Truth be told, it’s just a marketing tactic. “Collagen is a huge molecule that sits on the surface of the skin and cannot be absorbed into the dermis,” Engelman once shared with mbg. "When applied topically, it is not possible for collagen to penetrate, which is why we use other actives to stimulate collagen production."
The other active ingredients Engelman is referring to are things like retinol, retinoids, or chemical exfoliants, like glycolic acid. These products are effective in terms of spurring your natural collagen production process, but no topical can supply your skin with more collagen itself.
If you are interested in improving collagen production, the answer is to leverage collagen supplements for inside-out skincare benefits rooted in science.* Research shows hydrolyzed collagen supplements are able to enhance your body's own collagen production by stimulating fibroblasts, those same cells that make collagen and elastin to begin with.* This will support your skin’s elasticity and dermal density—two major factors that contribute to that tight, youthful look.*
Of course, not all collagen supplements are created equal. Make sure the formula you choose comes with a clinically-useful dose, clean ingredients, and ideally includes vitamin C, as the antioxidant is required in collagen formation in the body.* For what it's worth: mindbodygreen's beauty & gut collagen+ contains 17.7 grams of grass-fed collagen peptides (types I and III), as well as hyaluronic acid, vitamins C and E, biotin, L-glutamine, turmeric, and sulforaphane from broccoli to support skin health from multiple angles.*