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What Happened When I Started Drinking Collagen Every Day

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I have a personal rule: Don't take restaurant recommendations from everyone. I've been disappointed too many times. So I hold my judgment until my friend Emily Eisen, visual editor at Bon Appétit, suggests the restaurant—then I make a reservation immediately. Same goes for smoothie recipes. Not my thing...until Emily mentioned she started making them with collagen. As a beauty editor, I'm contractually obligated to be interested. Here's more about what she told me. —Emily Ferber

“Is this for work??” is usually what my mom passive aggressively messages me when I post a picture of something she disapproves of, and in this case she was talking about the collagen powder on my insta story. It's inevitable as a Visual Editor at Bon Appétit and Healthyish. (See here—weird and delicious food galore.) But no, Mom, my collagen powder is not for work. I’ve actually become a diehard collagen fan after using it pretty consistently for almost a year. I know it's a bit controversial—one of those skincare fads that lacks the cold, hard science a lot of people require before jumping in. My improvements could be psychosomatic—or just because I've found a really good breakfast shake with or without the collagen powder. Either way, I'm not complaining.

I originally started taking collagen as a protein source. I could never really get behind the texture and flavor of more traditional protein powders, so collagen seemed like the perfect solution. It is basically tasteless and odorless when mixed into a drink, such as coffee, tea, or a smoothie (they say you can mix it into both hot and cold liquids, but I once was desperate and tried to mix it into room temp water—lets just say I wouldn’t recommend it). Anyway, after doing more research I realized that I wasn’t really getting as much protein as I originally thought. HOWEVER. By then, I started to notice a few other pleasant side effects.

First of all, my skin. Hello!!! My skin is the best it’s ever been, I haven’t touched concealer in months, I barely wear any makeup at all except for my ritualistic swipes of Boy Brow in the mornings, and a bit of RMS Living Luminizer here and there. That’s not to say I don’t get the occasional hormonal pimple...that still sadly happens almost every month (anyone with solutions for this please get at me).

Secondly, my hair! It grows! Fast! And it is pretty shiny all the time. I haven’t changed my shampoo in months. I'll take it. And lastly, I want to to talk about my gut. I’m the type of person who, if my stomach is hurting (it gets upset easily), I get really grumpy, making me pretty ugly to be around. Anecdotally, collagen seems to help with that too. Of course, I can only speak to my experience. But it's working for me. What's working for you? Would love to hear.

And this turmeric chai tea recipe is what I drink this every morning (most of the powders come from CAP Beauty): 

Ingredients
2 scoops of Blue Mountain Chai powder (I mix my jar of chai with 3 tablespoons of turmeric, making my own turmeric chai powder) 
1 teaspoon each of of Sun Potion: reishi, cordyceps, ashwagandah, mucuna pruriens, and pine pollen
2 heaping tablespoons of Sun Potion Tocos (this stuff acts as a creamer, yet it’s totally dairy free, also highly recommended in coffee too)
2 scoops of vital proteins collagen powder (the one in the baby blue packaging)
1 teaspoon of CAP Beauty The Daily Hit 
1 teaspoon of raw honey
12-16 oz. of almost boiling water

Directions
Blend in a high-speed blender till frothy & combined—about 30 seconds. Pour into glass and top with fresh cracked black pepper. Enjoy!

—Emily Eisen

Photographed by the author.

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