I’ve tried a lot of weird things for the sake of my skin. From red wine to snail slime, I’ve slathered it all on my mug in the hope of stumbling onto some miracle elixir that will forever cure my skin woes.
And while I’ve found some pretty incredible products along the way – honestly, snail slime ain’t half bad, people – my miracle elixir is still beyond reach.
So, when I heard whispers of a supplement with the power to reduce wrinkles, heal skin damage, and improve hair, nail and bone health, my interest was instantly piqued.
What does a collagen supplement do?
What is this inconceivable supplement, and how does it work?
And thus, my relationship with collagen began.
“Collagen is most commonly found in three types: bovine (cow), porcine (pig), marine (fish),” said Nutritionist, Amy Savage.
“The choice is really down to preference, although scientific research has been conducted into both porcine and marine rather than bovine.”
I asked Savage what results you can expect while taking collagen, and she explained that it’s been known to “improve skin elasticity, hydration and wrinkle depth”.
That opinion is not held universally, however.
“There’s (sic) a lot of grey areas when it comes to collagen products,” shared Biologi founder Ross Macdougald when I asked him about the trend.
“…because there are so many other varied factors that can affect your skin. For example, someone might start taking collagen in conjunction with improving their diet then they will find that their skin improves. The theory behind [an] ingestible is that you’re working on your beauty from the inside out, which obviously makes a lot of sense, however, sometimes the theory is better than the actual practice.
“The thing with [an] ingestible, is that you consume them through digestion, which means it goes through your stomach and your stomach acids get to work on it before it might take an effect on the skin.”
“The myth is that collagen from animals is the same as collagen in us, but this is not the case, so collagen supplements will never replace collagen for collagen. Eating collagen powder may give you a benefit like a protein would in a diet. I would prefer to eat protein from a vegetable than from crushed bone.
“If you look at it this way – if your nails are breaking and need some nutrients, you wouldn’t go eat nails, you’d find other nutrients to strengthen them.”
I decided to try out the supplement for myself to see what kind of results it would get me. I went with Vida Glow Beauty Powder’s Marine Collagen (made from scales of Deep Sea Red Snapper) and took it daily for two weeks.
“Marine Collagen works from within to promote optimal skin function, by delivering essential micronutrients to the collagen matrix below the dermis,” the company website reads.
“Clinical studies have shown collagen supplementation can increase skin’s hydration by up to 91 per cent. Marine collagen benefits the skin by restoring skin’s youthful appearance, improving skin tone and texture, plumping the skin and smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles.”
Not too shabby, right?
Taking the supplement
So, what was my experience?
Taking the supplement itself was really easy to do. I just carried a few packets with me in my handbag and poured one into my coffee or water when I felt like it.
I had a mixture of flavoured and unflavoured powders, both of which I enjoyed. The flavour-free option was my favourite, however, because I could just throw it in my drink, and forget about it. There was no strange taste or icky texture.
The serving suggestion was between one and three packets a day – I decided to go with two, which meant I was consuming six grams of collagen per day.
These were the results:
As much as I’d like to say I’ve found my miracle skin product, I didn’t see a drastic change over the two weeks.
While studying my before and after photos, I noticed my forehead looked a little more hydrated and line-free, but I can’t confidently say that my face was “transformed” by the supplement.
In saying that, two weeks is a relatively short time, so with a longer trial, there’s every possibility this could change.
The great thing with the experiment was that it forced me to up my water intake – which is never a bad thing. During the two weeks, I didn’t experience any real breakouts (something I’m prone to), which could be attributed to the collagen, or my increased hydration.
So, if a supplement containing a dose of protein, some natural flavours and marine collagen (which may or may not be a godsend for your hair, skin and nails) is the thing that drives you to pick up a glass of H20, I’d certainly say it’s worth a try.