Really? I figured that eating collagen was akin to using creams with collagen and could make no lasting difference to your skin. But according to Daniel, these shots had even softened the skin on his boyfriend’s feet and knees - a major achievement, apparently.
The next day, rather spookily, a box of rather tasty gummy bears appeared on my
desk, made of hydrolysed collagen and vitamins. A hot Brazilian import, Beauty’in Beautycandy is currently flying off the shelves at Selfridges and is set to come to Boots in January. Next, as if by magic, Thalgo sent me its Collagen Booster Youth & Beauty Elixir, ready-made shots of collagen, hyaluronic acid and vitamins that promise to make a difference to skin in ten days. Ooh, collagen snacks are quite clearly the new cupcakes.
The theory is the same for all of them: after the age of about 30, our bodies’ production of collagen goes downhill. In the same way that could make sense to take skin-loving supplements like omega oils and vitamins to boost skin function, topping up your collagen supplies by munching on digestible collagen should go some way towards preventing the loss of that glowy skin plumpness that we envy babies for (well, I do).
But nutritionist Ian Marber isn’t convinced.
“Collagen is formed from various amino acids, found naturally in protein foods such as fish and eggs, combined with many nutrients, especially vitamin C,” he says. “You can’t take in larger amounts in the hope that your body will conveniently use them for collagen rather than maintaining muscle mass or supporting the immune system. The best way to maintain skin quality, including collagen, is to eat a good diet - lean protein, essential fats, fresh produce, wholegrains, and so forth. Sweets and drinks don’t address total nutrition.”
Well, that’s us told. And he’s right, of course: there is no substitute for eating decent, balanced fare when it comes to looking after your skin from the inside out. Still, if it’s a toss-up between a jar of jelly beans or a packet of collagen bears (they’re sugar-free!), I for one am going for the bears. And I’m going to down my supply of collagen drinks too. Watch this space for a Benjamin Button-like transformation.