Having been raised by a fabulous mother who always thought outside the conventional wellness box (she cured most of my childhood ailments with an array of homeopathic remedies, introduced me to the calming wonders of calcium-magnesium, and zapped my pubescent skin with her high-frequency wand) I looove experimenting with things that might make me a smarter/prettier/more well-adjusted version of myself. It’s my favorite all-consuming life passion hobby!
Thanks to the Internet and social media, we’re bombarded with infinite products, treatments, and trends on the daily, and it can be overwhelming to say the least. Some things are easy to dismiss (thank you, Gwyneth, my vagina will skip its steaming appointment), but many others promise such magical benefits that you feel like you just might need them. So, how do you know what to spend your scarce time and hard-earned money on???
Enter: Weird Blog Lady.
I’ve wasted lots of my time and money so you don’t have to!!! (I live to serve, friends.)
I’m very excited to announce that today is the first installment in a new series of columns we shall call, “Believe The Hype,” which will cover my “holy grail” food/health/wellness/beauty finds. These are the things that I’ve tested long-term and feel comfortable wholeheartedly recommending to my favorite people. None of these products or services will ever be sponsored, and I’m certainly not going to push you to shell out for them—I just thought it would be fun (and hopefully useful) to share the good shit here. Cool? Cool.
First up, the notorious Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides. Let’s dish Q+A style…
What is Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides?
It’s a collagen protein powder sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine hides from Brazil. (They also make a marine collagen as well.) Weird, I know.
Wait, but what is collagen?
Collagen is a vital building block of our bodies including skin, hair, nails, bones and joints. Our bodies don’t synthesize enough collagen on their own, and since our diets today contain minimal collagen, VP provides a helpful way to supplement this protein.
Does this shit actually work?
Not only does it work, friends, it works wonders. And it’s not just me that swears by its magic, I promise. I’ve convinced the majority of my friends and family members to start taking it, and all are now proud VP devotees. Even my mother, and she’s a tough sell.
What does it taste like?
Absolutely nothing!! That’s one of the main reasons I love it so much. (I’ve always hated protein powders because even the “unflavored” varieties tasted chalky to me.)
How do you “take” it?
Personally, I add it to my morning smoothie or coffee, but it easily dissolves in any warm or room temperature liquid. (Unless blended in a blender, the collagen tends to congeal in cold liquids. Beware, my iced coffee drinking friends!) You can also stir it into foods like oatmeal, yogurt, and pudding, or add it to baked goods.
How much do you take?
2 scoops every day that I can swing it! (Sometimes travel/life happens.)
What beauty-related benefits have you noticed, and how long did it take before you saw results?
Here’s the deal when it comes to VP’s beauty benefits. Most peeps note an improvement in the health of their hair, skin, and nails relatively quickly, but results and timeline vary from person to person. Personally, I haven’t noticed a major change in my skin (and since I’m constantly trying different skin treatments and products, it would be impossible to pinpoint VP as the source of improvement), but when it comes to my hair and nails? HOT DAMN. They’re transformed, people.
The short story: VP improved the thickness and health of my hair and made my nails super strong. It took about 6 weeks to start seeing results and about 3 months for the serious WOW-factor.
The long story:
First, let’s talk hair. Last spring, I made the regrettable choice to get tape-in hair extensions. “Get a beautiful, lustrous mane!” they said. “They won’t damage your real hair!” they said. SOLD. (Don’t judge. I’ve always wanted Victoria’s Secret hair—I was an easy target, dammit!) Fast-forward 4 months and my natural ponytail had dwindled to the thickness of my pinky finger. ‘Twas very sad.
I’d been taking VP sporadically for a few months at that point, but I really ramped up consumption post extension-induced hair loss. After about 6 weeks, my ponytail was noticeably thicker and significantly smoother, and after 3 months, my hair was back to its pre-extension state. Hallelujah! I’ve now been taking the stuff religiously for about 8 months, and my “mane” is the healthiest it’s been in years despite the hot tool torture inflicted upon it multiple times a week.
I’m also thrilled to report that I experienced a similar transformation on the nail front. My nails have always grown quickly, but I noticed last year that they had thinned and would break/peel on the reg. After a couple months on the VP train, they were notably thicker and stronger. I usually keep my fingernails short because of the whole cooking thing, but I grew them out for a few weeks before my wedding, and they were really quite impressive. Please see below for visual reference…
Any other non-beauty benefits I should know about?
INDEED. First and foremost, Vital Proteins has 9 grams of protein per scoop, so adding it to my a.m. smoothie or coffee has helped keep me more full and energized throughout the morning. Collagen is also great for gut health, and I’ve noticed an improvement in my (many) digestive issues since I started taking it regularly.
What size do you buy?
I get the 1.25-pound canister, which is the biggest size. It seems aggressively large, but I tend to go through one a month (!!). I also buy the individual stick packs (each one contains a single scoop) for when I travel or am on-the-go.
Have you tried any of the other products? Collagen creamer? Beauty water?
I have not! I’ve only experimented with the OG flavorless Collagen Peptides, but if you’ve tried any of these exotic things, please share your thoughts with the group in the comments.