We investigate whether there’s any truth behind the science of anti-aging drinks.

13 12 collagen drinks Wrinkles anti aging

Time and time again, we’re told we are what we eat. So, it would seem reasonable to expect that we are what we drink, too. But, it turns out that a new anti-aging drink that has fueled the latest skin care craze may not be what it seems.

Collagen drinks purport to boost our body’s natural production of collagen; the main building block that supports youthful-glowing skin.

“You’re born with collagen and it slowly degrades [as you age],” says Dr. Nowell Solish, Toronto cosmetic dermatologist and assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Toronto. This depletion of collagen is what causes skin to appear thinner, drier and more wrinkled. For years, skin care companies have been inventing new products and techniques to replenish collagen and reduce the speed at which it depletes, helping us maintain our plump, youthful glow longer. The latest remedy is collagen drinks, which began popping up on store shelves in Japan in 2012 and are now making their way to North America.  

Pure Gold Collagen, a leading brand of collagen drinks, claims users can boost natural production of collagen with one bottlea day –a claim Dr. Solish says has no scientific basis. “Collagen is a protein. As soon as it hits your stomach, the enzymes that break down protein will turn them into amino acids,” he says. Since our bodies can’t distinguish between protein from a collagen drink or protein from a hamburger, that collagen never reachs our skin.

While Dr. Solish says collagen drinks likely have no ill effects on health, they don’t deliver on the anti-aging beauty benefits promised. He says the only way to stimulate collagen production in the skin is by using topical creams that contain retinol or vitamin C. These creams work on the layers of skin where new skin cells are formed and stimulate collagen production, making the new skin cells firmer. Avoiding factors that accelerate collagen depletion, such as sun exposure and smoking, will also help your skin maintain its youthful appearance.