Earlier this week, Jamba Juice released a new smoothie called Poolside Fit. In it, you’ll find familiar flavors — watermelon, cucumber, lemon, strawberry and peach — alongside an ingredient more commonly found in beauty products: collagen.
Collagen is a protein that’s naturally produced by the body. When production slows, which it does starting at age 20, wrinkles, sagging skin and joint pain creep in, Joel Schlessinger, MD, a Nebraska-based dermatologist and contributor to RealSelf, told Fox News.
To make up for that slowing production, many people apply collagen topically in the form of moisturizers and creams, and, increasingly, they are drinking a powdered version of collagen, which is easy to add to everything from smoothies to coffee thanks to its neutral taste.
“This is my favorite way to get collagen,” Kellyann Petrucci, a board-certified naturopathic doctor, told Fox News. “It’s a two-fer thing: You’re getting great protein and then you’ve got this beauty angle where you’re getting improvements to your skin, your hair is improving, your nails are improving, and that’s a big deal.”
Getting a smoothie fix and a dose of beauty benefits at the same time? Sounds ideal, but Schlessinger said that while early studies seem promising, there’s not enough evidence yet to say ingestible collagen is a reliable anti-aging treatment.
Until more independent research is done, order the smoothie if you like the taste. But don’t think of it as the secret to younger-looking skin just yet. Schlessinger said to focus on preserving your natural collagen instead — which you can do by wearing sunscreen, avoiding smoking and excessive drinking, eating a healthy diet, and getting at least seven hours of sleep every night — and applying topical products that list peptides as a key ingredient.