Our Honest Elemis Pro Collagen Marine Cream Review

Elemis Pro Collagen Moisturiser review | Space NK

A staple for many, Elemis has established itself as one of the most reliable (and covetable) British skincare brands. It was founded in 1989 by Linda Steiner, who laid the brand’s foundations in aromatherapy. Fast forward over three decades later, a multitude of awards, a strong link to spa beauty and heaps of next-level skin technology, and you’ve got yourself a premium line of luscious formulas that are efficient and a treat for the senses.

Few brands combine holistic values with innovation as well as Elemis does – and its iconic Pro-Collagen Marine Cream is a fine example of this. Launched in 2003, this moisturiser went through 52 formulations before its now famous rose and mimosa fragranced, gel-cream texture hit the market.

But what makes this cream so popular? Well, its powerful blend of marine and plant actives delivers instant hydration and is intended to make skin firmer in as little as two weeks. And with one having being sold every sold every few seconds at one point, it’s clear there’s something that makes people keep coming back to this cream. We decided to test it for ourselves and asked three Space NK team members with varying skin types to review it for a few weeks. Vanessa and Freya tested the original formula, and Hanitra tested the SPF 30 version – here are their thoughts.


Skin type: Oily, acne-prone and scars easily with post-acne marks

Skin tone: Medium

The product: Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream SPF 30, £95.00

Hanitra's Elemis Pro Marine Collagen Cream Review | Space NK

I usually tend to stay away from thick, rich moisturisers as I worry they might clog my pores. Also, because my skin produces more oils naturally, I don’t think I need that much moisture. In the summer I stick to light gel moisturisers. For the rest of the year I like something a bit more hydrating, but not too rich.

The first thing I noticed about Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream was the scent – there’s something really comforting and almost nostalgic about the way it smells. The texture also feels really soft and airy, almost cloudy. It felt quite rich at first, which I was a bit wary about – but it melted really well into my skin.

I applied a pea-size amount after all my serums. Because the version I have contains SPF, I only used it in the morning and switched to something without SPF in the evening.

Elemis Pro Marine Collagen Cream Hanitra Before And After
Hanitra before and after using Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream

My skin felt really supple and hydrated after applying the cream. But furthermore, it felt very soft and didn’t feel sticky or oily. I also liked that it dried quite quickly, I didn’t have to wait to apply my next product.

Although the moisturiser contains SPF30, I still applied my daily SPF 50 on top. I find that the ultimate moisturiser test is whether or not it piles when you apply other products on top – especially makeup – and I’m happy to report this one didn’t.

I will definitely keep using it – but with warmer days around the corner, I might switch to something more gel or water-like. I might even get the non-SPF version for my evening routine because even though it’s a day cream, I think it would make a good nighttime cream for me.


Skin type: Combination

Skin tone: Fair

The product: Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, £95.00

Freya's Elemis Pro Marine Collagen Cream Review | Space NK

I like a like weight moisturiser that cools my skin and makes me look glowy and hydrated without feeling heavy. I tend to always go for a gel or water-based moisturiser for the day, and wear something heavier at night if need be.

I instantly loved the texture of Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, it was very lightweight. As this is a water cream you get a glow instantly, but this does fade as the cream absorbs. I liked that it didn’t enhance the shine in my T-zone and was pleased with the results.

Elemis Pro Marine Collagen Cream Freya Before And After
Freya before and after using Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream

I’ve been using it in both my AM and PM routines for two weeks, and I did experience some piling when mixing it with one of my vitamin C serums. However, it worked really well when layered over my Kate Somerville KateCeuticals SuperCell Rejuvenation Serum, £84.00 – I think I may have found my new perfect pairing.

I’m going to keep using it as I really like it. It leaves my skin feeling and looking hydrated all day and did not disrupt my makeup at all on the days I wore a full face of it.


Skin type: Oily-combination

Skin tone: Light olive

The product: Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, £95.00

Vanessa's Elemis Pro Marine Collagen Cream Review | Space NK

I may deal with oily skin, but possibly because my skin is ageing, I very much notice how dehydrated it gets. This is why I actually love moisturisers with a rich texture – I love looking dewy and don’t want to mattify my look in any way, as I dread looking dull!

I adore Elemis’ Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm (it’s rich, but it removes my makeup beautifully), and I was keen to try its iconic Pro-Collagen Marine Cream – I’ll take all the collagen-boosting help I can get. Unsurprisingly, I fell in love with the texture of this immediately – rich yet lightweight, lightly fragranced and it feels heavenly on the skin. I also felt that it gave me a lovely glow.

Elemis Pro Marine Collagen Cream Vanessa Before And After
Vanessa before and after using Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream

However, when it came to SPF and makeup, I struggled with this moisturiser. I found it didn’t get on with a lot of my sunscreens, and piling did occur when layering under SPF and makeup. It seemed to work with lighter formulas, but even over certain serums it wasn’t quite right.

This is my main takeaway from this cream – it feels divine, but finding the right skincare, sunscreen and even makeup matches for it has been tricky. I’ll likely only use it on makeup-free and minimal makeup days, but will keep trying to work out what the perfect SPF and makeup pairings are for it as it’s such a nice cream!


While all three of our Space NK members loved the texture and results of this moisturiser, both Vanessa and Freya experienced some piling when it came to mixing it with certain products. However, trial and error is to be expected when trying different skincare products and mixing a variety of textures.

As for which skin types it's suitable for, both Freya and Hanitra think it could work for many different skin types – including oily and combination skin. “I think it’s a moisturiser that could work for all skin types, as well as for people with oily skin who still want that boost of hydration,” says Hanitra. “I would recommend this cream to combination or oily skin types who are looking for deep hydration,” says Freya, “As it's so lightweight, I think it’s perfect for people who struggle with textured skin.” And if you do experience piling with another product, “try switching up your serum or makeup for water-based products,” she recommends.


If you're looking for a richer version of this iconic moisturiser, we highly recommend seeking out Elemis Pro-Collagen Night Cream, £110.00. It helps to replenish and rehydrate your skin while you sleep, so you can wake up to plumper, firmer skin.

Elemis’ Pro-Collagen range spreads further than just moisturisers too, the Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm, £49.00 is an absolute must-try. The balm texture melts into an oil as you massage it into skin and helps to lift away dirt, grime and makeup (including stubborn waterproof formulas). It's one of the best cleansers for sensitive skin and those who battle with dryness.

Read More

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Posted: Monday, 25 March 2024

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