I Tried Collagen Supplements So You Don’t Have To
[This post contains affiliate links, gifted products and a whole lot of rambling.]
Do collagen supplements work, or are they just another expensive skincare scam? I decided to find out…
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been conducting a very small and totally unscientific study (So, just me and three of my friends, then…), and the results are conclusive: literally 100% of people polled – myself included – have experienced some degree of lockdown ageing: i.e. the phenomenon of suddenly looking really, really, old and worn during lockdown.
Of course, some of this is presumably just down to the fact that lockdown has lasted a really, really long time now. You’d expect to age at least a bit in the course of a year, wouldn’t you? Not THIS much, though, surely? Because, the fact is, while I wasn’t exactly looking my best at the start of all of this, when I look back at photos from 2019, say, and compare them to how I look now, it’s like night and … well, later that night, basically. Because, again, I’m not expecting to look like I did when I was 20, here: I just want to look a bit more like I did ten months ago, say.
This is not the kind of difference that two years makes: it’s the difference that two completely different people make, and the two people I’m talking about here are me and my grandmother. As in, I look like my grandmother now. So that’s nice.
I’m not the only one, either. (Well, I mean, I AM the only one who suddenly looks like my grandmother, specifically, obviously, otherwise this would be a much, much weirder phenomenon, and would probably be on the news and stuff. But you get what I mean, I’m sure.) No, my friends – yes, both of them – are all suffering similarly.
“I look older than Methuselah now,” said Samantha*, 38. “Feel it, too.” “I’ve started ageing in dog years,” agreed Sarah*, 36. “I want to die.”
OK, I made that up: it was me. I said both of those things. My friends, however (The real ones, not the ones I just made up to illustrate my point…) have made similar observations, with our collective experiences of lockdown ageing including such thrills as:
* Grey hairs appearing almost over-night, like Leland Palmer in Twin Peaks.
* Wrinkles where there were none.
* The under-eye area suddenly resembling crepe paper.
* Just generally looking like we’ve lived through a pandemic, basically. Awesome. Love that journey.
It’s no mystery why this is happening, obviously. We’re all stressed and exhausted: eating badly, drinking more than we probably should, staring at screens for far too long, and finally falling into bed, only to lie awake, unable to sleep because, pandemic.
Despite what social media might lead you to believe, not everyone has had the luxury of extra time during lockdown in which to exercise, cook healthy meals and perform those small acts of self-care we used to take for granted. Add in the lockdown weight gain so many of us (ME) are dealing with, plus the fact that beauty salons and hairdressers have been closed for months, is it any surprise that I’m at the point now where I’m considering continuing to wear a face-mask forever, just so I never have to show my actual face in public again? I mean, there are people at Max’s nursery who have literally NEVER seen my full face, and, to be totally honest, that’s the way I’d like to keep it.
Now just before you come at me with your “Old age is a privilege!” and “There’s nothing wrong with being old,” comments, save it: I know. The thing is, though, no one – really, NO ONE – relishes the thought of looking significantly older than they are, and while it might seem frivolous to care about something as superficial as a few extra wrinkles during a pandemic that’s claimed millions of lives (And I’m sure someone will be along to make that point shortly…), at a time when so much else has been taken away from us, is it really too much to ask that our FACES could at least remain the same?
at a time when so much else has been taken away from us, is it really too much to ask that our FACES could at least remain the same?
Apparently so. Does it HAVE to be like this, though, I found myself wondering a few weeks ago? Do I absolutely HAVE to accept the weird blotches, the sagging skin and the grey hairs I’ve been finding at an increasingly rapid rate? Or could I, I don’t know, BUY SOMETHING that would reverse the ageing process, Benjamin Button style, and return me to my old (younger) self – or something like it, at least – just in time for society to re-open again? Because, I don’t know about you, but I’m not prepared to take this lying down. I need a roadmap out of wrinkles, and I need it NOW.
I need a roadmap out of wrinkles, and I need it NOW.
(Or, I mean, I actually AM prepared to take it lying down, rather, because that’s how I prefer to do everything these days, given that one of the other things the pandemic has taken from me is my motivation. I want everything to be different, but I don’t want to have to DO anything to make that happen, and that’s a pretty big problem, really. Quite a large bump in the road towards reinvention.)
The thing is, I know I can’t actually reverse the ageing process, and I also know that, if I want to make myself look even a tiny bit better, all I have to do is change absolutely every aspect of my current ‘Henry the Eighth’ lifestyle. Eat well, exercise more, drink tons of water every day, cut out the wine, find a way to reverse time … you know the drill.
The thing is, though, I don’t want to do any of that. Like, I’m prepared to do literally ANYTHING other than THAT. So, instead, I turned to the box of collagen supplements I’d had tucked away in the back of a cupboard for the last 6 months or so. Here they are – and here, too, is the main point of this post, which we have finally reached after that long, self-indulgent whine fest up there:
This product is by LQ Collagen, and, full disclosure, it was sent to me free of charge, but with no obligation to write about it: which is why you’re only just hearing about it now, several months after I first received it.
Honestly? When the box arrived, I took a quick look at it, and had the same thought I’m sure you did: nice packaging, but do collagen supplements actually work, though? Because, I don’t know, it just seemed to me like the kind of thing that was going to promise to change my life, and then turn out to be a crushing disappointment. Like the Russian Volume Eyelashes, say. Or that mascara that claimed it was going to dye my eyelashes, but actually made no difference to them whatsoever. Or, well, pretty much EVERY skincare product I’ve ever tried, really, because, let’s face it, I don’t have a lot of luck in the “face” department, do I?
I want everything to be different, but I don’t want to have to DO anything to make that happen
Anyway. I received this package, as I said, at some point last year, and, almost immediately forgot about it, because I just didn’t believe it could possibly work. Then, a few weeks ago, I looked in the mirror one morning and realised my face was basically attempting to slide off my head, and I thought, “Hmm? I wonder if it’s time to give those collagen supplements a go, then? Because surely ANYTHING is worth a shot at this stage?”
And yes. Yes, I am willing to try literally ANYTHING now (Again, other than all of the sensible, healthy-living stuff outlined above…), and so it was that I found myself drinking a small bottle of collagen every morning along with my breakfast: because, yes, this particular collagen supplement comes in liquid form. You are actually DRINKING your way back to youthful skin. Cool, no?
(Note: the supplement I’m using comes pre-made, but it’s also available in a powder form, which you can mix up yourself, if you prefer.)
Now, the main ingredients of this supplement are Marine Collagen, Hyaluronic Acid, Biotin & Resveratro, and, as regular readers will know, I am not the person to explain to you what those are, or what they’re supposed to do for you, so I’m very grateful that the LQ Collagen website has done that for me (It’s under the ‘key ingredients’ tab on the product page).
What I CAN tell you is that you’re supposed to drink one bottle each day, and that, although most of the reviews I read in advance seemed to describe it as “delicious”, I must confess that while the taste isn’t terrible, I didn’t particularly enjoy it, either, and – SPOILER ALERT – it’s testament to how well it actually works that I’m willing to continue drinking it regardless.
I did, however, soldier on regardless, determined to complete the 10 day course provided, and actually kind of hoping I wasn’t going to see any difference in that time, because, by that point I had Googled the price of this product (And others like it), and realised that if it DID actually make a dramatic difference to my skin, I was about to be plunged into a life of poverty, basically. (But with really good skin, though.) Thank goodness it probably wasn’t going to actually DO that then, huh?
Folks, it did that. It made a dramatic difference to my skin. And a slightly less dramatic one to my hair, actually.
The difficulty for me here, of course, is that I was so impressed by this product that there’s really no way for me to write about it without gushing, which means you’re all just going to read this and think, “Well, of course, you WOULD say it was good, wouldn’t you?” Before I go any further here, then, let me just reiterate that no, I was not paid for this post, and there was genuinely no obligation for me to write about the product AT ALL: so much so, in fact, that I sat on it (Er, not literally, obviously: that would be weird even for me…) for MONTHS before even bothering to try it.
However unlikely it sounds, though, the fact remains: it worked. And it worked FAST, too, which was probably the biggest surprise of all: the information on the box told me it might take a couple of months to see results, but by the end of that first 10 day course, I was already seeing improvements, namely:
The biggest and most noticeable (to me, at least…) difference is to my skin, which is smoother, firmer, plumper, and just more glowy, really. It’s a hard thing to quantify, because, good though it is, it’s obviously not some miracle product which will magically get rid of my jowls or wrinkles, but I was genuinely surprised by the difference it did make, and I don’t think I’ve tried ANYTHING else that’s made such a noticeable difference to my skin, so quickly. A few weeks after starting using it, I was just like, “Wait: is this how human skin is SUPPOSED to look?” Because WHO KNEW?
(Oh, and while the skin on my face was the thing I noticed first, after another week or so, I realised my face wasn’t the only thing to benefit from this: the skin on my legs, body, and even my LIPS is also smoother, without me having done anything to deserve this, other than drinking my daily supplement. In fact I’m starting to suspect that all of the money I’ve spent on expensive skin creams and serums which made absolutely no difference over the years, would’ve been much better spent on something like this…)
I was primarily interested in this for my skin, but I’ve also found that my hair feels thicker since I started using it. Again, this is something I wouldn’t have believed if someone else had told me about it, so I’m fully prepared to be told that I must be imagining it (And, I mean, maybe I am? How I can I tell? No, really: how can I tell? That’s a real question, I need to know….), but it makes me happy, so I’m standing by what I said: my hair is thicker now: in fact, it reminds me a bit of my pregnancy hair, only without the whole “pregnancy” bit, obviously, which is good news all round. Love that for me. My big hope now is that all of those pesky baby hairs that never seem to get any longer than the top of my eyebrows will finally grow out, too: that really WILL be a miracle…
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I started writing this post a couple of weeks ago, and had initially said at this point that the collagen supplements hadn’t made any difference to my nails, so that must mean it doesn’t work AT ALL, but, well, here I am, having to come back and edit that part, because although my nails have definitely been the last and slowest thing to show an improvement, in the last week or so I HAVE started to notice an improvement in terms of their strength and overall appearance. They’re still a hot mess, unfortunately, because my nails are the bane of my life, and have been for many long years now, but I’m really, really hoping the improvements I’m starting to notice will continue, and that I’ll one day be able to show them in public, and wear nail polish and stuff, without wanting to cringe in shame. You know: like a normal person? With normal nails? We can but hope.
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Excellent though this product is, though, there is one rather large downside in terms of the price. The powder version is a little cheaper than the liquid one I’ve been using, though, and LQ Collagen also offer subscriptions which allow you to save 35% on your supplements, but still: it’s not cheap, so please don’t blame me if you try it, love it, and then realise you’re now going to have to continue paying for it for the rest of your life: I am merely the messenger here, I don’t make the rules.
So, do collagen supplements work? As in, have they cured my lockdown ageing issue?
Well, I can’t speak for ALL of them, obviously, but, well, let’s just say the Tesco delivery driver told me she’d need to see ID before she could hand over my wine a few months ago, because she had to be sure I was old enough. That was actually BEFORE I started using the collagen supplements, mind you, so it has nothing to do with this story: I just wanted to mention it, because… I just wanted to mention it. (Look, it was literally the best thing that happened to me in 2020, OK?) On a serious note, however, this product has obviously not reversed the ageing process and returned me to my 2019 self, but it IS the best thing I’ve used in quite some time now, so I figured it was my duty to tell you all about it. And if that’s convinced you, you can buy them
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Anyone else tried collagen supplements? Did they work for you?