Over the next few months, I thought I’d focus on my “unconventional beauty” products. These are the sort of products that aren’t your typical beauty products (like makeup or topical skincare). These are the weird non-beauty beauty treatments that I do. (I’m also considering covering my non-beauty beauty treatments that were a total waste of my time).
Let me immediately start with a disclaimer. I am not a doctor. I don’t even pretend to be one on the Internet. Do not take medical advice from me. In fact, it’s probably best to not take advice from me or anyone else on the Internet. I’m only sharing my personal experience. I’m not presenting any science or facts. Your reading something from someone that probably should consider more science and facts or better yet, accept aging.
Next disclaimer, Neocell’s statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
“Beauty” collagen beverages have been popular in Asia for many years now. I have been wanting to try them (well, I’ve tried a few but they were expensive and I didn’t keep up with them). Collagen has basically been eliminated from the American diet because of the low-fat crazes of the 1980’s/1990’s. My grandparents were getting collagen in their stews and always claimed it had all these “cures” based on folk medicine (just look up khash or pache if you have a strong stomach). I don’t really eat meat that often so I know I’m not getting collagen from my diet. While we’re on the topic, this product isn’t vegetarian or vegan (it contains hydrolyzed protein from cows).
Here’s the non-evaluated FDA claims directly from Neocell:
NeoCell Beauty Infusion is an all natural solution for youthful, radiant beauty that starts from the inside. Diminished collagen levels in the body can lead to loss of elasticity in the skin, thinning hair, and brittle nails.* This refreshing drink mix is infused with essential nutrients that work together to strengthen hair, skin and nails, hydrate the skin, and provide antioxidant power against environmental damage. Recapture that vibrant glow from the inside out with a beauty supplement your skin and taste buds will crave.
It contains 6,000 MG of NeoCell collagen™, 50 MG of Hyaluronic Acid, 3,000 MCG of Biotin and Alpha Lipoic Acid & Vitamin C. Apparently, you must have the Vitamin C for collagen to even try to work.Their relationship is like mine with coffee.
So, why would someone drink this? That is a great question because I don’t have a lot of research to back it up. I’m going to be honest with you. I didn’t find anything saying it could be harmful and my doctor was like “sure”. I figured taking this made me get my day’s Vitamin C, a little protein and replaced my current Biotin tablet. Everything else is a bonus. Ingesting a beverage instead of a pill makes it feel special, special in a placebo way. I think this is why juicing is so popular. You have to taste it and once you taste it, it has to work, right?
However, there is some research suggesting that hydrolyzed collagen may help the skin in the area of hydration. A study published in 2015 in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology¹ suggests that the skin is hydrated for up to 8 weeks after regularly ingesting oral collagen peptides. Another 2014 study in Clinical Interventions in Aging² also sounds promising. It suggests that skin firmness and density increased after 12 weeks, even displaying reduction in the depth of nasolabial folds. There’s still more research that should be done and the sample sizes were relatively small (and 100% white) for both studies. Anyway, I thought I’d give it a try.
This is a powder that you mix into water. You can mix it into anything you want. I choose water. The flavor is cranberry-ish. Honestly, it tastes like a flat La Croix Cran-Rapsberry. The flavor isn’t that great but it’s not bad either. There are other flavors like Appletini and Tangerine Twist. I literally wake up every morning and drink this first thing in the morning. You’re supposed to drink it on an empty stomach. I’ve been doing this for about 2.5 months now.
Real talk time, what’s going to work on your skin is all the common sense stuff. It’s going to be a healthy diet, daily use of sunscreen, don’t smoke, avoid stress, get enough sleep, be in good health, avoid air pollution, use quality skincare with retinol and antioxidants (oh, and medical procedures). Basically, be rich and live in a bubble. This is the boring, proven stuff that works. It’s hard for me to determine if a collagen drink (or any supplement) is worth it. I try to eat right. I wear sunscreen and use nice skincare products. But, I’m always stressed and I live in the grimiest region of the US. What I’m saying is that I don’t have any before or after photos of using this product because what exactly am I looking for? I just wanted to try a supplement that made my cynical self feel like I was taking control and doing something helpful for myself.
But, here’s the deal. I do think this product has been positive for me. It’s a ritual that makes me drink something non-coffee first thing in the morning. I feel more hydrated. I feel like my paper thin nails are stronger. My skin looks less exhausted and well, more dewy looking. I don’t even wear foundation most days. But, here’s the thing that Neocell doesn’t even claim but it sort of makes sense, the skin on my body looks so much better. What I’m saying is that my grade 3 cellulite is less noticeable even when sitting down. Cellulite is hereditary, there’s a lot of factors that cause cellulite and most of us have it. I’m also a weirdo that likes cellulite because it’s my lovely by-product of estrogen. So, when I noticed the change in my skin, I was like “Um, OK, maybe I’m making this up”. I’ve also been working out (weight training) for months now. This has helped tremendously in this department (but most importantly in my health and strength). Anyway, once I started using this regularly (daily) after a month of this and the usual working out, I swear my skin looks smoother than any other time in my post-puberty life. Let me just say, I’m not the only one that has noticed this. My spouse and my family/friends that have seen me in a swimsuit want in on some of my witchcraft. But, my witchcraft is weights, weights and more weights and possibly drinking a cranberry flavored hydrolyzed animal protein.
Will I continue to take this supplement? Yes. At this stage, I like what I’ve seen. I really do think it’s helped with hydration (which would explain the dewy skin and lack of dimples). The biotin has definitely helped my nails. It’s not a necessary supplement (meaning I can live without it and not get sick) but I like it. If anything, I’ll continue throughout the winter for the extra boost of Vitamin C and the possible hydration benefits.
And let me finish with the same disclaimer. I’m not a doctor! I’m a regular person that was curious about a supplement that isn’t FDA approved. I recommend talking to your doctor before you start taking any supplement.
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¹Asserin, J., Lati, E., Shioya, T. and Prawitt, J. (2015), The effect of oral collagen peptide supplementation on skin moisture and the dermal collagen network: evidence from an ex vivo model and randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials. J Cosmet Dermatol, 14: 291–301. doi:10.1111/jocd.12174
²Borumand M, Sibilla S. Daily consumption of the collagen supplement Pure Gold Collagen® reduces visible signs of aging. Clinical Interventions in Aging. 2014;9:1747-1758. doi:10.2147/CIA.S65939.