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What’s the Deal with Collagen Drinks?

Collagen drinks have become a popular staple in the anti-aging movement, and claim to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. However, there’s little evidence supporting the beverage’s ability to make the skin more supple and youthful.

Collagen drinks contain hydrolyzed collagen, which is produced from bovine bone and cartilage. To make the bone digestible, it goes through a complex process to remove the fat and calcium and is eventually turned into a powder. According to a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, hydrolyzed collagen has proven antioxidant properties, can reduce hypertensive and lipid activity, and helps repair damaged skin. Yet, beyond these findings, there has been no scientific research demonstrating its cosmetic benefits.

However, there are some dermatologists who believe that collagen drinks could possibly give our skin that desired dewy glow. According to London-based dermatologist Dr. Justine Kluk, “'The collagen peptides in these drinks are reportedly digested into smaller molecules and then absorbed in our gut, and have been shown to appear one hour after ingestion in the bloodstream,” she told Elle. “Investigations using radioactive labelling have demonstrated that these adsorbed peptides can reach the skin and may be retained in the tissue for up to 2 weeks.”

Kluk references clinical studies that show consuming 2.5 to 10 grams of collagen a day can demonstrate desired results in four to eight weeks. However, she adds, “but the jury is still out as to whether these products actually work for the general population, so the best dose and duration are yet to be determined.”

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