Japan is the leader in inventive technology in all sorts of areas and in recent years – expanding the range of anti aging products has been a big focus.
What starts in Japanese labs often becomes mainstream in Europe and America in no time at all – or at least in the time it takes to get approval from the authorities that count – like the FDA.
For some time now Japanese women concerned about skin aging have been able to buy rejuvenating food products – collagen marshmallows for instance – that aren’t available from US manufacturers.
Whether you fancy a collagen marshmallow is debateable but an anti aging drink seems to have more potential. After all what is it but an anti aging supplement in another form?
Shiseido The Collagen
Shiseido – the upmarket cosmetic and skin care company – was the first big brand to get a collagen drink product onto the global and US market . “The Collagen” was first launched in Japan where collagen products are hot and then pushed out into the US and beyond.
Strange name but Shiseido claim that the drink is a non invasive answer to collagen fillers. They also claim that their product is the best collagen drink available and that it will plump out wrinkles in as little as three days. Now in 2012 the formula is also available in powder and tablet form – which may be more acceptable to Western buyers more used to collagen supplements.
Interestingly – Amazon don’t seem to offer the drink at all in made up form – going instead for the drink powder which you mix with water or small ‘sticks’ of tablets – 8 tablets is one daily dose. Here’s a link to the Amazon page if you’re interested in the powder drink: Shiseido The Collagen
Marine collagen tastes fishy!
The anti aging drink contains 1000 mg of low molecular fish collagen and is designed to be knocked back like a shot – or a probiotic yogurt drink if that’s your thing.
Although I haven’t tried this – I have tasted other Japanese marine based collagen drinks with this sort of collagen level and they tend to have an undertone of fish which is definitely not pleasant. Knocking the drink back in one hit is probably the best option!
Shiseido’s product also contains hyaluronic acid and the amino acid GABA which is used in many botox alternative face serums and creams.
As an update on my comment on the fishy taste – there are reviews on Amazon which indicate the Shiseido product does have an odd “musky” taste – even in powder form. If you want to try a collagen drink but want to avoid an unpleasant experience then you may be better off with the Japanese best selling product: Meiji Amino Collagen. It comes as a powder also but is guaranteed not to have any taste at all and has 19 reviews – mostly satisfied customers.
Do collagen drinks work?
So – if you drink collagen will it really rejuvenate your skin?
Most of us are aware of collagen and its role in acting as a support structure in the skin.
You may not know that there are 11 types of collagen – five of which are more important than the others and each of them working in different areas of the body. Collagen I is the collagen that supports the structure of your skin as well as tendons, capillaries, veins, bone and organs. Collagen IV is also important to your skin as it supports the cell membrane.
Collagen is a common substance in the body and vital for the suppleness and bloom of our youthful skin but there is no evidence that drinking collagen – or eating it in any other form can make you look younger.
Whilst the jury may be out on whether anti aging drinks in general work – science seems to indicate that a collagen drink would not. Collagen is a protein which we produce naturally within our bodies. We can increase the production of collagen by eating the things that help the process – vitamin C for instance.
The collagen in a drink or any other food product will be broken down by our digestive juices and absorbed as associated amino acids – it cannot remain intact and be used as collagen by the skin or any other connective tissue.
Drinking collagen and appearing magically younger and wrinkle free sounds like a nice idea but the science is very shaky. Even worse – if you examine the amount of sugar in your collagen drink you may find you are making your wrinkles worse by loading your system with glucose.
Boost collagen production through diet
Changing or improving your diet is the key to getting all the collagen your skin needs to protect you from premature wrinkling.
Antioxidants are the key to boosting collagen production. Take a look at your diet for collagen friendly foods – eat lots of green leafy vegetables, highly colored fruits and vegetables like red peppers, beets and tomatoes and plenty of omega 3 through fish and avocados or an omega 3 supplement.
If you wonder whether the smooth unwrinkled skin of many Japanese women is down to the collagen they drink – take a look at what they eat. Raw fish and lightly cooked vegetables are at the heart of Japanese cooking!