid is the hero ingredient in this fragrance-free body lotion from Alpha. Glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid that’s known to be effective at encouraging collagen development, and it’s also amazing for promoting smoother skin because it’s an exfoliant. That makes it an especially good choice for anyone with keratosis pilaris, or skin that’s generally bumpy and rough. With any exfoliating ingredient, though, such as an AHA or retinol, your skin can become more sensitive to the sun, so don’t forget to apply sunscreen on all areas of exposed skin.
5. The Best Collagen-Boosting Body Lotion With Vitamin C
The beloved antioxidant vitamin C also helps promote collagen production, so this vitamin C-rich moisturizer from Juice Beauty is another great body lotion to consider. Vitamin C is amazing for helping to protect your skin from free radicals as well, so using this in conjunction with a sunscreen is one of the best ways to prevent skin damage. This lotion also contains malic acid, a gentle AHA, and peptides to leave your skin feeling bouncy and firm. It smells amazing and absorbs quickly, too.
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Designed for use on your face, neck, and décolletage, DHC’s All-in-One Gel is made with moisturizers like squalane and hyaluronic acid; the antioxidant astaxanthin to promote more even-looking skin; and hydrolyzed collagen for all those firming and smoothing benefits. This refreshing gel-cream contains no added fragrance or dye; the tint actually comes from the red astaxanthin, which is what gives salmon its color.