Celebrity fragrances are so noughties, A-list athleisure so 2010s. Now there's a new wellbeing must-have that’s attracting stellar entrepreneurs like bees to nectar: collagen.
Thankfully, this is one trend that comes with scientific backing and doctor approva l. This skin-renewing, youth-dewing powder helps the body build new collagen, the protein that helps give skin its youthful bounce.
Last year Jennifer Aniston signed up to collagen powder brand Vital Proteins as chief creative officer (she’s been taking the supplement since 2016) and now author and reality TV star Khloé Kardashian has joined wellness startup Dose & Co as ‘partner and global spokesperson’.
Today Khloé’s collagen powders launch in the UK with three ways to take your daily dose of skincare from within: a whey protein powder, an unflavoured collagen peptides powder plus a collagen creamer to pimp your coffee. (Creamer is a classic American coffee whitener; perhaps the collagen upgrade will make it catch on here).
You can buy Dose & Co collagen blends at Holland and Barrett and all are under £30. Choose from Dose & Co Collagen Protein Powder in Vanilla or Chocolate, £29.99, Dose & Co Dairy Collagen Creamer Vanilla or Caramel, £27.99 and Dose & Co Dairy Free Collagen Creamer in Vanilla £29.99 or Caramel 27.99 and Dose & Co Pure Collagen Peptides (unflavoured) £26.99.
Far from merely lending her endorsement, Khloe is a business partner who says she intends to be actively involved. “I wanted to find a way I could help inform people about the benefits of collagen, without confusion or accessibility challenges," she says. "Once I tried the brand, I quickly saw how easily it fit into my overall routine and lifestyle. I was so impressed by the ingredients, the results, and the vision, I knew I wanted to get more involved."
Is it any good? The brand says that of the 59 people who trialled it, more than 70 per cent said they'd noticed better hair, skin and nails in two months.
Natural ingredients and sustainability are front and centre. The packaging is plastic-free made of cardboard tube and paper tape, while the blends have been formulated with the nutritional expertise of the brand’s co-founder Libby Matthews, a naturopath.
I’m a collagen convert myself and have been taking ten grams in as my morning cacao drink for three years, after nutritional therapist Daniel O’Shaughnessy recommended it for gut and skin health. I’ve actually bought Vital Proteins Collagen many times, unaware of its celebrity connections - it just happened to be on offer at Planet Organic. I’ve definitely noticed my skin and my overall wellbeing have improved. I've recently moved on to Ingenious Beauty collagen, which has the most impressive clinical trials out of any collagen supplement. Despite having less collagen per serving (627mg as opposed to 10,000mg or 10g) it has a low molecular weight and is encapsulated, meaning it is not destroyed in the digestive process as other collagens can be, and has been shown to reach the cells. It's a favorite of presenter Lisa Snowdon and actress Tamzin Outhwaite.
I agree with Khloe that collagen can be confusing, but in essence, here’s what you need to know. Studies say that ten grams of collagen a day is the dose you need to see the clinically-recognised benefits. After that, it’s up to you to choose the food source that suits you – marine (from fish) and bovine (from cows) are the most common. I take both and always look for wild-caught, pasture-raised and hormone-free as well as hydrolysed, meaning it's more easily taken up by the body. Some powders also contain added vitamin C, which the body needs to make new collagen.
Dose & Co contains the requisite ten grams hydrolyzed collagen per serving and says that its blend is "sustainably sourced", GMO and filler-free. It's sweetened with monk fruit extract, a natural low-carb sugar alternative. The one thing it isn't is meat-free. The blends are all bovine collagen, so here Jen’s Vital Proteins range (which also has a creamer) has the edge as it also offers marine collagen options.
I haven't tried Dose & Co yet, but it does tick most of the boxes. But it's a fledgling brand and I'm sure with Kardashian might behind it, it won't be long before we see more options.
If you want to find out more about what collagen does (and doesn't do) and what exactly to look for in a blend read our doctor’s guide to collagen powder.