A-Z of Japanese Beauty. C is for Collagen



Collagen- a protein that naturally occurs in the body, and gives the skin strength and structure, and also helps with new cell turnover resulting youthful, plump skin. As we age, our ability to produce collagen reduces, resulting in wrinkles and sagging skin.

Most people around the world would be familiar with collagen, and know in general terms that know collagen is good for their skin and for anti-aging. Although collagen is not an ingredient only unique to Japanese skin care, it would have to be one of the most used and talked about ingredients in Japanese skin care products. So much so, that collagen beauty drinks, supplements and enriched foods are common place in Japan. Visit any convenience store in Tokyo and you will see a wide range of collagen drinks and even candy available to purchase.


Why does collagen affect our skin as we age?

As we age the body’s ability to replace lost collagen depletes, and the body looses its natural elasticity and firmness, which leads to fine lines, wrinkles and sagging. Sun damage, smoking and other


Does drinking or applying collagen to the skin help fight sagging and wrinkles?

Unfortunately it’s not that easy. Many experts believe that you can’t replenish lost collagen by eating, drink or even applying topical collagen to the skin.

When drinking collagen supplement, as yet there is no scientific proof that drinking a collagen supplement is any better that just eating high protein foods, such as meat, eggs, cheese or beans.

When used in creams, the collagen molecules are simply too large to be able to able to pass through the dermis, so it remains on the outside layer of skin giving a moisturising effect.

So how can you replenish collagen levels in the skin?

The best way to increase the levels of collagen in your skin, is to use ingredients that stimulate the body’s ability to naturally produce collagen.

Some of the best ones include:

  • Vitamin C
  • Amino Acids
  • Laser treatment facials (like Geneo at uka Omotesando)


Here are 3 great Japanese beauty products that contain collagen stimulating ingredients.



Koh Gen Do Macro Vintage C- Serum and C- Cream ¥14,580 each.

Just this month, Tokyo skin care brand Koh Gen Do have released two exciting new skincare products that contain vitamin C to target signs of aging, in particular sun damage, with their Macro Vintage Whitening C-serum and C-cream. Don’t be scared of the word whitening, these products are not going to bleach you skin, but they will help to reduce the appearance of sun spots and freckles which darken with age, and effectively improve the plumpness and elasticity of the skin, making it far more youthful.



Haba Lift-up Serum ¥6,264.

This natural anti-aging serum contains a vitamin C derivative, Appre’cier that deeply penetrates, deep into the skin layers to help fight sagging face lines and wrinkles. Apply on cleans kin just after cleansing and follow with a moisturising cream.



Minon Amino Moist Skincare (Sheet mask pictured ¥1,200)

Affordable and reliable, the Minon Amino Moist skincare range, is designed for dry and sensitive skin, and contains 9 amino acids that help moisturise the skin and stimulate collagen production improving the appearance of fine lines. The range contains everything from cleansers, lotions, moisturisers and masks. A great Japanese drugstore range.



Where can you buy these products in Tokyo?


Koh Gen Do- Flagship store in Azabu Juban, Tokyu Hands and Plaza.

Haba- Japanese drugstores and specialty beauty stores.

Minon Amino Moist- Japanese drugstores and specialty beauty stores.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.