What Drinking Collagen For 30 Days Changed For Me (Part 2)

I wrote in a previous post about the benefits of collagen and that I was going to put it to the test in a 30 and 90-day recap.  I purchased Vital Protein’s Collagen Protein Peptides because it seemed quick, somewhat affordable, and had the backings of pro athletic teams and Jennifer Anniston – and who doesn’t want to look like her.

I made my teal blue and white plastic tub my BFF at work for the last 30ish days.  It became a bit of a talking point while making my coffee or typing away.  “What cha doing there?” says a co-worker.  “Drinking your lunch again?” says my boss (she’s awesome and acknowledges my beauty quirks without raising too much of an eyebrow).  “Oh ya know, just injecting my triple espresso Americano with protein collagen powder from cows.  It’s totally normal.”

For a little over 30 days consistently I mixed my one scoop of extremely fine milled powder into my kick-me-in-the-ass coffee.  It left a little bit of a sticky, sandy feel that seemed to find my fingers and lingered in the back of my throat that took a few days to get used to.  I don’t even notice it now.  That’s how I went about my every morning except one time when I got fancy and tried it in a cold ultra smoothie (that I was in fact drinking as my lunch).  It turned into a gelatinous blob of what I can only think of wet Plaster of Paris mixed with mucus would consist of.  One unsuspecting gulp of that concoction that barely made it through my straw literally caused my gag reflex to fire. I grossed everyone out around me by fishing it out of my smoothie with the straw and flicking it into garbage can. Plink. Plink. ::shudders::

I give Vital Proteins credit.  I went this route because I loathe every other protein shake that I’ve tried.  They are either gritty, have some sort of fake taste to it, or require a degree in blender college + an investment that would surely dip into my Sephora stash for the fruit just to make it bearable.  Isn’t that just more calories??? Pass.

Other than the sandy stickiness, there was no detectable taste.  It was easy to mix right at my desk.  I thought the portion size was a bit ridiculous when I saw my $40 jug was only 14 servings but I ended up only doing one scoop once a day vs. two multiple times a day and still have plenty left.

The Verdict

I’m only about 30 days in, and I don’t believe in overnight miracles.  The protein powder is said to help with hair, skin, joints and nails.  I take supplements already that address these, so I honestly didn’t see a difference that I could attribute to this powder.  I started walking more and felt like I had rocks in my joints, so although I will chalk that up to age and overdoing it, it certainly didn’t make me feel like a gazelle.

I also didn’t turn into Benjamin Button overnight, so I’m left wondering what this supposed miracle in a bottle is really supposed to do for me.  However, I will say that I no longer had my pangs of needing protein STAT! which was the reason I started the process in the first place.  The fact that I see this difference leads me to believe there’s something there, and since that was a huge annoyance for me (plus it was clearly something my body was telling me I needed to give it) I’ll keep with it.

For those who don’t have such an extensive skincare routine as I do, or maybe don’t take other supplements that address hair, skin and nails (I will attest that the ones I take do work) then you might see a difference.  I’m only 30 days in, and am looking forward to seeing if there is any accelerated change when I check in at the 90 day mark.

So far would I suggest it? If you’re into supplements and you’re a health optimizer, then sure.  It certainly isn’t hurting anything.  If you’re like me and have had trouble finding ways to incorporate protein, I’d also say it’s a nice alternative.  The jury is still out though, on if this really lives up to the hype of being a beauty benefit.  Vital Proteins has full stars from over 120 reviewers, so unless there’s something shady there, they are making believers.  I have yet to be sold.

Check back in for the 90 day review!

 

 

Acne or Rosacea Sufferer? Meet Azelaic Acid

A long time acne and mild rosacea sufferer, I considered myself to be pretty in the know about all things pimple-plastering.  Whether it be due to new beauty contenders like Deciem’s The Ordinary or because old becomes new and people always need something groundbreaking to talk about, my eyes and ears caught wind of a new acid I had never heard of.  Fights acne…acts as an antiseptic…decreases effects of rosacea…and it was like the record scratched and all things came to a halt in my life.  What the what?  I (and now you) MUST KNOW MORE.

What is it?

Azelaic acid is a naturally-occurring acid that comes from yeast, barley and wheat.  Typically found in a white powder, this powerful acid is a triple threat to skin issues due to bacteria-fighting benefits reminiscent of benzoyl peroxide and anti-inflammatory properties similar salicylic acid.  Fellow rosacea suffers often get bumps and redness, so the mix of these two could be quite impressive while also cutting down irritation with a multi-functional product.  It is also said to possess skin lightening properties which could be an alternative to (albeit not as effective) as hydroquinone which is quite the controversial lightening ingredient depending on who you talk to and has been banned in many countries due to its adverse effects. <— check your lightening products for this ingredient if this is important to you.

Unlike alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic and lactic that help to slough off the top layers of the skin by breaking up the “glue” that holds dead skin cells together so that new skin can emerge, azelaic acid does exfoliate, but think of it as a gunk buster that gets into the follicles and pores to clear out and kill the things that cause moderate to severe acne – Finacea is one of it’s more well-known prescription-strength topicals.

As a natural redhead, I have been working for what seems to be a lifetime to gain as much of a clean slate as I can, but my skin just likes to remind me that I am not worthy.  I freckle if I even think of the word sun, my pimples hang around FOREVER and cause PIH (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation) after they’ve left for months, and my cheeks have a pink flush to them that is thank goodness mild, but still exacerbated by just about anything.  Many of you ReadHead readers with sensitive or fair skin may be experiencing the same.  Look for products that contain azelaic acid and watch it work wonders.   It may just be the missing piece to your acne-free, glowing complexion.

The Ordinary’s Azelaic 10% Suspension is currently in route to my door and cost me $8 + shipping.  I’ll be tearing into that packaging like a kid on Christmas.

Have you used azelaic acid before?  Drop us a line in the comments.

 

ReadHead 2 Head: Benefit’s Roller Lash vs. Maybelline’s Lash Sensational

In my earlier (and poor college kid days) mascara was something I so wanted to splurge on – I had friends buying Lancome Dificiles by the cha-ching – but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  My mom always bought Lancome and had the little samples that they gave you, so I’d find myself raiding her stash (thanks mom!).  Thoughts of spending $30 or $40 for mascara that you’re supposed to toss (apparently) after 3 months was just unattainable for me. Drugstore whomp whomp it was when my little sample died.

Since then, the drugstore brands have seriously stepped up their game.  There’s a billion out there that are just junk.  And the shouty plastic and neon craziness for tubing causes me migraines, but there are those gems out there that rival the good ones.

Drugstore vs. Luxury?

First of all, many of the drugstore brands are owned by premium brands i.e. L’Oreal owns Lancome and Maybelline (and a host of others).  There are times when you can get a cheaper price and very similar technology.  They’re all coming out of the same plant.  Also, do your research on blogs and understand what the brushes are meant to do – fat teddy bear shapes, vs combs, vs tiny short brushes.  The brush itself is integral to the application.  Lastly, primers can certainly help and don’t think one mascara has to do everything on it’s own.  Find a really good lengthening and a really good volumizing.  Put the lengthening mascara on first, then beef it up with that volumizer for beautiful long, full lashes.

There is a reason though, that luxury brands cost more.  Their packaging is usually better, and the quality of the mascara formulation + the brush tends to be better overall.  I find that they are just enough less clumpy, and just enough better at separating and holding curl (not all, but most).

Benefit Roller Lash vs. Maybelline Lash Sensational

Maybe she’s born with it?  Maybe it’s just really amazing mascara on both counts.

Benefit’s Roller Lash has been my lengthening go-to for a while now.  It comes in an adorable black and pink tube with girly details that are still sophisticated.  The formulation goes on a deep black with a more wet/shiny look that dries down fairly quickly.   It is dark and lengthens considerably, but can still be considered a natural look vs. dramatic falsies.  The comb, which in my opinion makes this amazing, beautifully stretches and fans lashes with no clumping while pushing them up with each stroke for up-to-there lashes.  Recently I’ve stopped curling my lashes except for special occasions to give them a break and this mixed with my Dior primer makes it almost undetectable that they aren’t curled.  It holds the curl all day and gives me an enhanced yet not over the top flirty look.  It also provides good volume when mixed with my primer, but for when I’m going out on the town and kicking my heels up, I coat this with Two Face’s Better Than Sex mascara for some super oomph.

For the price, you’re looking at $24 for the full size at .30 oz or $12 for .14 oz for the travel size.  I purchase the travel size which lasts me a good 3+ months.

Maybelline’s Lash Sensational has been blowing up the beauty blogger-sphere since it’s arrival as a dupe for Roller Lash.  It has a mauve frosty colored plastic tube container synonymous with a drugstore mascara brand.  The wand is slightly fatter, and has the similar comb technology.  I use two coats which comes out thick and black whilst pushing those lashes up and out.  For a tube of this you’re looking at $9 for .32 oz, and there’s almost always sales out there.

Final comparison:

When I put these on side by side from afar they both give me striking lashes.  They are dark, fanned and curled.  The lasting power for both of these did well and I didn’t have any problems with flaking or smudging.

Packaging: Roller Lash wins hands down on the packaging.  But, I care more about the function so I’m willing to give that a pass.  Lash Sensational isn’t garish or obnoxious, and I am a-OK with that.

Brush & Application: Although very similar, Roller Lash’s brush is a bit deeper with the combs and is a bit smaller making it easier to use.  Roller Lash seemed to be a bit more silky and wet, while Lash Sensational was thicker and a dryer lending it to provide more volume out the gate.  However, it does start to get borderline clumpy/spidery on my second pass so if you are a multi-coat person you’ll need to work with it a bit with combs to keep that from happening.

Price: Lash Sensational cannot be beat on the price.  For more product for almost 1/3 of the price, it’s definitely a bargain – especially if you believe in tossing your mascaras after 3 months.  And the formulation for that price is really good.  I’m OK with spending $12 on the trial size for Roller Lash, but $24 for this (or any mascara) would be above what I’m willing to spend.

Overall: Lash Sensational is a very strong contender to Roller Lash.  If price is an issue for you, then I highly recommend you go with this mascara.  It’s easy to get at almost any drugstore (vs. Roller Lash from Sephora) and will give you some voluminous, lengthy lashes.

The one stickler for me is that clumpiness.  At a close enough price point ($12 albeit trave size vs $8 for more than double) I’m going to stick with Roller Lash BUT when I need to save up a few pennies Lash Sensational is where I’m headed.

Have you tried either of these? Drop us a line in the comments.