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Will Collagen Help With Your Acne?

On a light blue background, a small wooden bowl contains pearlescent collagen capsules to help with acne.


If you suffer from acne, the good news is you’re not alone! Nearly everyone you will ever know has experienced acne in some form or another.

The bad news is that treating and managing acne breakouts can be difficult and frustrating.

Because acne is tough to fight, odds are you’ve tried several treatment methods. Unfortunately, depending on your type of skin, some treatments can actually make your acne worse. You need to be well-informed before starting something new.

A word you may have heard floating around the skincare world is collagen. Does collagen help with acne? Can collagen cause acne? Read on to find out.

What Is Acne?

Before answering the question “Does collagen help with acne?,” let’s discuss what acne is in the first place.

Acne is the most common skin condition among us humans. It forms when your skin’s hair follicles clog with dirt, dead skin cells, and excess oil. If you introduce acne-causing bacteria to the mix, you’re almost guaranteed to suffer a breakout.

Common types of acne include:

  • Whiteheads: Small white bumps with dead skin cells and oil closed in the pore
  • Blackheads: Small, dark bumps with dead skin cells and oil open to the air
  • Pustules: Inflamed, closed bumps on the skin filled with pus
  • Papules: Small, inflamed red bumps that do not contain pus
  • Cystic acne: Inflamed, painful, pus-filled bumps deep under the skin

How Does Light Therapy Help Acne?

One acne treatment gaining steam in the skincare world is light therapy, which uses different wavelengths of light to fight acne more effectively and with fewer side effects than many traditional treatments.

Applying specific wavelengths of blue light to the skin destroys acne-causing bacteria, helping existing acne heal and preventing future breakouts. Research suggests blue light therapy may also have anti-inflammatory properties that soothe redness, swelling, and irritation.

Also beneficial is red light, which combats existing breakouts. It penetrates deeper layers of the skin than blue light to stimulate healing at the cellular level. Red light can also reduce inflammation and boost collagen production, strengthening the skin’s resiliency and reducing acne scarring.

Though effective on its own, you can amplify the impact of blue and red light therapy by pairing it with certain other treatments, such as collagen therapy.

What Is Collagen?

To help answer the question “Does collagen help with acne?,” let’s define collagen and its role in maintaining healthy skin.

Collagen is a protein made up of amino acids. It’s produced naturally in the body and found in abundance in the muscles, bones, cartilage, tendons, and skin.

Collagen’s role depends on where specifically in the body it’s found. In the bones, collagen’s primary role is strength. In the skin, it’s responsible for tissue strength and structure, but it also increases elasticity, improves blood flow, and prevents signs of premature aging (wrinkles, fine lines, sagging, etc.).

There are two types of collagen treatments: oral supplements and injections.

Like the collagen produced naturally in the body, oral collagen supplements increase skin elasticity, improve your skin’s hydration, speed up wound healing, and reduce signs of aging. You can purchase them at your local drugstore and take them in the comfort of your own home.

Collagen injections, meanwhile, are administered in a clinical setting by a healthcare professional. By supplementing your body’s natural collagen, injections are often used to reduce wrinkles and smooth lines.

Infographic: Will Collagen Help With Your Acne?

Can Collagen Cause Acne?

Now that we know collagen can improve signs of aging, let’s revisit the question, “Can collagen cause acne?”

So far, there are no indications that collagen causes or worsens acne. In fact, the skin-healing properties of collagen can be very helpful for acne sufferers! Collagen improves multiple skin properties, including:

  • Density
  • Hydration
  • Elasticity
  • Roughness
  • Overall appearance

However, while collagen itself doesn’t cause acne, some collagen supplements contain additional irritating ingredients like preservatives, anti-caking agents, heavy metals, or ill-sourced animal products. These inactive ingredients can cause allergic reactions, rashes, and even acne breakouts.

To avoid these unpleasant effects, look for a collagen supplement that’s free from heavy metals and that contains high-quality, responsibly sourced ingredients, and/or vegan ingredients. Also, always check to ensure products don’t contain any inactive ingredients your skin has reacted poorly to in the past.

Does Collagen Help With Acne Scars?

Now that we’ve answered whether collagen can cause acne, let’s pose a different question: Does collagen help with acne scars?

The answer: Yes!

Any acne sufferer knows severe breakouts can leave recessed scars behind. These scars can be addressed with collagen injections, a type of filler. During a treatment session, a healthcare professional injects a collagen filler just under the scar. As the volume of collagen increases beneath the scar, it becomes even in tone and texture with the rest of your skin.

Some filler options may even stimulate your body’s own collagen production, further improving your skin’s appearance.


Does Collagen Help With Acne? Final Thoughts

Those who suffer from chronic acne are often endlessly curious about treatment options and ways to improve their overall health. Asking the right questions is the first step toward finding the right solution! Today, we’ve answered two:

  • Can collagen cause acne? Not alone!
  • Does collagen help with acne and acne scars? Absolutely!

If acne has affected the texture and appearance of your skin, collagen therapy may be a good treatment option for you. You can try it alone, or use it in combination with effective preventative methods like light therapy to bring about the biggest transformation in your skin — and your life!

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