The thing that drives me nuts about so many skin creams and serums is that the claims they make are ludicrous: they defy basic biology. Take collagen for example. We all know that collagen helps keep skin looking young and peachy, so it makes sense to add it to creams, right? Well, not really. Collagen molecules are large, big fat balloons of things. Put them on the skin and they will just sit there, all plump and lovely but doing sweet FA. They simply can’t penetrate the epidermis and get down to the coal face of the skin, the dermis. It’s like asking a football to squeeze itself through a ping-pong ball sized hole. Some companies get round that by using peptides, smaller fragments of collagen, small enough to penetrate through the epidermis but then, it’s argued, the fragments are too small for proper integration.
Unless you are very clever (wait for a new post on a company that is being a bit smart about this), you need to get the collagen into the body via a different route. Orally. Except there’s a problem with this too. Swallow collagen (in a pill) and your body will simply digest it in the same way it does protein – absorbing the amino acids.
So it’s interesting that an independent study has found that VERISOL®, a bioactive collagen peptide, actually can have an effect on the appearance of skin. The study – see here for the abstract – found that, ‘Skin elasticity showed a statistically significant improvement in comparison to placebo. After 4 weeks of follow-up treatment, a statistically significantly higher skin elasticity level was determined in elderly women.’
So, when I was approached to try proto-col’s collagen shots, I was keen to see if they really could affect my skin. The supplement comes in a shot format – it tastes of berries and is a little sickly for my taste, but it’s certainly not unpleasant. Alongside the VERISOL®, it contains vitamins B6, C & E, Zinc, Biotin and Copper. Apparently you need to take a shot every day for at least a month to see the benefits. So that was exactly what I did.
Hand on heart, I didn’t notice vast improvements on my face – the wrinkles seemed to stay pretty firmly fixed. But what I did notice, about two weeks into the trial, was that my eyelashes were longer, thicker and entirely more enticing. I’d been lamenting the thinning of my poor eyelashes to the point where I was contemplating falsies – so this was a big win for me. My nails also grew more, and seemed a lot more shiny. Overall I also noticed that my skin seemed more hydrated, maybe even a little softer – it was particularly noticeable on my hands.
So, it’s a cautious thumbs up from me. proto-col isn’t the only company to use VERISOL® in collagen shots, I should point out, but I like the additional goodies in this – even discounting the collagen, it’s giving you some good nutrients. Money no object, I’d certainly add this to my daily routine.
A box of ten 50ml proto-col collagen shots costs £34.95. proto-col (www.proto-col.com) is currently running a 3 for 2 promotion.