The beauty industry is constantly in motion. Everyone is looking for something that can prove to be the key to perfect looks forever. Admittedly, this ends up treading on the toes of scientists studying aging at the same time that it interests beauty experts. The goals are similar¬†but different enough that most of the time there aren’t particular issues. There is an interesting current trend in beauty that brushes up against both clearly: drinkable collagen. Many are praising it as a true solution to countless beauty problems while others are skeptical of its usefulness. This kind of split is fairly common when it comes to beauty trends and it falls to the individual to try to sort the truth from the hype most of the time. Fortunately, you have us to do that work for you. Drinkable collagen seems like it might be appealing given how much collagen lost is tied into the signs of aging, but does it really work? We’re going to take a closer look at the topic so that you know whether this is a beauty trend to get involved in or whether you should walk away.

The Idea
In general, the idea of drinkable collagen seems appealing. Pretty much anyone into beauty these days can explain to you that collagen, a major structural protein in the body, is used extensively in your skin. It provides the firmness and structure that helps to keep our skin healthy and youthful. Collagen breakdown tends to lead to sagging of the skin as there is nothing to fill it in anymore and that creates wrinkles. A lot of beauty products are specifically devoted to helping to counter this loss of collagen by promoting its production in the body. Drinkable collagen tries to skip this middle step. The idea is that by ingesting collagen directly it will become evenly distributed throughout the body and benefit everywhere that uses it. Ostensibly, this will ensure that it also gets to your skin. The problem is that this picture is a little flawed. There are a few potential steps missing that throw doubt on the actual utility of drinkable collagen.

Breaking It Down
Let’s pause for a moment and think about what happens when we eat or drink anything. It goes to our stomach. That’s where everything gets broken down to be properly used by the body as it passes through the rest of our digestive tract. Anything above a certain level of complexity is getting broken down…and that includes collagen. As a protein, it is assembled from amino acids. Your stomach would break any collagen you ingested down into these components for use in your body. This means that drinkable collagen is inherently not a one-to-one affair. It gets diminished simply from drinking it. Additionally, your skin has lower internal priority than performing maintenance on the collagen around your joints. You would need to drink a lot of collagen and exercise to ensure enough of the compounds got distributed to the necessary locations to even be turned into collagen. This also works against the potential usefulness of the trend. There’s another problem too and it is a big one: the collagen isn’t human collagen.

Home Grown
Collagen is in most species, whether plant or animal, but takes slightly different forms depending on the species. A lot of companies opt to use plant collagen in their products for health reasons or to maintain a green image. You can pretty much instantly right pure plant collagen off when it comes to be directly useful to your skin. Some animal sources, particularly sheep, have proven to be useful to the skin as they can penetrate when used topically, but they still get broken down to be used by the body properly. Most drinkable collagen is sourced from animal sources such as cows, chickens, and similar readily available livestock. Your body can’t directly use it because it isn’t the same kind of collagen and would always need to have been broken down anyway. This is a major problem for anyone looking to maintain an eco friendly diet if they even wanted to try drinkable collagen in the first place. All of the factors we’ve discussed make it incredibly unlikely that drinkable collagen is good for anyone.

As far as interesting trends go, there’s no denying that drinkable collagen is more than a little fascinating. It is one of those trends that seems almost plausible. It falls flat once you start examining it though. Any effect of drinkable collagen would be minimal because it has to be broken down and reconfigured to be useful to the human body. You’re better off eating foods like oranges and dark, leafy greens with all the materials needed to produce collagen already in them. Your body will get a lot more out of those foods and it will probably taste a lot better too.

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