We're calling it: if you want plump, dewy skin this summer these are the 7 best collagen boosting serums that will help you get it

The secret to a healthy looking complexion

best collagen-boosting serums - Woman applying face serum GettyImages-1473206804
(Image credit: Getty Images)

We all know that we need to care for our skin - we do this with a hard-working skincare routine that includes things like the best face serums and SPF moisturisers. We do this because the skin often needs our help. For example, as we age our skin's natural ability to produce collagen declines, which can result in a loss of elasticity and firmness. It also causes the skin to become thinner leaving it more vulnerable to damage from things like the sun and environmental aggressors. Essentially, as collagen decreases our skin becomes less happy on the inside and the out.  “Collagen is like the scaffolding that supports the skin,” says Dr Rabia Malik, GP and holistic aesthetic doctor, “[it keeps it] firm, plump and youthful looking.” 

While it may sound all doom and gloom, there are things you can do to help. Whether you opt for a collagen supplement (like Marie Claire's Executive Beauty Editor Shannon Lawlor's favourite, Vida Glow) or a topical treatment, it is possible to boost and restore your collagen levels. Rather than completely preventing collagen loss, however, these products help build up a reserve, or ‘bank’ as it’s become known, to safeguard and reduce the effect collagen depletion can have on your skin in the future.

If you choose to go down the skincare route, there are some exciting products that really deliver when it comes to boosting your skin’s collagen levels. While supplements replenish collagen by physically topping up the body's reserves usually through bovine or marine collagen, skincare has to take a different route. Collagen molecules are much too large to penetrate the skin’s dermis and so, to be truly effective, collagen-boosting serums use other ingredients to stimulate the skin, essentially tricking it into creating more collagen.     

The ingredients to be on the lookout for are amino acids and peptides - both are a great place to start. Retinoids are also proven to help boost collagen production, as well as vitamin C and niacinamide

I’ve rounded up the best collagen-boosting serums packed with these hardworking ingredients below. Keep scrolling for the edit…

Shop the best collagen boosting serums

1. Institut Esthederm Intensive Pro-Collagen+ Serum

Institut Esthederm Intensive Pro-Collagen+ Serum

(Image credit: Sephora)

Institut Esthederm Intensive Pro-Collagen+ Serum

Best collagen-boosting serum for dehydrated skin

Reasons to buy

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Contains a combination of collagen boosting peptides
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Fast-absorbing
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Hydrating texture

Reasons to avoid

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Really quite expensive

I’ve never found a serum that feels more like water on the skin than this one. It glides on satisfyingly, then sinks in quickly to become practically invisible. When it comes to collagen, it uses a blend of peptides which stimulates production whilst also hydrating to make skin look full and dewy. 

2. Emma Lewisham Supernatural Vitale Face Elixir

Emma Lewishman Supernatural Vitale Face Elixir

(Image credit: SpaceNK)

Emma Lewisham Supernatural Vitale Face Elixir

Best collagen-boosting serum if you're concerned with fine lines

Reasons to buy

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Infused with 24-carat gold
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Scientifically proven results

Reasons to avoid

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Strong scent might irritate sensitive skin types

If you want utter luxury when it comes to your skincare, you need to try Emma Lewisham’s Face Elixir. Alongside peptides, it also contains 24-carat gold, which helps slow down the breakdown of collagen already present in the skin. A word of warning however: it does have a strong floral scent so may not be suitable for sensitive skin types or those who prefer their skincare unscented. 

3. Elemis Pro-Collagen Renewal Serum

Elemis Pro-Collagen Renewal Serum

(Image credit: Boots)

Elemis Pro-Collagen Renewal Serum

Best collagen-boosting serum for dry skin

Reasons to buy

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Combines alfalfa and stevia extracts with moisture-boosting marine extracts 
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Clinically proven results
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Suitable for sensitive skin

Reasons to avoid

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Expensive

Elemis's Pro-collagen collection is one of its best-selling and most beloved ranges - we're all familiar with the iconic Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm - known for it's ability to firm and hydrate skin. Its pro-collagen serum acts as a retinol alternative, plumping and smoothing skin without any irritation. Yes, at £75 for 15ml it is on the more expensive side, but with its proven benefits, in my opinion it's worth the investment. 

4. Paula's Choice Pro-Collagen Multi-Peptide Booster 

Paula's Choice Peptide Booster

(Image credit: Paula's Choice)

Paula's Choice Pro-Collagen Multi-Peptide Booster

Best collagen-boosting serum for oily skin

Reasons to buy

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Contains six pro-collagen peptides alongside hydrating hyaluronic acid
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Easy-to-use pipette applicator

Reasons to avoid

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May be too light for very dry skin

I'm a big fan of this lightweight option from Paula's Choice. Housed in an easy-to-use pipette bottle, the silky serum is packed with six collagen boosting peptides, which work in coordination with hyaluronic acid to leave skin looking plump and hydrated. 

5. Zelens Power C

Zelens Power C

(Image credit: Look Fantastic)

Zelens Power C

Best collagen-boosting serum for dull skin

Reasons to buy

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Boosts collagen and radiance 
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Vegan

Reasons to avoid

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Incredibly expensive

Skincare guru Caroline Hirons waxes lyrical about her love for this serum so you know it's got to be good. Infused with 20% vitamin C, it's powerful, but I didn't find it caused any irritation or sensitivity. Alongside helping with fine lines, it also boosts radiance, making this serum a great all-rounder for multiple skin concerns. 

6. Dermalogica Pro-Collagen Banking Serum

Dermalogica Pro-Collagen Banking Serum

(Image credit: John Lewis)

Dermalogica Pro-Collagen Banking Serum

Bst collagen-boosting serum for city dwellers

Reasons to buy

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Contains amino acids and wild indigo extract for radiance 
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Leaves skin feeling hydrated

Reasons to avoid

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May be too lightweight for very dry skin

Designed to help protect the skins collagen levels, Dermalogica's Pro-Collagen Banking Serum works by defending against collagen reduction. To do this, it uses a peptide complex to defend against environmental aggressors that contribute to collagen breakdown while also working to build up the skin barrier. To use, it feels light and hydrating without any stickiness. A hardworking formula that's a breeze to apply and wear. 

7. Pixi Botanical Collagen and Retinol Serum

Pixi Botanical Collagen and Retinol Serum

(Image credit: Cult Beauty)

Pixi Botanical Collagen and Retinol Serum

Best affordable collagen-boosting serum

Reasons to buy

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Packed with retinol, niacinamide and vitamins
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Affordable

Reasons to avoid

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Does feel slightly sticky before fully absorbed

As you can probably see from the other entries on this list, there's no denying collagen-boosting serums tend to be on the more expensive side. So, when I came across Pixi's Collagen and Retinol serum for just £26, I was intrigued. It's packed with nearly every ingredient I mentioned earlier: retinol, niacinamide and plant-based collagen, which combine to create a serum that leaves skin looking smooth and hydrated. You do need to leave this to fully sink in, but for less that £30, an extra minute or two is worth the wait in my opinion. 

Jazzria Harris
Freelance Fashion & Beauty Writer

Jazzria Harris is a freelance fashion and beauty journalist with over 8 years experience working in the industry. At just 4ft 11, she’s an expert in petite dressing and previously wrote the column Jazz’s Short Stories giving tips and advice on dressing for petite proportions. Her wardrobe staples are a great black blazer, a hardworking slip skirt and of course a great pair of heels (for the extra inches, of course). Jazz has written for publications including ELLE UK, heat magazine, Eliza, Women & Home and more.