The makeup bag may have accumulated some dust during the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean we’re emerging from quarantine any less concerned about our skin. Interest in skincare continues to exceed the demand for cosmetics—a trend that was on the rise long before 2020. As consumers become more aware of how lifestyle choices and environmental factors affect their skin, the approach has increasingly shifted from covering up blemishes to preventing them.
From luxury treatments to sculpting tools to topical solutions—there are now countless strategies for taking care of our skin. One less considered option? Managing the skin from the inside-out.
Whether we’re treating acne or preventing the cell damage that leads to skin deterioration, what we consume can play an important role in determining skin outcomes. New York City-based dermatologist and Clinical Instructor of Dermatology at Cornell University, Dr. Hadley King tells Forbes there is evidence that consuming sugar and dairy, for example, may contribute to acne development by promoting insulin secretion. “Excess sugar molecules bond to collagen and elastin through a process named glycation,” says Dr. King. “This process ultimately causes the collagen and elastin fibers to lose their strength and flexibility, contributing to aging of the skin.”
While everyone’s skin will react differently to sugar and dairy, one consumption choice is unanimously praised—hydration. Unfortunately many of our most popular drinks, like coffee and wine, have the opposite effect, even if they provide some skin-nourishing nutrients too, like antioxidants. “Antioxidants help to combat damage from free radicals from UV rays and pollution,” explains Dr. King. Instead of coffee and wine, which can have a dehydrating effect, Dr. King recommends green tea, and specifically matcha, which contains less caffeine and a unique class of antioxidants called catechins.
Dr. King says you can also find a high concentration of antioxidants in tomatoes, blueberries and kiwi—fruits that are rich in vitamin C, a nutrient which Dr. King says “is required in the pathway the body uses for making collagen.” As the most abundant protein in the body, collagen plays an important role in maintaining skin hydration and elasticity. But how does it work when taken directly? “The jury is still out on whether collagen will preferentially concentrate in the skin when we consume it,” Dr. King tells Forbes. “If it does, then that helps our skin by directly increasing collagen. If it doesn’t, then potentially it is helping by providing amino acid building blocks for our body to produce collagen.” Either way, it’s clearly working for some people, as it’s become one of the most popular dietary additions to skincare routines.
The inside-out approach is the philosophy behind nutricosmetics—a market that has been booming in Asia for years but only picked up steam in North America recently. While you can now find plenty of skin supplements in capsule form, drinkable powders are increasingly available too, perhaps in part due to the rise of functional beverages. From immune-boosting sodas to sleep-inducing tonics, summer sipping looks to do a lot more than quench your thirst this year. These ten elixirs target the skin, with ingredients known to boost collagen and clear complexion.
Better yet, drinkable skincare is easy to incorporate into your daily routine (unlike the high maintenance topical regimes of the Before Times), so go ahead and sip your skincare this summer.
Green tea’s high antioxidant and polyphenol content make it a powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent for reducing irritation and swelling. Filled with vitamin B2 and vitamin E, it also supports collagen production and skin cell growth. Clevr’s matcha blend adds organic Ashwaganda, Lion’s Mane and Reishi mushrooms to the mix to reduce stress and anxiety, plus probiotics for gut health. Made with oat milk and coconut cream, all you have to do is add warm water and ice for a smooth, refreshing iced latte.
This beauty blend goes above and beyond your average collagen powder with clinically studied French melon extract, whole algae astaxanthin and vitamin C—three ingredients believed to support the skin’s elasticity and protect against UVA- and UVB-related skin deterioration. The coconut cream-based powder gets it’s blueberry flavor from 500mg of acai fruit, a berry rich in vitamin A and C to hydrate the skin. The formula is finished off with probiotics to help maintain a balanced digestion system.
What began as a cult-favorite turmeric latte blend has since grown into a full line of superfood formulas designed to blend seamlessly into daily routines. The Skin Hydration Ade is no exception—each single-serve packet makes a refreshing pineapple-flavored drink that supports the skin with hydrating coconut water, hyaluronic acid and antioxidant-rich amla and schisandra berries. You’ll also find hyaluronic acid in their creamy coconut collagen powder.
My Obvi’s hydrolyzed grass-fed bovine collagen peptides contain a compound of vitamins and minerals specifically designed to encourage the production of collagen to benefit the skin, hair and nails. This limited edition caramel macchiato will turn your morning coffee into a barista-style, protein-packed treat, but their five cereal-inspired flavors (think, Frosted Cereal and Honey’Os) make sweet breakfast beverages too.
This sampler pack gets you a taste of Cocokind’s three vegan beverage mixes, each designed to treat the skin from the inside-out. The caffeine-free Morning Mocha Latte is made with energizing gingko and maca, and prebiotic chicory root to encourage digestion. The Detox Chlorophyll Tonic soothes inflammation with aloe vera, ginger and a probiotic blend. While the Sleep C Tonic induces beauty rest with vitamin C-rich dragon fruit and stress-reducing Ashwagandha and L-theanine.
This eye-catching potion gets its hot pink hue from pink pitaya, also known as dragon fruit. Loaded with prebiotics and antioxidants that prevent cell damage, the fruit is a go-to when it comes to maintaining a clear complexion. Rose and hibiscus not only hydrate the skin, but give the blend a sweet floral flavor too. Boosted with vegan collagen, the vibrant powder adds some nutritional and visual enhancement to smoothies, baked goods or even just water.
The coveted brand known for their adaptogenic supplements nourishes the skin with this formula containing hyaluronic acid, a go-to ingredient for reducing fine lines and wrinkles. The powder also preserves collagen with tocos (rice bran solubles) extracted from organic Thai Jasmine rice, and sustainably sourced silver ear mushrooms, one of the only vegan sources of vitamin D. Free of sugar and fillers, the creamer is as pure as it gets (which also means it may clump so blending is recommended).
Boasting over 1000 reviews, this is one of Dose & Co’s best-selling collagen powders for improving the appearance of skin and strengthening the hair and nails. Delivering 10 grams of sustainably sourced bovine collagen per serving, the coconut milk powder has a subtle hint of vanilla, making it a creamy, protein-rich addition to coffee, smoothies and baked goods. If you prefer your collagen sourced from fish, the Khloe Kardashian-endorsed company will be launching their Unflavored Marine Collagen later this month.
Instead of mixing your drinkable skincare, try steeping it with this soothing tea designed to tame the inflammation that compromises a clear complexion. With a deep chestnut aroma, the bright, citrusy blend is made of Chun Mee green tea leaves, which are known for their high antioxidant content. Rosehips and lemongrass offer vitamin C and vitamin A to help prevent blemishes while sea buckthorn berries are rich in omega-3-6-9 fatty acids to sooth dry, irritated skin.
This berry-flavored powder uses bioactive collagen peptides, a hydrolyzed collagen that is so absorbable Glotrition claims it improves the skin’s firmness and reduces wrinkles in just 30 days. It also delivers vitamin C-rich fruit extracts, like blueberries and cherries, plus hyaluronic acid and resveratrol—two ingredients known to hydrate and protect skin cells.