Friday, July 19, 2013

What's The Deal on Beauty Drinks?

[As published on HERE]

You’ve seen, heard about and most probably, experienced this at least once. We’re talking about beauty drinks. Each promising to turn back the hands of time and repair what the years have ravaged from our skin. From well-known brands that can be found on the shelves of every pharmacy in the country, to lesser-known brands without a history in the industry, it’s safe to say that we’re definitely not lacking in choices for beauty drinks nowadays.
However, there’s a price to pay, and in beauty drinks’ case, it isn’t cheap. These drinks usually cost north of RM100 for a month’s supply, and once you start, the paranoia of your skin condition going downhill prevents you from stopping.  In other countries like Thailand, the upkeep is less painful on the wallet – a bottle of collagen beauty drink costs less than RM5, which is much, much cheaper than the Malaysian market price of around RM10 a bottle.
Some of the beauty drinks available in Thailand
Beauty supplements come in all forms, whichever to tickle your fancy. In Malaysia, the tiny bottled drinks satiate our need for something sweet. In Japan, where women watch their weight more diligently, these supplements come in the form of tablets which can be washed down with water. There’s also a powdered form for convenience and portability (just add water), and jelly strips or cookies (for the sake of novelty).
The ‘beauty drinks’ trend isn’t new, though – the Japanese have been practicing this for years, even way before it was popular. Then the craze spread to Taiwan and Hong Kong, and from there it kickstarted an entire new opportunity for brands to jump on the bandwagon and promise to improve your skin from the inside out.

Common ingredients found in beauty drinks include:
As we age, our skin loses its supply of collagen, which causes wrinkles. Usually from marine sources (hence the slightly fishy smell in some beauty supplements), collagen in beauty drinks is said to ‘revive’ the production of collagen in our cells, so skin regains its plumpness.
This ingredient can be found in our cell membranes, and they help to maintain the structure of the cells. Ceramides form a protective barrier against dehydration, in order to help skin maintain its smooth, firm condition.
Hyaluronic Acid
If it’s good enough to apply on the skin, it’s good enough to be consumed. One hyaluronic acid molecule can hold water up to 1,000 times its size, which makes it an effective moisturiser. Ingesting hyaluronic acid helps deliver multiplied benefits to skin’s hydration level.
Even though it might sound gross, placenta powder is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine. It supposedly helps to rejuvenate and repair cells, so skin regains its youthful appearance. The placenta used in beauty drinks is usually derived from sheep or horses (definitely not humans!).
Antioxidant-packed fruits
Berries, pomegranate and grape seed are a few of the most commonly-used ingredients in beauty supplements. These fruits contain high levels of antioxidants, which help neutralise free radicals that are guilty of causing premature ageing. More information can be found here.

I know many women who take beauty supplements religiously, and coincidence or not, their skin has a healthy glow that emanates from within, even though we use the same beauty products and don’t have a marked difference in lifestyle habits.
For people who don’t eat well or maintain a healthy lifestyle, beauty drinks are convenient and less torturous methods to get more nutrients and vitamins than they usually do. Plus, being in liquid form, these vitamins are quickly absorbed by the body.
Despite the large number of people who swear by the benefits of beauty drinks, but at the same time, many experts are refuting these claims that ingesting a cocktail of ingredients that is supposedly good for the skin can help to improve its condition from the inside out. More on the debate here.

The verdict:
Beauty supplements should not be treated as a solution, but as an addition to an already healthy lifestyle. Doctors agree that drinking water is one of the best ways to clear the system and make sure that your natural ‘plumbing’ system is flawless. With a healthy body, it’s only logical that clear skin should follow thereafter.
What say you?

(Main image: Other images:,,

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