Collagen is a protein in the lower layer of skin known as the dermis. Collagen provides structure, firmness and elasticity to your skin, according to the website Health Mad. However, collagen production slows down as you age and breaks down due to over-exposure to harmful ultraviolet rays. This makes way for sagging, fine lines and wrinkles. While it's logical to think that the solution is to fill the collagen void with more of the protein, some professionals don't think it's that simple. This is because collagen's large molecules prevent it from penetrating deep into the dermis for treatment. However, wrinkle reduction is possible through creams that stimulate collagen production.
Tretinoin is a vitamin A compound and a key ingredient in prescription collagen skin creams used to treat fine lines and wrinkles. Tretinoin may also be recommended by your doctor to treat other skin disorders or issues, such as flat warts and keratosis follicularis, a skin disorder marked by small red bumps. Tretinoin works by removing old skin cells and replacing them with new ones and increasing collagen production. As with all wrinkle creams, Tretinoin may not relieve you of deep wrinkles but may help improve shallower fine lines. You can find tretinoin in creams such as Renova, Retin-A, Tretin-X and Stieva-A Cream. Since these creams are available by prescription only, they do have approval from the Food and Drug Administration. Tretinoin may cause side effects, including burning, stinging, tingling, redness, dryness or chapping of the skin, reports MayoClinic.com. These should fade as your body gets used to the medicine. However, if these become severe, contact your physician.
Retinol is a vitamin A compound found in many over-the-counter wrinkle creams. It is less strong than tretinoin but is touted for its antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help fight the free radicals, or unstable molecules, that destroy skin cells and cause wrinkles. Retinols also help in the production of collagen, which can help lessen the appearance of wrinkles. You can find retinol in products such as Roc Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream, SkinCeuticals Retinol Maximum Strength Refining Night Cream and Puritan's Pride Retinol Cream. As with all over-the-counter creams, remember that these products are viewed as cosmetic products and therefore do not require FDA approval. Retinol may cause side effects, including stinging, redness, itchiness and warmness at the application site. It may also increase sensitivity to the sun, so avoid exposure after application. If you experience severe symptoms, contact your physician.
Copper Peptide-Based Creams
When applied to the skin, copper, a mineral found in every cell, combines with peptides, or small bits of proteins, according to MayoClinic.com. When combined, copper peptides increase the healing of wounds, stimulate the production of collagen and increase the actions of antioxidants, says the site. You can find copper peptides in over-the-counter creams such as Neova Night Therapy, Skin Biology Copper Serum and MesoCopper Skin Conditioner. Side effects of copper peptides include irritation and redness. Overuse can actually cause looseness, sagging and wrinkling of the skin.