First we all went crazy for biotin, taking supplements to help our hair and nails grow stronger, chewing little gummy bears that tasted like blueberries because all our favorite celebs endorsed them on social media — but research has now shown that unless you have a biotin deficiency (which you probably don’t) these supplements aren’t doing much.
Which brings us to the latest – collagen shots. The ingestible collagen trend started, as many beauty trends do, in Asia. Collagen is the main structural protein found in connective tissue, and it’s what you’re losing as you grow older, causing wrinkles and sagging of facial tissue. Studies show that we start losing collagen at age 29, at a rate of about 1% per year. And while the effectiveness of the shots in general has not been agreed upon, some experts say that ingesting liquid collagen may be more effective than topically applying it or taking a pill supplement. Repairing from the outside in, rather than vice versa, gives you the advantage of providing your entire body with the building blocks it needs to repair connective tissue and keep skin looking plump and youthful.
The market is now saturated with collagen formulas, of which you drink one teaspoon daily for stronger nails, more elastic skin, and shinier hair. It seems almost too good to be true: ingestible that promise to keep you glowing sans any needles to the face – but the jury is still out on the science behind these anti-aging shots. Some argue that, once ingested, the collagen is broken down and absorbed as an amino acid, meaning that it can’t stay intact and be used as collagen to benefit the skin or any other connective tissue. Even worse, many of these collagen drinks have a ton of sugar in them – not exactly helping the skin situation.
Let’s not forget that collagen exists in the natural world! Vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables, like oranges, lemons, and strawberries are natural sources of collagen production. And while aging is undoubtedly the number one cause of collagen break down, avoiding other accelerants like smoking and UV radiation will help you avoid the need to ever throw back a collagen shot at all.