Cheong Asks: Do oral skin supplements like Imedeen really work?? I do believe that you are what you eat, and a healthy diet does help your skin, but can taking things like collagen or bird’s nest soup or ginseng really give you better skin??
The Left Brain Begets:
Thanks for a great question. We get these kind all the time asking if various food supplements are going to help skin, hair, weight loss, and even longevity. There have even been some recent stories in which flax and borage oil boost skin health.
Supplements are unregulated…that’s bad
The claims on some of these things are so wild, it seems that just popping a pill everyday should fix every problem you’ve got. Of course, this is nonsense. Remember, food and health supplements are NOT REGULATED. They can say ANYTHING they want, even if it is a LIE, and no one will likely do anything about it. So, when it comes to supplements the first reaction for every Beauty Brainiac should be one of skepticism.
The Imedeen story
So, what about Imedeen? Imedeen is basically a skincare supplement that includes proteins, polysaccharides, vitamin C and other “free radical scavengers”. According to the company…
Imedeen Time Perfection is state-of-the-art skincare based on natural ingredients that are scientifically documented to visibly reduce signs of aging from within and to help defend against new signs of aging from forming.
And after just 2 to 3 months of use, you are supposed to SEE results. Hope in a bottle is finally here! Yeah, right. Although, in the event that you don’t notice anything after a month of use, they include this disclaimer…
As with any nutritional supplement, the response will vary from person to person, and depends on skin condition, general health, diet, environment and other factors.
Which basically means if it doesn’t work for you, then there must be something wrong with YOU.
First, the notion that what you eat affects the condition of your skin may make sense but few, if any studies have shown any link between diet and skin conditions. Unless you are malnourished, there will not be any noticeable difference in your skin. It’s highly unlikely that using this supplement will have any noticeable effect.
Imedeen makes strong claims with weak data
Next, let’s look at some of their specific claims for this supplement.
1. Instantly begins to neutralise the skin-degrading processes
2. Significantly improves the skin’s moisture balance
3. Visibly reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
4. Diminishes visibility of dilated capillaries and age spots
5. Leaves the skin with a brighter, more youthful and even complexion
6. Helps shield and defend the vital structural elements of the skin against future degradation
What do these claims really mean? 1. This doesn’t mean anything. “Instantly begins?” Why doesn’t it “Instantly neutralise”? And notice how they don’t spell out what the “skin-degrading processes” are? What could they possibly mean? They are hoping you’ll make up something that you believe is “skin-degrading” and believe that this stuff stops it.
2. This doesn’t mean anything either. What is the “skin’s moisture balance”? The only factors that can affect this are the environmental temperature and humidity, and your own level of hydration.
3, 4, and 5. Reduce fine lines and wrinkles? These claims come from their scientific data. But a study that they reference as proof clearly concludes that after 3 months there are “NO SIGNIFICANT EFFECTS detected.” It is only after 9 MORE MONTHS of an uncontrolled study that the Imedeen shows any effect. Unfortunately, with an uncontrolled study there is no way to tell what caused the positive results they saw. This is extremely weak data!
6. Again, this doesn’t mean anything. How do you prove that you “shield and defend” against future skin damage? You can’t! What a bunch of marketing gobbly gook.
The most outrageous part of this supplement is how much it costs. According to our friends at beauty.com, a box of Imedeen contains 60 tablets (1 month of treatment) that cost $70. So , you’ll have to buy $210 worth of supplements to see any effect, if there is any effect. In fact, since their own study says it’ll take 9 months to see a benefit, that will set you back a whopping $630! Is that worth it to you?
The Beauty Brain’s bottom line
Imedeen has some slick marketing and even a couple of “studies” to back up what they say. But with the prices they charge, the weakness of their data and the fact that you’ll still have to apply sunscreens and moisturizers, this doesn’t seem like a smart purchase at all. You’d be better off saving up your money for plastic surgery.
Or even better, eat a balanced diet filled with fruits & vegetables. You’ll get all the unprocessed vitamins & minerals your skin needs.
And as far as collagen, bird’s nest soup or ginseng giving you better skin…I don’t think so.
Update: See this post for more research about Imedeen.