Our grandmothers swore by a tablespoon of cod liver oil, but the recent flood of futuristic beauty elixirs onto supermarket and pharmacy shelves takes looking after your looks to another level. Promising everything from glowing skin to glossy hair, not to mention wrinkle reduction and a purified complexion, do these beauty beverages really deliver? Nutritional therapist Emma Olliff gives us the truth about the beauty tinctures available on the high street, while international facialist and wellbeing expert Abigail James reveals that certain liquid beauty supplements can have unexpected health benefits…
What the nutritionist thinks...
As a nation we spend a small fortune every year on super creams and potions promising us younger, plumper glowing skin.
Now there is a new range of beauty products on the market designed to do just that. But these ones are to be drunk, proving that what you put on your plate is just as important as the products you put on your skin. Research also shows that the less attention we pay to what goes in our mouth, the more likely we are to encounter issues with our skin. There are of course external factors to consider such as smoking , drinking , lack of sleep , dehydration and stress , and these all play a part in speeding up the ageing process too.
The hype: Everyone knows that beauty comes from within, but beauty brand Fountain is cashing in on the science behind that mantra. In a nutshell, Fountain make a range of high concentration liquid molecule supplements that targeted the body on a cellular level.
Each of the nine different molecules specialises in harnessing a high concentration of supplementation for wellbeing. Here’s the line up:
The Beauty Molecule contains resveratrol which is found in red wine and seaweed.
The Hyaluronic Molecule is designed to keep skin plump and fresh.
The Super Green Molecule is a deep concentrate of alfalfa chlorophyll and kelp.
The Phyto Collagen Molecule is designed to supplement your own collagen and support new collagen formation.
The Hair Molecule is a liquid complex of silicon and biotin, and promises swishy locks.
The Geek Molecule contains bioactive ginseng. Great for when those exams are looming.
The Happy Molecule contains a GABA Curcumin complex for times of stress.
The Energy Molecule is a mix of ginseng and vitamin B12 to give you that energy boost.
Are these magic cures? Is anything?
Have the ingredients been tested? Yes. For example Beauty Molecule’s hero ingredient is the anitoxidant resveratrol , which from research is known to protect the health of the mitochondria in your skin cells and boosts their efficiency. So all good!
Cost: From between £25.00 to a whopping £68.00 from Boots .
The hype: It’s a multi award-winning anti-ageing collagen drink recommended by beauticians, dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons.
The more collagen you have, the more healthy, ‘elastic’ and supple your skin is and the more youthful it appears. Alarmingly, we lose 1% of the collagen in our skin each year after the age of 20. This loss results in skin ageing, including wrinkles, fine lines, dryness, blemishes and thinning skin.
Comprehensive clinical studies confirm that the collagen peptides in Skinade offer exciting new anti-ageing and overall skin health benefits.
Results: After eight weeks, 91% of the peptide group showed a significant improvement in skin hydration by up to 28% compared to the placebo group.
Skinade’s collagen peptides smooth fine lines by 26% and prevent deep wrinkle formation.
Conclusion:â€¨ Taken orally, the collagen peptides in Skinade significantly improve basic skin condition and structure. Taken on a daily basis, they help to increase skin hydration levels; improve skin tone, radiance and structure; and reduce fine lines as well as prevent the formation of deep wrinkles.
Customer reviews indicate that it delivers what it promises so perhaps it’s worth a glug!
Cost: This stuff doesn’t come cheap – a 20 day course will set you back around £60.
Beauty & Go
The hype: Beauty & Go are the the first beauty drinks enriched with Macro- Antioxidants®, powerful antioxidant macro- molecules extracted from the skin of fruit, able to minimize the damaging effect caused by free radicals (the primary cause of ageing), while at the same time reduce the fatigue that everyday life causes skin.
The verdict: I think that as part of a healthy diet, these drinks can easily be incorporated into your regime. They don't leave a bitter taste in your mouth, they are surprisingly good for you, and they won’t break the bank. Whether they will rejuventate your skin I’m not entirely convinced, but they will help to hydrate you which is beneficial as dehydrated skin definitely looks older.
Cost: The drinks can only be bought at Selfridges and come it at £2.99 each.
Pure Gold Collagen
The hype: GOLD COLLAGEN® products contain a blend of hydrolysed collagen, vitamins and minerals. When the beauty supplement is consumed, it travels to the stomach where protein digestion first takes place. The hydrolysed collagen is in the form of specific peptides ready for absorption in the small intestine. The collagen peptides travel via the bloodstream to reach the deeper layer of the skin (dermis). In the dermis, our collagen peptides stimulate special cells called fibroblasts. Stimulated fibroblast cells proliferate in numbers and produce elements key for the good support of the skin: new collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. With daily use of GOLD COLLAGEN® products, skin starts to feel more hydrated and firm. Wrinkles will appear reduced and your skin regains its radiance.
The verdict: I’m not convinced that collagen drinks offer any advantage over normal dietary protein. Replenishing collagen stores is a complex and finely tuned biological process. Sadly you can’t cheat by importing these molecules “whole” from the diet. I think that more research is needed before we can be sure if they result in facial rejuvenation.
Cost: At £35.99 for ten bottles , and bearing in mind that this is a daily supplement, Gold Collagen is obviously not cheap.
The hype: Each Vitamin Water beverage has a cunningly conceived name and a supposed benefit that goes along with it. For example, Smart Water apparently contains electrolytes that will make you… smarter? Revive is supposed to contain vitamin C and potassium to “revive” you from things you need to be revived from. VitaminWater is marketed as a healthful alternative to soda.
The verdict: Be wary of this one; VitaminWater is owned by Coca-Cola. Coke markets VitaminWater as a virtuous alternative to soda by labelling its several flavours with such health buzz words as ‘defense’, ‘rescue’, ‘energy’ and ‘endurance’. The company makes a wide range of dramatic claims, including that its drinks variously reduce the risk of chronic disease, reduce the risk of eye disease, promote healthy joints, and support optimal immune function.
The first two ingredients listed on its labels are fructose and cane sugar, in fact there are 33 grams of sugar in each bottle of VitaminWater, which will do more to promote obesity, diabetes and other health problems than the vitamins in the drinks do to perform the advertised benefits listed on the bottles.
Cost: About £1.45 from most supermarkets
What the skin expert thinks...
Abigail James , international facialist and wellbeing expert says: “If collagen is present in beauty drinks it’s often derived from fish, but because this protein is ingested, the digestive enzymes will break most of it down to use as energy, so the product may not be particularly effective in stimulating the collagen production in the skin. That being said, there has been some research, none yet conclusive, to say that there may be a benefit to the skin if you take certain beauty drinks and supplements.
“A lot of customers have reported that by consuming drinks containing hyaluronic acid they haven’t necessarily seen an improvement in their skin, but have felt it in the joints, being freer in moment and less achy, so if the joint ligaments can be affected by these drinks the chances are that the skin can also reap rewards, albeit in a less remarkable way.
“The key is giving the skin the best building blocks possible by eating and drinking ingredients which support the skin's processes. Some companies have put a lot of focus on exactly that, but you do need to be selective, as some drinks are simply a cocktail of water, sweeteners and preservatives. Sugar in any form is not good for the skin; I’d say it’s up there with sun and smoking. Drinks are not going to be the answer to slowing the ageing process per se, but feeding the skin from the inside out can be a game changer in the fight against wrinkles if you choose wisely.”
Do you consume beauty drinks or supplements? Have you noticed a difference to your skin or hair? Comment below or tweet us @GetTheGloss