There are certain things we take for granted in our twenties. Collagen, for instance. I never gave this structural protein a moment’s thought until the day I learned of its abrupt decline. 1% – 2% every year from now on apparently. So here I am, on the verge of 30 putting all my hopes for young, supple skin in a freshwater fish.
From the Greek kolla meaning ‘glue’ and gen ‘to produce’, collagen is quite literally the stuff holding our faces together. Without it, our skin loses elasticity and sags.
From injecting our faces with it, slathering on creams infused with it, to ingesting it in hydrolysed form. It seems we will do almost anything to get our collagen fix.
But is it all in vain? Possibly. If you buy in to the expensive creams that is, where the collagen molecules are simply too large to be absorbed.
I opt for the oral route, which i’m told has better absorption rates. I’m almost sidetracked by a collagen infused Gin promising the elixir of youth but trust my better judgement and put my faith in ‘skinade’ instead.
A peach and mangosteen flavoured drink containing marine collagen sourced from the skin of freshwater fish. Not one for vegans then.
I am to consume one bottle or sachet on a daily basis for the next 30 days to boost my body’s natural production of collagen and hyaluronic acid.
Time to put it to the test…
Day 1 – 5
I unpack my box of skinade (or “skin aids” as my husband fondly refers to them) to find a selection of 150ml bottles and 15ml travel sachets. While the bottles are ready to drink, the sachets must be mixed with half a glass of water.
At £105 for a 30 day supply, it’s a significant investment but this is easier to swallow when you see it as £3.50 per drink. The same price as your morning coffee. Besides, for best results they say you should skip your morning caffeine altogether as it can hinder the absorption of the micro-nutrients and collagen. Problem solved.
As someone who drinks two coffees for breakfast this presents something of a conundrum. In attempt to work it into my routine, I decide to take my skinade at 6.30am before taking my dog for a walk, delaying my first coffee until 7.30. This is all i’m prepared to sacrifice.
As for the taste, there’s nothing fishy about it. More like a weak, sugar free orange squash, or a watered down Berocca. Not tasty, nor unpleasant. I glug the entire bottle in one go. Painless.
By day three, my skin that had broken out into a dry, bumpy rash post holiday has cleared completely. Though I can’t tell if that’s just my skin acclimatising or if it’s the skinade already hard at work.
For the first few days I feel a bit nauseous drinking it so early on an empty stomach so I end up breaking the routine and taking it at random times in the day. Oops.
Days 6 – 10
By the end of the first week i’m struck down with food poisoning. A minor set back which means I’ve have to skip two bottles. I’m told that if you stop taking it for a short period, e.g. a weekend, results will be maintained. Phew.
Moving in to the second week, I almost look forward to my skinade, and glug it down gleefully in a matter of seconds.
It’s as easy as popping a pill but 20 times more effective – literally. To consume the same level of essential nutrients and collagen peptides I would have to take at least 20 large tablets.
While pills are difficult to ingest and are only partially absorbed at a rate of 30% – 40%”, the collagen and nutrients in skinade are absorbed at a rate of 90% to 95% in just 12 hours. A no brainer.
My radiant glow has been noted more than once by friends. I’ve also found it to be a great metabolic accelerator that leaves me buzzing with energy, much like coffee but without the jitters. In fact, i’m already down from three coffees per day to two.
Days 10 – 20
By now i’m really starting to see a radiant glow. It’s as if my face has been dusted in translucent powder, blurring away my imperfections. No filter required.
Despite drinking copious amounts of wine over a weekend, my skin doesn’t betray a hangover and shines on through my midnight sins.
They say it tastes better after chilling in the fridge, but I found this would leave congealed bits around the rim that were too hard to stomach. Especially when nursing a gueule de bois.
Where my skin would normally look dry and dehydrated after a night (or two) on the tiles, it appears supple, smooth and remarkably hydrated.
Perhaps something to do with hydrolysed marine collagen peptides triggering HAS2 receptors that promotes the production of hyaluronic acid. Yes, that’ll be it.
This combined with the fact that I’ve started drinking A LOT more water thanks to the minor heatwave we seem to be having.
Days 15 – 20
My routine has gone out the window and i’m taking skinade whenever I can in the day. Sometimes in the mornings, sometimes in the afternoons but it doesn’t appear to be hindering my results.
In fact, several more people have commented on how “fresh”, “supple” and “dewy” my skin looks. I’m now starting to worry about what happens when it runs out.
It’s been an education for sure. While i’m in no denial that I can’t mess with the ageing process, it has convinced me that there are ways to prevent collagen from deteriorating quite so rapidly.
I’ll be applying liberal sunscreen and taking Vitamin C religiously from now on. I’ll also be swapping that Bombay Saphire for CollaGin.
Something I have come to notice with age is that my skin seems to mark more easily. Tiny scratches or burns that should have faded over a few weeks, have left permanent scars.
Apparently this is due to my collagen (or lack thereof) that means fibroblasts, the cells responsible for rebuilding the connective tissue, can’t do their job properly.
Days 20 – 30
By the end of the trial, my skin definitely appears clearer, more moisturised and softer to the touch.
The marks on my face haven’t faded much, so I’d be interested to continue taking skinade to see if these do eventually fade, or see if I need to resort to something stronger like laser instead.
I found 30 days on skinade an absolute breeze. At £3.50 a pop, it’s easy to justify as a morning coffee replacement. You won’t even know you’re taking it but you’ll start to see results in as little as 5 days.
The taste is totally bearable and will fire up your metabolism like a caffeine hit thanks to the punchy vitamins. They’re also gluten free, contain 15% of your daily protein allowance and only 2kcal of sugar – sourced from natural grape juice.
I recommend the 30 day holiday edition for gym junkies, or for those who travel often. The bottles can be a little cumbersome so the pouches will be a welcome addition to a gym bag or airline hand luggage.
Now that my pack has run out, I am starting to feel withdrawal symptoms and am actually scared for the day I lose my glow. Time to invest in that 90 day supply!
Want to know what skinade tastes like? Call 08451 300 205 or email [email protected] to get a complimentary taste sample.
Price: £105 – 30 day holiday edition. 20 x 150ml bottles & 10 x 15 ml sachets