1. What Is Collagen?


Collagen is a protein that is the main component of various connective tissues such as skin, muscles, hair, blood vessels, bones and fingernails. Collagen makes up to 35% of the whole body proteins and constitutes nearly 75% of the skin’s tissue.

Collagen provides:

•    elasticity, strength and hydration of the skin
•    keeps skin from sagging and developing wrinkles
•    protects skin by preventing absorption of micro-organisms and environmental toxins  


The body produces (synthesizes) collagen, but with growing age, the body produces lower levels of collagen each year, the primary protein responsible for skin elasticity and strength, which results in the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin.

Starting at about age 25, the body's ability to synthesize collagen drops almost 2% per year, so that at age 50 only 60% of collagen is synthesized by the body, and by age 70 it's down to 30%.  The skin gets thinner, sags and wrinkles, tendons and ligaments become less elastic, and joints get stiff.

2. Types of Skin Care products: Botanical-based and Collagen-based.

Many skin care products use botanical-based formulations, which are derived from plants. They are "cosmetics" that temporarily enhance the appearance of the skin, but do not provide needed nourishment. However, all LARENS skin care products are collagen-based, because all LARENS products are "cosmeceuticals", meaning that they are scientifically formulated with bio-active ingredients that bring long-lasting benefits to the skin.

3. Sources of Collagen used in Skin Creams and Oral Supplements

Most of the collagen used in skin care products and oral supplements is obtained from two sources: bovine and porcine. A very small amount is obtained from marine animals such as fish. Bovine collagen is sourced from cows and porcine collagen is sourced from pigs, which are much cheaper to extract than marine-sourced and therefore is the most common type of collagen extraction.  

The process of extracting collagen from bovine and porcine is to use the animal waste such as bone, skin, and tendons and boil them in water so that they release a gel, which is collected and processed to make collagen.  However, bovine and porcine collagen is much larger than human collagen, and cannot be absorbed by the body. Therefore, the collagen from cow and pig by-products is "hydrolyzed" to make smaller particles.  Hydrolysis is a process that uses heat to break down the collagen into smaller particles, but heat destroys the bioactive elements of the collagen, so all that is created is a placebo.

Publications by the National Center for Biotechnology at the National Institute of Health (NIH), inform that marine collagen obtained from sources such as fish skins, have superior bioavailability (meaning more readily absorbed by the body) compared to bovine or porcine collagen.  Fish-sourced collagen has a higher absorption capability (up to 1.5 times more efficiently) due to its small particle size, which is very close in size to human collagen. The smaller particle size allows easier and faster absorption of the collagen peptides into the skin.

4. Why Collagen in LARENS Skin Care products is Unique

LARENS SKIN CARE products are made in Switzerland and Poland by the WELLU GROUP, in accordance with Swiss Quality Control Standards. The doctors and scientists at WELLU have developed a patented cold-process method of extracting collagen from fish skins that preserves all the biologically active peptides.

Heat destroys bioactive collagen, and collagen from other sources (such as bovine or porcine) is too large to penetrate into human tissue. The result was the creation of a unique Biopeptide Complex formula using collagen from fish skins which is the most effective method of absorbing collagen peptides by the skin.

The BIOPEPTIDE COMPLEX is a proprietary formulation of both oligo-peptides and poly-peptides, and is used in all LARENS skin care cosmeceuticals. Benefits include:

•    Stimulates production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic serum
•    Inhibits aging enzyme and is anti-inflammatory
•    Increases skin flexibility, reduces wrinkles and discoloration

All the collagen in LARENS skin care products comes only and exclusively from the skins of carefully selected cold-water fish like Silver Carp, Grass Carp and wild North Atlantic Salmon which belong to the healthiest species. Their skins contain the best quality collagen. The LARENS brand of skin care products is the first and still the only one in the world to produce collagen, peptides, amino acids and other proteins obtained from specially selected fish skins using a patented cold extraction process that preserves the bioavailability of the collagen.


The collagen peptides using this unique “cold extraction” have intense anti-aging effects. With strong energizing properties, they stimulate skin cells to produce more collagen and elastin. They are helpful in the fight against discoloration – they brighten and equate skin tone.

SUMMARY: The LARENS line of skin care products is based on the goal of using the body’s own healing abilities to repair damaged skin via collagen production and to rejuvenate the health of the skin. A vital component of skin is collagen, which provides elasticity and firmness, but as we age, the body makes less collagen. To keep young-looking skin, skin care products should have collagen that is bio-available. That means collagen sourced from fish skins (whose molecules are closest in size to human collagen) and not collagen from bovine or porcine that that been hydrolyzed by heat to make it smaller, but render it useless because the heat has destroyed the bioactive collagen.