Top 3 Most Effective Collagen Peptide Serums, Curated by Estheticians

Our estheticians have curated the most potent collagen peptide serums that deliver effective results. From anti-aging to dark spot correction, these serums will leave your skin looking and feeling its absolute best.

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Ask the Expert: What can collagen peptides do for my skin?

BY SAMANTHA WELCH, ESTHETICIAN

As an esthetician, I often recommend collagen peptides to clients as part of their at-home skincare.

Collagen peptides contain small chains of amino acids, which are the building blocks of collagen. This is the protein responsible for maintaining your skin's structure and elasticity.[1, 2]

They nourish and improve your overall skin health over time.

Collagen peptide serums can have several benefits for your skin, including improving hydration, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and promoting a more even skin tone.[3, 4, 5]

Unlike other collagen-based skincare products, such as creams and masks, collagen peptide serums penetrate deeper into the skin, delivering more concentrated doses of collagen and other nourishing ingredients.

Choosing a high-quality product with a sufficient concentration of active ingredients is incredibly important.

Look for serums that include collagen peptides derived from marine or plant sources, as these are often more easily absorbed by the skin than animal-derived collagen.

I also recommend using serums in conjunction with other skincare products, such as moisturizers and sunscreens, to maximize skin benefits. It is also important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, and adequate hydration. This will support your skin's overall health.

If you have questions or concerns about using a collagen peptide serum or other skincare products, schedule a consultation with a skincare clinic.

Professionals can provide personalized recommendations based on your skin type and concerns, helping you achieve the best results.

Collagen Serums vs. Collagen Peptide Serums

While both collagen serums and collagen peptide serums are designed to improve skin health and reduce signs of aging, there are some key differences between the two.

Collagen serums typically contain collagen molecules that are too large to penetrate the skin, meaning that their benefits may be limited to the surface layer of the skin. 

Collagen peptide serums, on the other hand, contain smaller collagen molecules that are more easily absorbed by the skin, allowing for deeper penetration and potentially greater benefits.[6, 7, 8]

In addition, collagen peptide serums often contain other ingredients, such as amino acids and antioxidants, that work synergistically with collagen to improve skin health and function.

Ultimately, while both types of serums can improve skin health, collagen peptide serums may offer deeper and more comprehensive benefits.

Buying Cheat Sheet: 
Our Aesthetician's Top Picks

BEST COLLAGEN PEPTIDE SERUM FOR DARK SPOTS & HYPERPIGMENTATION (FACE & BODY)
  1. Admire My Skin – Ultra Potent Brightening Serum
    [ ▼ Jump to Review + Coupons ]
BEST NATURAL COLLAGEN PEPTIDE SERUM FOR ANTI-AGING
  1. Foxbrim Naturals – Renew Collagen Peptide Serum
    [ ▼ Jump to Review + Coupons ]
  2. Colorescience – Pep Up® Collagen Boost Face & Neck Serum
    [ ▼ Jump to Review + Coupons ]

Esthetician's Choice:
The Best Collagen Peptide Serums

Our resident aestheticians have curated the best collagen peptide serums for different skin types and conditions.

This award-winning selection is among the best-selling and highest-rated in the skincare industry.

Remember, most cosmetic products are tailored to specific indications. Choose a serum for your skin type and skin issues for the best results.

Admire My Skin – Ultra Potent Brightening Serum

BEST FOR: Dark spots, Hyperpigmentation, Acne, Fine lines, and Wrinkles

Our Review:

Admire My Skin's Ultra Potent Brightening Serum is a great affordable dupe for high-end brands like Murad's Rapid Dark Spot Correcting Serum, Dermalogica's Powerbright Dark Spot Serum, or the Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Dark Spot Serum.

The Ultra Potent Brightening Serum is a powerful blend of medically-proven ingredients designed to target specific skin concerns like dark spots, hyperpigmentation, acne, fine lines, and wrinkles.

Key Active Ingredients:

  • Synovea® HR – A proprietary ingredient that improves dark spots by inhibiting melanin production in the skin. It stimules glutathione and clinically proven to be 4x more effective than Hydroquinone.[9] Also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which can protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals and environmental stressors.
  • Azelaic Acid – A naturally occurring acid with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, and it can improve the appearance of acne, rosacea, and hyperpigmentation.[10]
  • Lactic Acid (L) – A type of alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that exfoliates the skin, removes dead skin cells, and improves overall skin texture.[11]
  • Kojic Acid – A natural ingredient derived from mushrooms that has skin-brightening and antioxidant properties, and can reduce the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation.[12]
  • Salicylic Acid – A beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) that exfoliates the skin, unclog pores, and improve the appearance of acne and other skin blemishes.
  • L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) – A powerful antioxidant that protects the skin from environmental damage, improves skin texture, and reduces fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water – A natural astringent that tightens pores and reduces inflammation and redness in the skin.

Tried & Tested:

The Ultra Potent Brightening Serum has a lightweight and fast-absorbing consistency, making it ideal for layering under moisturizers or makeup. 

It's part of the “Trifecta Glow System,” a complete 3-month skincare regimen for correcting hyperpigmentation, dark spots, sunspots, age spots, liver spots, and rough, uneven skin.

Along with the  Ultra Potent Brightening Serum, this set includes the Citrus Glow Drops and Retinoid Cream. All 3 work together to facilitate rapid cell turnover while preventing melanin formation. 

The brand guarantees results in 3 months, so getting the 3-month supply at a discounted rate will save you money in the long run.

The Trifecta Glow is an advanced system that needs time to work, so I recommend at least 4 weeks of daily use to see results. 

Consistency and daily use are key, but if you have sensitive skin, I advise starting twice a week before gradually increasing your frequency. Skipping the daily routine may delay results, but it is safer for sensitive skin.

Once you see your skin start to peel gently, use a hydrating moisturizer to avoid redness and irritation.

It's also important to apply a non-comedogenic sunscreen religiously in the morning to ensure you don't undo any progress.

With regular use, the Trifecta Glow System can fade dark spots and improve overall skin tone, leaving you with a brighter and more even complexion.

The brand guarantees results in 3 months, so getting the 3-month supply at a discounted rate will save you money in the long run.

Cons: Works better with the Trifecta Glow System, instead of just a standalone product. The set is also very potent and can cause irritation to sensitive skin.

Ideal for: Spot treatment for age spots, liver spots, sun spots, dark spots, or discoloration anywhere on your face or body


Foxbrim NaturalsCollagen Peptide Face Serum

BEST FOR: Anti-aging, Fine lines & Wrinkles, Sagging skin, Dry Skin, Dullness, All skin types

Our Review:

Foxbrim Naturals' Collagen Peptide Boost Serum features an exclusive 9-plant-based peptide amino acid blend that stimulates and revives your skin's natural elasticity while also reducing wrinkles and fine lines. 

Additionally, this powerful blend can improve skin volume, smoothness, and thickness, leaving your skin looking and feeling healthier and more vibrant. 

Key Ingredients:

  • Green Tea Extract – A powerful antioxidant that contains polyphenols and catechins, which reduce fine lines and wrinkles. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe and protect the skin from damage.
  • Botanical Hyaluronic Acid – A natural ingredient found in the body and can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water. It hydrates the skin and improves moisture retention. 
  • Gotu Kola – A natural plant extract rich in triterpenoids, which boost collagen production and improve skin elasticity. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce swelling and redness.
  • Horsetail Extract – Rich in silica, a mineral that strengthens and rebuilds connective tissue in the skin, horsetail extract can diminish wrinkles and fine lines.
  • Dandelion Extract – A potent antioxidant that protects the skin from free radical damage and environmental stressors. It's also known for its acne-fighting properties.
  • Organic Aloe Vera – Rich in vitamins and minerals, organic aloe vera is a calming and soothing ingredient that reduces redness and inflammation in the skin. It also locks in moisture and improves skin hydration.

I highly recommend Foxbrim's Collagen Peptide Boost to anyone looking for an effective and affordable anti-aging serum. 

It's also perfect to pair with at-home microneedling and at-home microdermabrasion as it stimulates collagen (1 and 111), elastin fibroblasts, and support the healing and repair response in your skin.

Finding a high-quality collagen peptide serum with this unique blend of nature-based ingredients, especially at this price point, is extremely rare. 

With its powerful ingredients and affordability, the Collagen Peptide Boost Serum is an excellent addition to any skincare routine.

Vegan, 100% Natural. No Fragrance, GMO, Petroleum, Mineral Oil, Parabens, SLS & SLES, Synthetic dyes, Gluten.

Certified Cruelty-Free. Ethically-sourced. Sustainably packaged.

Women-Owned & Operated. Made in the USA.

Free shipping + discounts for a 3-month supply on Foxbrim Naturals' Official Website. 

Cons: Possible irritation or redness on sensitive skin.

Best for: Improving skin elasticity, hydration, texture, plumpness, fine lines, wrinkles, crows feet

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Colorescience – Pep Up® Collagen Boost Face & Neck Serum

BEST FOR: Visible aging, Skin laxity, Fine lines, Wrinkles, & Uneven skin texture, All skin types

Winner: 2019 MyFaceMyBody Industry Award

Our Review:

The award-winning Pep Up® Collagen Boost Face & Neck Serum from Colorescience is one of the brand's most re-purchased products.

Its results-driven, proprietary formula of 10 potent peptides keeps it on their best-selling list. 

This serum has a high concentration of selected peptides that make up more than 20% of the blend.

It supports collagen and elastin production, improving skin laxity, fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven texture for smooth and plump skin.

It's a multi-functional serum clinically proven to rejuvenate skin and provide visible results in as little as 4 weeks.

Key Ingredients:

  • Decaplex-10® Peptide Complex – a proprietary blend of 10 potent peptides that builds collagen and reduces visible signs of aging.
  • Hyaluronic acid – restores and reinforces skin moisture and fights aging.
  • NS Phytomoist – provides 4x more hydration than hyaluronic acid and improves overall skin suppleness.
  • Lipochroman™ – a powerful antioxidant that prevents skin aging due to pollution and environmental aggressors.
  • Physavie™ – a plant extract that soothes and calms the skin while protecting it from infrared radiation.

The Pep Up Collagen Boost Serum is gentle, weightless, and layers well under makeup.

It's also complementary to retinol. It can deeply hydrate and nourish the skin to build healthy collagen from the inside out, day and night.

To maximize results, apply to damp skin to improve product absorption. 1-2 pumps should suffice for your face and neck.

Suitable for all skin types.

Non-comedogenic. Hypoallergenic.

Cons: Expensive compared to most serums. Limited effectiveness for deep wrinkles. Fragile pump, need to be careful when handling.

Ideal for: Skin rejuvenation, Collagen and elastin production, Protection against environmental aggressors, Improved moisture retention, Enhance skin texture and tone, Diminish the appearance of wrinkles

Video Review:

Video: Introducing Pep Up™ Collagen Boost Face & Neck Treatment by Clarion Medical Aesthetics

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Everything You Should Know: Collagen Peptide Serums

01

What are Collagen Peptide Serums?

Collagen peptide serums are skincare products containing small chains of amino acids called peptides, designed to stimulate collagen production in the skin. Collagen is a protein naturally present in the skin that maintains its structure, firmness, and elasticity.

The key ingredients in collagen peptide serums include various types of peptides and other ingredients that nourish and protect the skin. These may include hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, retinol, and antioxidants.

Collagen peptide serums deliver concentrated doses of peptides and other beneficial ingredients to the skin, which can help stimulate collagen production and improve skin health.

Peptides can penetrate the skin more easily than larger molecules, allowing them to more effectively target the deeper layers of the skin where collagen production occurs.

By using collagen peptide serums regularly as part of your skincare routine, you can maintain and improve the quality of your skin. This will reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging.

02

Benefits of Collagen Peptide Serums

Collagen peptide serums offer a range of skin benefits, including:

  1. Increased collagen production and skin firmness – Collagen peptides can stimulate the production of new collagen in the skin, improving its overall firmness and elasticity.
  2. Improved skin hydration and elasticity – By increasing collagen production, collagen peptide serums can also improve the skin's ability to retain moisture, leading to a more hydrated and plump appearance.
  3. Reduction in fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging – As collagen production declines with age, the skin becomes more prone to developing fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging. By boosting collagen production, collagen peptide serums can reduce the appearance of these signs of aging.
  4. Improvement in skin texture and overall radiance – Collagen peptide serums can improve the skin's texture and tone, resulting in a more radiant and youthful-looking complexion.
  5. Reduction in hyperpigmentation, scarring, and other types of skin damage – Collagen peptides can also help support the skin's natural healing process, reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation, scarring, and other types of skin damage.

Incorporating collagen peptide serums into your skincare routine can help improve your skin's health and appearance, leading to a more youthful and radiant complexion.

03

How to Choose & Use Collagen Peptide Serums

When selecting a collagen peptide serum, pay attention to the ingredients and formulation to ensure an effective and safe product for your skin.

  1. Ingredients to look for and avoid – Look for a collagen peptide serum that contains high-quality peptides and other beneficial ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Avoid products that contain potentially irritating or harmful ingredients such as sulfates, parabens, and synthetic fragrances.
  2. How to incorporate collagen peptide serums into your skincare routine – Collagen peptide serums should be applied to dry skin, ideally in the morning and evening after cleansing and toning. Gently massage the serum into your face and neck, and follow with a moisturizer and sunscreen during the day.
  3. Tips for optimal results – To maximize the benefits of using a collagen peptide serum, consider incorporating other collagen-boosting practices into your daily routine, such as eating a healthy diet rich in protein and vitamin C, staying hydrated, and avoiding habits that can damage the skin such as smoking and excessive sun exposure.

Be patient and consistent when using collagen peptide serums, as it can take several weeks or months to see significant improvements in the appearance and health of your skin. 

By choosing a high-quality product, using it regularly, and supporting your skin with healthy habits, you can achieve a more youthful, radiant complexion over time.

04

Who Should Use Collagen Peptide Serums? (Indications)

Collagen peptide serums are generally suitable for all skin types, but they may be especially beneficial for those looking to address signs of aging and damage.

  1. Ideal for those looking to address signs of aging and damage – Collagen peptide serums can help to boost collagen production and improve the firmness, elasticity, and texture of the skin, making them an ideal choice for those looking to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging.
  2. May be especially beneficial for those with dry, dull, or damaged skin – Collagen peptide serums can also improve skin hydration and overall radiance, making them an ideal choice for those with dry, dull, or damaged skin. Additionally, some collagen peptide serums' antioxidant properties can reduce hyperpigmentation, scarring, and other types of skin damage.

If you are unsure whether a collagen peptide serum is right for your skin, it's always a good idea to consult with a dermatologist or skincare professional who can help you to select the best products for your individual needs and concerns.

05

Potential Side Effects & Precautions

While collagen peptide serums are generally considered safe and well-tolerated by most individuals, there are a few potential side effects and precautions to keep in mind.

  1. Rare risk of allergic reaction – While rare, some individuals may experience an allergic reaction to one or more ingredients in a collagen peptide serum. Allergic reactions may include redness, itching, swelling, or hives. If you experience any of these symptoms after using a collagen peptide serum, discontinue use immediately and seek medical attention if necessary.
  2. Use caution when combining with other active skincare ingredients – Collagen peptide serums may contain active ingredients that interact with other skincare products or treatments. To avoid potential irritation or adverse reactions, caution is important when combining a collagen peptide serum with other active skincare ingredients, such as retinoids, alpha or beta hydroxy acids, or vitamin C serums. Be sure to follow any specific usage instructions provided by the product manufacturer or your dermatologist.
  3. Consult with a dermatologist before use if you have sensitive skin or any underlying skin conditions – If you have sensitive skin or any underlying skin conditions, such as rosacea or eczema, consult with a dermatologist before using a collagen peptide serum. They can help you determine whether a collagen peptide serum is right for your skin and recommend any additional precautions or modifications to your skincare routine to ensure the best possible outcomes.

Frequently Asked Questions


Collagen peptide serums can be a valuable addition to your skincare routine for improving skin health and reducing signs of aging and damage.

These serums increase collagen production, improve skin hydration and elasticity, and reduce fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, scarring, and other types of skin damage.

When choosing a collagen peptide serum, look for key ingredients and avoid potential irritants or allergens. Incorporating the serum into your daily skincare routine and following proper application techniques can also help you achieve optimal results.

While collagen peptide serums are generally safe and well-tolerated, it's important to be aware of the potential side effects and precautions, such as the rare risk of allergic reactions or the need to use caution when combining with other active skincare ingredients.

Consulting with a dermatologist can help ensure that a collagen peptide serum is right for your skin and provide guidance on any necessary precautions or modifications to your skincare routine.

With the right product and approach, collagen peptide serums can improve the appearance and health of your skin, leading to a more radiant, youthful complexion.


References:

  1. Gorouhi, F., & Maibach, H. I. (2009). Role of topical peptides in preventing or treating aged skin. International journal of cosmetic science31(5), 327-345.
  2. Maia Campos, P. M., Melo, M. O., & Siqueira César, F. C. (2019). Topical application and oral supplementation of peptides in the improvement of skin viscoelasticity and density. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology18(6), 1693-1699.
  3. Yadav, A. R., & Mohite, S. K. (2020). Potential role of peptides for development of cosmeceutical skin products. Research Journal of Topical and Cosmetic Sciences11(2), 77-82.
  4. Pai, V. V., Bhandari, P., & Shukla, P. (2017). Topical peptides as cosmeceuticals. Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology83, 9.
  5. Lee, Y. I., Lee, S. G., Jung, I., Suk, J., Lee, M. H., Kim, D. U., & Lee, J. H. (2022). Effect of a Topical Collagen Tripeptide on Antiaging and Inhibition of Glycation of the Skin: A Pilot Study. International Journal of Molecular Sciences23(3), 1101.
  6. Zhao, X., Zhang, X., & Liu, D. (2021). Collagen peptides and the related synthetic peptides: A review on improving skin health. Journal of Functional Foods86, 104680.
  7. Rovero, P., Malgapo, D. M. H., Sparavigna, A., Beilin, G., Wong, V., & Lao, M. P. (2022). The Clinical Evidence-Based Paradigm of Topical Anti-Aging Skincare Formulations Enriched with Bio-Active Peptide SA1-III (KP1) as Collagen Modulator: From Bench to Bedside. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, 2693-2703.
  8. Chai, H. J., Li, J. H., Huang, H. N., Li, T. L., Chan, Y. L., Shiau, C. Y., & Wu, C. J. (2010). Effects of sizes and conformations of fish-scale collagen peptides on facial skin qualities and transdermal penetration efficiency. Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology2010.
  9. Synovea® HR [Internet]. Prospector. [cited 2023 Apr 24]. Available from: https://www.ulprospector.com/en/eu/PersonalCare/Detail/4724/220360/Synovea-HR
  10. Breathnach, A. S. (1996). Melanin hyperpigmentation of skin: melasma, topical treatment with azelaic acid, and other therapies. Cutis57(1 Suppl), 36-45.
  11. Bhardwaj, V., Sharma, K., Maksimovic, S., Fan, A., Adams-Woodford, A., & Mao, J. (2021). Professional-grade TCA-lactic acid chemical peel: Elucidating mode of action to treat photoaging and hyperpigmentation. Frontiers in Medicine, 97.
  12. Cabanes, J., Chazarra, S., & Garcia-Carmona, F. (1994). Kojic acid, a cosmetic skin whitening agent, is a slow-binding inhibitor of catecholase activity of tyrosinase. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology46(12), 982-985.

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Samantha Welch
Samantha Welch is an esthetician and professional makeup artist. She co-founded Healthy Beautiful to create a space where she can share her experiences and channel her love for all things beauty. Samantha believes that through education and resources, everyone can make informed choices that can change their lives.