Now before you get too excited that drinking beer and wine can improve your skin tone the product that I am referring to here is actually instant coffee with added collagen. Swiss based company Nestlé developed a coffee drink containing skimmed milk and 200mg collagen that claims to improve the look of your skin. As far as I can tell the product is now only available in Singapore, where it is extremely popular. It turns out that in Japan collagen is already added to many food products with the promise of youthful skin if you ingest it. This fact was addressed on an episode of the Oprah Show back in November, 2008. Since I don’t watch Oprah I didn’t know about any of this until I saw an article in The New York Times at the beginning of January about the above mentioned coffee.
Nescafe’s collagen coffee is part of a growing trend of nutraceuticals that promise health from within. According to Wikipedia: “Nutraceuticals can refer to foods, dietary supplements, medical foods, and functional foods that may provide prevention and treatment of illness or disease. Nutraceutical foods are not subject to the same testing and regulations as pharmaceutical drugs.” There is increasing market demand, in particular, for anti-aging drinks.
It would be great to think that by simply drinking your morning coffee you are strengthening your skin and looking younger with each sip. Our skin is comprised of two layers – the top layer called the epidermis and the lower layer (or “live layer”) called the dermis. While the epidermis is primarily made of soft keratin, collagen makes up 70% of the dermis. The dermis also contains elastin and hyaluronic acid. As we age collagen and elastin break down and weaken and wrinkles and lines appear.* As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts the best way to protect your skin, and even slow down this collagen and elastin break down from happening, is to use sunscreen. Yet wouldn’t it be nice that if all you had to do to repair the damage to the collagen and elastin in your skin would be to drink some coffee with collagen?
Before you get excited and start to wonder when this coffee will be available in the US please realize that it simply doesn’t work. If collagen is ingested via the mouth it is simply broken down in the stomach and then excreted. The collagen never gets to your skin.
Too bad that coffee with collagen does nothing for your skin. I just wonder – how does it taste?
* Source for information about the layers of the skin – Milady’s Standard Fundamentals for Estheticians
Further reading –
This article, The Truth About Beauty Beverages – from WebMD isn’t about collagen in coffee but about the whole idea of drinking supplements for better skin health. I am including it here since it does tie in to the topic of ths post, at least nominally. After I do some more research I plan to address the issue of supplements for skin health in more detail in a future post.