Supermodels, television stars and beauty insiders alike have come out to say they are now drinking their beauty products, but rather drinks that contain collagen, a protein in skin that gives it a youthful look.
The brands behind these drinks – including beauty’in Beauty Drink and Pure Gold Collagen – claim they boost collagen levels in the skin.
Brazilians can’t get enough of the stuff and in Asia, big beauty brands such as Shiseido have developed their own collagen shots.
According to analysts Datamonitor, the global market in such drinks is expected to rise to around $63.6 billion by 2014. But are they an anti-ageing miracle?
Or, given that Pure Gold Collagen sells for $55 for ten days’ supply and a bottle of Beauty Drink is $5.4, is it a triumph of marketing designed to relieve us of our cash rather than our wrinkles?
“I just haven’t seen any evidence that explains why taking collagen orally should improve the quantity of collagen in your skin,” says dermatologist Dr. Sam Bunting.
“The collagen in a drink is broken down in your stomach. There’s no direct channel to the skin.”
Despite the expert disapproval, there are plenty of testimonials on the Boots website from women singing the praises of the drinks. This might be because they also include vitamin C and vitamin E.
“These vitamins have been proven to be beneficial for the skin,” says Dr. Stefanie Williams, of London’s European Dermatology Clinic.
“They are also known for their ability to hydrate and moisturize.”
But you don’t need to spend a fortune on a collagen drink to get these vitamins.
Holland & Barrett sells 100 vitamin E capsules for $7 and 250 vitamin C caplets for $15, all of which will last a lot longer – and be more likely to work than a sugary “beauty drink”.