Beauty products and supplements have been around for a long time. People have ingested all manner of substances in a bid to retain more youthful looks.
In these (fortunately!) more scientific times, you only need glance at the shelves in your local Boots to find ranks of packages promising healthier nails/hair/skin etc.
Rather than popping a pill, Absolute Collagen is a beauty product you drink. It’s a completely new one on me, and I’m intrigued.
Let me sneak a little bit of blurb in here:
Drinkable skincare for women AND men. Absolute Collagen is a powerful anti-ageing liquid collagen supplement that fights against the visible signs of ageing. In the arena of ingestible beauty products, collagen has long been recognised as the star player.
You can read more here.
It costs £29.99 for a fourteen-day supply.
Now, I’m not going to go into a bunch of scientific detail (here’s the science bit on their website), I’m simply going to say what my experience was. In fact, not just my experience, because I roped in my gorgeous husband, Big C, to test with me.
The collagen itself is marine sourced, and is made in the UK. Support British companies!
Absolute Collagen supply both a women’s version and a men’s version of their collagen supplement.
I used the women’s version, and Big C agreed to be the male tester.
I suspect this is what swung it:
Yep, the male version is called the Stud Box.
Anyway, the boxes are small and will fit through the mailbox. Inside are fourteen little sachets.
These are small and very portable. You can throw them in your bag or pocket, and they are definitely sturdy enough not to worry about leakage. (Though I’d avoid sitting on them.)
Big C was away for a few days during the testing period, and took some sachets with him. They were fine sitting in his bag along with all the crap he carts around.
Anyway, in the box you also get a small leaflet.
As you can see, the information is essentially the same in both leaflets, but the branding, wording, and layout is slightly different. I noticed they emphasize the protein element much more in the men’s version, but I assume that’s because the association of protein with muscle is something that would make men pay more attention.
I’m sure they’ve done plenty of research on how to present information to different groups. Either way, you’ve got the basics there.
First of all, the liquid is kind of thick and viscous, a bit like cough syrup. It’s a 10ml dose, so less than a tablespoon, and lemon-flavoured. Apparently this is because it’s just a bland, slightly bitter taster on its own, so adding a bit of lemon is an improvement.
My first impression was that the taste was OK, though I didn’t love it. The second day I didn’t like at all, then the third day it was fine. Not lovely, but I didn’t have a problem with it.
Big C really didn’t like the taste. He grew up by the seaside, and swore he could taste the fish. I didn’t notice any kind of fish or marine taste AT ALL, so I think he was projecting.
They suggest a couple of different ways you can take it, in warm water with mint, mixed into yogurt. We both decided it was easier to just gulp it down in one, though Big C had to chase it with a big gulp of coffee.
So after all this introductory stuff and pretty pictures, you want to know if it works, right?
This is what happened.
A week or so after we had started taking it, Big C wandered into the kitchen and said ‘hey, my beard has gone crazy!’ Now, he does indeed have a magnificent beard, but he’d noticed while performing his usual morning beard-grooming that it seemed thicker, glossier, and softer. Along with the hair on his head, it had also taken a little jump in growth. (Apparently this is easier to spot with a beard, but I wouldn’t know because I don’t have one. I’m happy to take his word for it though.)
Then it occurred to me that the previous day two of my friends had separately complimented me on my hair. I hadn’t taken much notice because I’m not good with compliments, plus I hadn’t washed it that day. (I’m lazy so only wash it on alternate days.) Usually on the non-washing day my hair looks a bit lank and dull, but perhaps it wasn’t that day. The next non-washing day I actually paid attention, and indeed, it looked way better than usual. And on the washing day it definitely looked nicer. My hair is straight and fine, and while it didn’t suddenly look like it had doubled in volume it was absolutely just that little bit shinier and fuller.
Oh, and Big C said he thought my hair looked better too.
We didn’t notice any difference in our nails, but then we both have good nails, they don’t peel or break or anything, and they’re strong. We’re also both violinists, so keep our nails short.
I asked Big C if he noticed any difference with his skin (which is unfairly good for a man) but he didn’t really. But then his skin isn’t dry, and he doesn’t do much with it except slap a bit of moisturiser on once in a while.
I certainly did notice a difference in my skin. Two weeks of supplementation isn’t going to magic away those inevitable fine lines, and I’ve accepted that they’re here to stay (you can’t escape aging completely).
My skin has a tendency to dryness, especially in cold weather, and we’re heading into winter now. However, even though the weather has gotten a whole lot colder, I did notice my skin wan’t half as dry as usual. I didn’t make any changes in my regular moisturizing/cosmetic habits, but my skin felt softer, and didn’t get that tight feeling after washing.
You might be wondering why there aren’t any ‘before and after’ pictures. Well, this is because the effects were much more based on how hair and skin felt, rather than how they looked. I don’t think you would get the kind of dramatic transformations that can be discerned in photographs. Lighting, time of day, and even sleep all have a huge effect on how your skin looks, and it would be impossible to reproduce exactly the same conditions over a period of weeks and months.
Now, this is purely subjective and based on the experience of exactly two people. Every person’s biochemistry is different, and I couldn’t say that anyone else will get the same results.
I can say that I was very sceptical at first, and against all expectations I was truly amazed to see an effect. Even Big C said he really enjoyed the difference it made to his lovely beard.
In short, yes, this product really did seem to work!
I think the sachets are a great idea. They’re portable and convenient, and they don’t have that pharmaceutical look that some supplements seem to embrace. This is totally superficial, but I also really like that the female version is a nice bright colour, rather than pink or some other bloody insipid pastel you often see on female-branded products.
I’m very glad to see that even with the different branding, the male and female versions are the same price for the same product. (No gender-based pricing nonsense.)
Even though I didn’t love the flavour, I got used to it very quickly, and it was totally worth it. I’ve run out now, but I’d be intrigued to see what happens over a longer period of time. I’m also wondering if my hair and skin will return to its pre-supplementation condition.
But the two weeks we tried Absolute Collagen were definitely a success!
Oh, and if you fancy reading a bit about the weird and wonderful history of cosmetics and beauty products, check out this article. I very nearly got sucked into a Google black hole looking this stuff up. It’s fascinating.
A different version of this review was first published on allsubscriptionboxes.co.uk.