Collagen or retinol and their benefits are often the subject of articles in various glossy magazines. In this article we look at whether taking collagen or retinol supplements is best for our health. Let's take a closer look at their functions, advantages and disadvantages, which will help us make the right choice about which to choose.

What is retinol?

Retinol is fat-soluble vitamin A. Retinol has a beneficial effect on the skin by normalising sebum production and reducing inflammation.

How should retinol be used?

You should usually apply retinol cream or serum to the forehead, cheeks, chin and lower jaw line.

How long does it take for retinol to work?

In most cases, retinol needs to be used for three months to see obvious results, although some people notice the first results in as little as six weeks.

Are there any side effects from using retinol?

Unfortunately, retinol can cause serious side effects. These include red or itchy skin and dry or flaky skin. Anybody with sensitive skin should not use retinol. Retinol use speeds up the exfoliation of cells, makes the skin vulnerable to external influences and can lead to sunburn.

Pregnant and lactating women must not use retinol - if taken orally, it can harm the foetus. If you have finished a course of retinol, you will have to wait at least six months before planning a pregnancy.

Retinol should not be taken by those suffering from liver and gallbladder diseases, as vitamin A can penetrate the bloodstream and accumulate in the liver. Side effects tend to be more common in people taking retinoids.

In some cases, retinol can also cause hyperpigmentation. Retinol serums make the skin more sensitive, so some people may also notice that they get sunburn more quickly in the sun. 

Pros and cons of using retinol


Retinol can help fight a variety of skin problems. One of these is acne, as retinol regulates sebum production and protects the skin pores from its overabundance and thus helps prevent inflammation. In cases of severe acne, it is possible to combine retinol with benzoyl peroxide.

The process of skin regeneration is continuous throughout life. But from the age of 25, it starts to slow down. Retinol can help reactivate the skin's regeneration process, resulting in smoother skin. In addition, retinol can also promote collagen production processes (read below about the pros and cons of using collagen).

A course of retinol for 3 months or more will help prevent fine lines and wrinkles. In addition to this, retinol also helps to moisturise the skin, as retinol helps to remove dead skin cells.


Retinol can have serious side effects, so it is wise to start using it in small amounts to give your body time to get used to it and only under the supervision of a dermatologist.

Certainly for those who suffer from acne, retinol can be particularly beneficial. However, retinol is less favourable for others due to various side effects, including skin irritation.

Very importantly, pregnant and breastfeeding women should not use retinol or retinoids.

However, during this period when the repair of connective tissues is so vital for women, pregnant and young mothers can be helped by taking marine collagen orally, which brings no risk factors.

What is collagen?

Collagen is the main structural protein of animal skin, and makes up about 80% of human skin. Collagen mainly consists of vital amino acids. Collagen production decreases with age and leads to signs of ageing if individuals do not use collagen supplements.

How should you use collagen supplements?

Collagen is currently very popular in the health and beauty industry. However, consumers should be aware that many low-quality collagen products are available.

To get the desired results from collagen, follow these tips:

- Consume about 5g of pure marine collagen every day

- Use low molecular weight collagen

- Pure marine collagen has the highest concentration of type I collagen

- Use collagen supplements that do not contain unpleasant flavours

- Avoid collagen supplements with artificial flavours and sweeteners

- Complete the recommended 90-day course for guaranteed results.

How long does it take for collagen to work?

It takes time and discipline to achieve results in any area of life. It is no different when it comes to a healthy diet and exercise. And the same applies to using collagen supplements. With high quality supplements, you can expect the first results between 6 weeks and three months.

Are there any side effects from using collagen?

When using high quality pure marine collagen, side effects are unlikely. However, some lower quality brands of collagen can cause a bad taste in the mouth, dizziness, mild digestive problems and mild diarrhoea. Good-quality collagen products have a fantastic safety record with no serious side effects.

Pros and cons of using collagen


Using high quality products made from pure marine collagen, guarantees results such as:

- Healthy skin and improved skin elasticity.

- Fewer wrinkles and fine lines.

- Marine collagen amino acids can help prevent or reduce ulcers and inflammation.

- Taking collagen before and during the summer season can help moisturise and prepare the skin for the summer sun.

- Collagen will also benefit pregnant women and mums of newborns.

- Collagen can prevent hyperpigmentation.

- Collagen use strengthens blood vessel walls and improves the overall health of the internal organs


Collagen is not suitable for vegetarians and vegans. External use of individual collagen products may have limited results. Taking soluble collagen powder in its pure form is a better alternative.

So - collagen or retinol?

Retinol offers far more benefits in serum form than various collagen-based creams.

However, a 90-day course of soluble collagen will significantly improve the overall health of our bones, skin and hair.

In addition, retinol has common and potentially dangerous side effects. 

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