Collagen Blink

Collagen Blink

This 3 in 1 serum apparently contains collagen, snail extract and vitamin E, all in a handy pouch with a screw cap. There’s enough of the clear jelly inside to last at least a week, which will make it perfect for my next short trip.

I thought I’d better try it out first though, and was surprised to find it made my skin feel really tight and tingly. But I gather the point of serum is it helps what you put on next absorb into the skin more easily, providing you let it dry first. Once I’d applied my usual night cream, the problem disappeared, but I’m still not sure if I really like this one.

Since it is a) Korean and b) I found it in Bangkok, it is unlikely that I’ll have the opportunity to buy any more in the near future, so that’s alright…

Collagen Coffee

Category : Food

There’s a growing number of food and cosmetic products laced with collagen, all of which promise to slow the aging process by boosting the production of this structural protein in your body. I know you have to take these claims with a pinch of salt, but then I see something new and feel I have try it out…

So here is collagen coffee, fresh from Thailand and apparently containing goji berry extract as well for added anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Careful perusal of the packet reveals that each sachet of instant coffee contains 7% collagen and 5% goji, which is actually more than I was expecting. More than 65%, however, is dairy creamer, as this is one of the 3 in 1 instant drinks so beloved of SE Asians.

There are scientific studies out there which delve into the helpfulness or otherwise of consuming collagen, and the general consensus seems to be that your average female would need to eat around 10g a day to see any effect on their skin.

There is so little collagen in these sachets that you’d have to drink more than 50 cups a day to achieve that amount, which is plainly ridiculous. But maybe every little helps…

Anyway, facing up to one of those days where there was more to do than energy available, plus a deadline looming, I decided the moment had come to give this product a go.

And it was not half as bad as I was expecting, for the first half cup. Then a strange after taste began to creep up on me, which I suspect was more to do with the artificial sweetener than anything else, and in the end, I had to pour the rest away. The packet is still in the cupboard, but I am keeping it for emergencies only.

Collagen Tea (and low-cal cupcakes)

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This little café was quite a find, with its Japanese ambiance and colourful treats to eat. We particularly liked the collagen tea, which has a bright turquoise layer of collagen jelly on the bottom, through which you drink your tea. OK, it is slightly odd, but in a country where tea regularly comes full of sago pearls and fruit ‘boba’ bubbles, it isn’t too much of a challenge.

The low calorie cupcakes were a bonus. Lady A Cupcakes actually offers nothing to eat but cupcakes, on the grounds that it if focuses on one thing, it will do a better job.

So the cake is light, either Madagascar vanilla or Belgian chocolate, sitting on a base of caramelised cookie for an interesting difference in texture. The low calorie frosting does not overwhelm the cake, unlike other brands I could mention, and is less sugary so you can actually taste the flavour.

As the menu says: ‘I am baked for the ladies, so I am always less sweet, has lower calories and I look really pretty too~ I know these are important to you.’

Our cupcake and collagen tea sets cost just S$4.90, which made this a tasty and very affordable treat.

Collagen Sweets

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Collagen is having a bit of a ‘moment’ here in Asia, especially if you happen to be female and over 30. That’s because thirty is the age after which our bodies start producing less of this vital natural protein which supposedly keeps our skin smooth and wrinkle free.

This is why you find collagen as a key ingredient in many beauty products for mature skin, why it is used in lip-plumping injections, and why there are suddenly a number of drinks, powders and sweets to consume which aim to address the problem from the inside as well. After all, the manufacturers claim, anything you put on your skin will barely penetrate the first few layers, whereas anything you ingest will be absorbed by the body and work to boost collagen production at the deepest levels.

In a way, this is just one logical step further than taking daily doses of vitamin and mineral supplements. And if it might help boost your complexion, why not?

The trouble is, collagen is produced naturally by the amino acids found in food protein like steak and eggs. But so are many other things which your body needs every day. And your digestive system treats everything it receives in roughly the same way. Any specialised collagen products you consume are going to be broken down and used like any other food, with no guarantee that your face will benefit at all. The best you can do is to eat a healthy and varied diet rich in every vital nutrient.

Yet ‘superfoods’ containing a lot of natural collagen, such as chicken skin, shark’s fin and pig’s feet, are widely touted as being a great way to keep your skin looking young, and devotees swear that they can see and feel the benefits the very next day.

For those of us who don’t fancy chewing on trotters, extracted collagen served in some more palatable way is offered as the answer. I found these sweets handily displayed by the till in beauty store Sasa, rather like the way the supermarkets have racks of chocolate to tempt you as you queue at the check-out.

Of course I decided to try some, especially as they cost less than S$4 and the tin promised that the peach yoghurt flavoured candy inside was sugar free. However, the sorbitol and aspartame they used instead make them tongue-curlingly over sweet for my taste. Collagen is apparently tasteless and clear, so you cannot tell you are eating it, but even so, judging by its position on the list of ingredients, it seems to be a minor ingredient here. Worse, there are warnings about the possible laxative effects. All in all, whilst these were fun to try, I am not likely to find myself ‘accidentally’ consuming the entire lot in one go, and will probably not buy them again.


Collagen C Mask

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Here’s another sort of sheet mask, a small version designed to curve round your eye and focus on the fine lines in the corners. I would not actually have called this shape a ‘c’, but I suppose it was close enough. It came from Etude House and is billed as ‘formulated with collagen to revitalise and improve appearance around eyes’.

I found it quite hard to follow the instruction to keep the product out of my eyes, as – like most of these sheet type masks – the shapes are positively dripping when you take them out of the packet. They do stay in place, however, which meant I could get on with other things whilst waiting for my 15 minutes to be up.

It is possible there was some tightening and smoothing effect on my laughter lines, but my skin felt slightly uncomfortable afterwards, taut and dry under the sticky coating that was left behind, rather than the ‘smooth and elastic’ feeling promised. I suspect this might work nicely as a mini eye lift under makeup if you were going out somewhere special, but felt that any improvement in my skin tone was lost the next time I washed my face.

But at S$2 for a packet, it was good value and probably worth trying again.