Updated February 2016
Anyone who tracks the fine lines on their faces as they age is likely to already know that collagen is a key to smooth, young skin. The word has been floating around in the skincare world for a long time. It is not unusual, however, for people to be unaware of what collagen exactly is, and how it works to keep skin vibrant.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is an abundant protein in mammals. It accounts for about 30% of the protein in the human body. It is found in fibrous tissues, such as the ligaments and tendons, as well as skin. The protein is also in the bones, the corneas, the stomach, and the blood vessels. Essentially, collagen strengthens blood vessels and provides skin with elasticity.
When collagen breaks down as people age, wrinkles and other skin issues tend to emerge. Due to its skin-healing properties, collagen is one of the most common supplements the elderly use.
Increasing Collagen in the Body
Many people who are concerned about their aging skin will inject collagen, or skin fillers, to decrease the lines and wrinkles on their bodies. Collagen injections give skin a plumper, smoother look, which decreases the signs of aging. They replenish the skin’s natural protein, giving it restored structure.
A more recent product allows people to avoid injecting themselves with collagen. People seeking a more youthful appearance can now enhance their body’s collagen production through drinking it.
Recently, collagen drinks seem to be all the rage, being particularly popular in Asia and Europe, and have become quite the craze.
The popularity of collagen drinks has pushed Botox to the side as a way to stay young, or at least looking young. Many companies, such as Applied Nutrition, Lemnox, Skinade, Mejii and YouTonics, jumped on the collagen drink bandwagon, selling their products, on average, for roughly $70 for a month’s supply.
Collagen drinks are sold as brews or powders to be mixed with water. They generally contain fish collagen, which is combined with other flavors to make it more tolerable. The mixtures can be consumed alone or as a supplement to another drink. The beverages are typically sold as “Collagen Water” or “Collagen Juice”.
Do Collagen Drinks Work?
Previously, the experts thought that collagen drinks had a low chance of having any effect because the body would probably just break them down and use them for energy without really absorbing them. That’s why we said in our previous article that your money is probably better spent on other things and not collagen drinks.
However, a great deal has changed in the meantime…
An Exciting New Study
A new study has emerged (late 2015), published by the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology [external link] and it has completely shaken up the stance on the subject of many experts.
In short, the study carefully examined the skin of all the participants prior to taking collagen supplements and after the study was concluded.
Like we can expect from any reputable study, there was a control group included, and people in this group received a placebo instead of the real thing. The conclusion was rather straightforward: those who were consuming collagen drinks had shown significant improvements in the elasticity as well as thickness of their skin, while the others had shown no results.
Best Collagen Drinks?
Because we wanted to make sure of the new findings ourselves, we reviewed similar products to see if there’s any truth to it. We’ve tested these products so far:
- YouTonics (reviewed here) is still our #1 favourite
- Skinade (read our review) which is another very popular, but more expensive product, close second
Among other benefits, they have the capacity of making your skin look younger in a matter of weeks, as well as making your nails and hair stronger.
Collagen drinks certainly do work, and the newer scientific research now backs it up completely.
Undoubtedly, there is going to be more research done in the future, but in the current state of affairs, collagen drinks have our complete approval.