Can Collagen-Infused Clothing Really Help Your Skin?

Our bodies produce collagen — the protein that binds tissues together to strengthen and tighten the skin — every day. Still, how much we produce decreases as we age, which is why the ingredient has been pumped into everything from tea to lip balm. In the hopes of better skin, people prick, prod, and laser their faces in an effort to boost collagen production, or they pay for pricey serums that promise to do the same. Now one clothing brand wants in on the action. Seattle-based clothing line Buki sells a collagen collection of all-black utilitarian-chic tops. The aesthetic is cool and low-key, like something a coffee barista might wear on the weekends. But the question remains: can a v-neck really help your skin?Buki cofounder Joey Rodolfo was happy to list off all the ways it might. “We embed collagen peptides in the fabric fibers to help reduce dehydration, which leaves the skin feeling fresh all day,” he said. “It also works as a natural deodorizer to suppress undesirable odor and body perspiration.” Perhaps best of all, the clothing is UV-protected with an SPF of 50, so you won’t have to worry about getting a sunburn.

But my pessimistic yia yia and countless naysayers before her have warned: if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Is that the case here? According to dermatologist Dr. Robert Finney, MD, probably. “Adding a small amount of collagen to clothing will not do anything to your skin,” he said. “While collagen mixed with lotion and applied directly to your skin can be a good moisturizer, in general, collagen is too large of a molecule to be absorbed and make any difference in antiaging.”

Despite his skepticism, as soon as I felt the Buki Scoop Neck ($158), I wanted to put it on, live in it forever, and call up my lawyer to make sure she puts in my will to bury me in it. The material is one of the softest I’ve ever felt — softer than a Siberian kitten, my face after a chemical peel, and my too-sensitive ex’s fragile feelings. Combined. While even thinking about wearing long sleeves in NYC’s current 98-degree weather leaves me feeling like a steamed pork dumpling, I was happy to put this shirt on in the comfort of my air-conditioned apartment. It’s so cozy, I even fell asleep in it. Usually when I wake up, I rise to realize that my peaceful slumber has unleashed the floodgates that are my armpits. But this shirt left my pits noticeably drier. I didn’t notice any skin rejuvenating — I’ve still got bacne and my tummy isn’t any tighter — but Buki’s founder didn’t promise that this shirt would be a wearable fountain of youth. He said it would be a soft way to quell stink and sweat, and it is. When I wore this shirt, I didn’t wake up in the morning feeling like P. Sh*tty, and that’s enough for me.


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