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 Aniston – 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.
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.
Update after two years!
So things have gotten a little busy around here at Roux Atelier, but I wanted to give readers an update on my overall feelings on the collagen craze (even if it has been two years since my initial post!). What do I think about adding collagen to your beauty routine? For me, it is an absolute yes.
I want to clarify two things: topical collagen is basically worthless as it does not penetrate into the dermis (which is where collagen is made). Unless you find joy in the other ingredients in a certain skincare item you like and it works well for you, save your money. I repeat, topical collagen creams will not provide you any structural collagen help.
The other is that I do believe that the protein and collagen peptides get destroyed in the intestinal and GI tract. Most of it. My philosophy here is that collagen supplements or powders are a supporting cast. They won’t create miracles. But I have absolutely seen a long-term change in my skin and nails, and have seen a decline in the glow and bounce of my skin when I have not used it. That’s not to say it has done this on its own. I have done countless rounds of microneedling (LOVE) a few treatments of photofraxional facial and keep a very diligent skincare routine. What DOES make it past digestion has given me a solid foundation to assist with these treatments, and doses of vitamin C both topically and digested help in collagen synthesis. See people, you’re not going to have a silver bullet. Skincare is a multi-faceted thing that combines genetics, nutrition, environmental factors and science into play. But when it comes to adding protein coupled with vitamin C to help the body build at a rate to hopefully grow (or at least replace) what I’m losing, you can’t go wrong with adding some collagen to your diet. Just make sure to read the labels and make sure it’s from a reputable source. You can get some long term benefits without a lot of moo-lah.
Want to see why I started collagen supplements and a little bit more about the science behind it? Read my initial post.