In my seven-year career as a beauty and fashion editor, I’ve seen a lot of products pass by my desk that promise the moon and deliver, well, moon dust. While I’m an avid believer and user of specific products, I typically approach buzzy formulas with some skepticism (hey, I’m being honest!). One of the skincare ingredients I know holds its weight in gold is collagen. The natural protein found throughout our bodies is responsible for everything from skin strength and elasticity to replacing dead skin cells. As I’ve gotten older and entered my third decade of life, I’m well aware that the production of this valuable component is slowing down, so I typically employ moisturizers and serums containing it to cover my bases (and face).
Then, I came across a little drink, Skinade, that claimed to contain concentrated marine collagen peptides so as to allow bodies to better absorb the protein and reap its benefits. Obviously I was intrigued—with a dash of skeptical. In researching the formula a bit more, I learned that people saw results after just a few days and observed a significant change in their skin and hair after 30. Ingestible beauty is not a new thing, but I’ve never quite dabbled in it before, so I saw this as the perfect opportunity to give it a whirl. I really didn’t feel I had anything to lose as, if I experienced no results, I always had my tried-and-true skincare routine still in tact. I stocked up on Skinade’s 30-day trial kit and began working the five-ounce bottles into my daily afternoon regimen (they replaced my 3pm coffee runs).
Collagen, Straight Up
First things first, let's discuss the flavor. Liquid collagen (particularly the marine-based variety) doesn't exactly sound like the most appetizing beverage. However, Skinade has a fruity, mango-peach flavor to it that's surprisingly yummy, so drinking it over ice in the afternoon was totally pleasant.
While, I must admit, certain benefits/results like cellulite-reduction and skin thickness were not things I observed over the course of 30 days, my trial was definitely fruitful. Check out the three main changes I observed in taking Skincade for a month-long spin.
Of all the benefits the drink promises, a softer hydrated complexion is one of the initial ones that should kick in rather quickly (in about four to six days or so). Since my skin is naturally oily, dryness and tightness is not one of the issues I've had to address much. That said, at 32, I have definitely noticed some isolated spots like my under-eye and cheeks that get a bit dehydrated throughout the day or overnight. These parts of my face will start to feel tighter and stiffer and my cheeks are known to flake up a bit (particularly in the dry Los Angeles heat), too.
In the first week of drinking Skinade, I definitely noticed an improvement in the texture of these areas. My eye region felt smoother and my cheeks more supple and less apt to flaking when I touched up my makeup mid-day.
Another benefit of increased collagen production is more radiant skin as the protein promotes cell turnover and hydration retention.
I can personally attest to this benefit, as about ten days into my 30-day trial I had a co-worker comment on how "glowy" my face looked. Now this is not a general compliment I receive on my complexion (unless I've piled on the highlighter), so I decided to investigate. I gave my skin a good look after my PM cleansing and, in fact, noticed a natural radiance that I swear wasn't there before. The tops of cheeks, forehead and bridge of my nose had a nice little sheen to them sans any moisturizer or serum.
Okay, this is an embarrassing confession, but it's crucial to the facts of this experiment so, in the name of science, I'm talking about it: I suffer from a horrifying case of dry scalp. We're talking itchiness, flaking, dandruff and a gross dry border around my hairline that's prone to peeling and even bleeding. (Ew, I know.)
Of all the benefits I hoped to encounter, a healthier scalp was honestly the one I was banking on the most. After about a week and a half, I got the results I wanted. In addition to softer, shinier hair (my hair is wavy and slightly textured so it can get naturally brittle at times), I noticed that horrible dryness that once framed my face was gone, as well as the constant itching that I experienced all the live-long day. In inspecting the area, I saw a clean, smooth scalp (with some flat red spots from the dry patches that were healing) had replaced the parched snowy surface that had plagued my poor strands. Oh, happy day!