That doesn’t mean we are seeing lots of ads exhorting us to eat more fruit and veggies on the back of skin care packs – far from it. What’s happening is that anti aging skin care is turning to nutraceuticals – food products loaded with added anti aging ingredients like collagen and omega 3.
This trend seems to have been taken to extremes recently with products like collagen marshmallows, anti wrinkle jams and anti aging yoghurts on the supermarket shelves in Japan, Europe and now available in the US.
In Italy you can buy a yoghurt containing coenzyme Q10 and vitamin E whereas in Spain they like their yoghurts with aloe vera for shiny hair.
But did you know that consuming high levels of sugar in these products could actually accelerate skin aging?
Laboratoires Noreva in France launched an anti wrinkle jam in three flavors containing a range of anti aging ingredients including essential fatty acids, antioxidants, lycopene, noreline and vitamins E and C.
The jam is claimed to reduce wrinkles and signs of skin fatigue by 74% but its not clear whether the makers have any supporting clinical trials to back up their claims.
Probably not since the high levels of sugar in the jam is likely to cause glycation in the skin. High sugar diets produce glycation which destroys the skin’s suppleness and elasticity and increase the rate of skin aging.
The same applies to collagen marshmallows. The first collagen marshmallows were produced in Japan by EIWA and they were then picked up by distributors in Europe and the UK – with one UK producer – Eat Yourself Beautiful now selling their brand of collagen marshmallows online to the States and other countries. The UK product is actually made in Japan (probably by the original Japanese supplier) and sold in 50g snack packs containing 3000 mg of collagen.
Whilst there is precious little scientific evidence that eating collagen will increase the collagen levels in your skin cells – it isn’t really the collagen that matters here from an anti aging point of view – it’s the sugar. Take a look at the ingredients list – the marshmallows are almost entirely made of pure carbohydrate (simple sugar) – listed on the pack as “glucose syrup” and “corn starch”.
Glucose syrup is another name for corn syrup – widely used in processed and packaged foods in American diets and partly responsible for the huge rise in obesity in recent years.
Even without the diet issues – collagen and sugar together is a ridiculous combination as an anti aging product.
In fact world famous dermatologists like Dr Perricone and Dr Brandt are increasingly focusing on sugar damage as a cause of skin aging (wrinkling and sagging) and producing face serums and anti aging creams to deal with it.
Nonetheless – the Japanese manufacturers EIWA claim that eating the marshmallows will give you the same benefit as a collagen injection but without the pain. That claim is also repeated by the UK suppliers of the repackaged Eat Yourself Beautiful product. Given the impact of too much sugar consumption on skin wrinkling this is just plain silly.
In any case – it seems to me that nature already does its own job of packing the food we eat with powerful antioxidants and anti aging ingredients. The antioxidant benefits of a huge range of foods are already proven beyond doubt by many reliable clinical studies.
There may be an increasing role for nutraceuticals – food based anti aging products – but combining high sugar foods like marshmallows and ingredients which may have no anti aging effect when eaten is not the way to go.
The very best approach is to start with what you eat naturally every day. Pack your diet with the right kind of food and you won’t need collagen marshmallows or anti wrinkle jam and you’ll be healthier and slimmer for it!