beauty drinks

The Next Big Thing in beauty is… drum roll.

Well, if the glossy magazines are anything to go by, the next big thing in beauty is everything from probiotics to pond scum. Care to know whether you can drink your way to younger skin or if DD creams are the new black? Here are some of the vaunted next big things in beauty for 2014 and how they really stack up.

Are beauty drinks the next big thing?

According to Glamour magazine, the new skincare saviors are now arriving in liquid form. Now, if this was referring to a glass of resveratrol-rich wine, I’d be going along with it. But no, beauty drinks require the imbibing of hyaluronic acid or collagen.

From time to time, I’ve looked at collagen drinks and haven’t been able to find any convincing research to back them up. And it’s a bit of a stretch to imagine that it would work. Collagen is a type of protein which, when ingested, is broken down by the digestive system into individual amino acids that would then need to be recombined by cells. However, I did find a recent study claiming that oral supplements made up of very specific collagen peptides have a beneficial effect on the skin.

Hyaluronic acid has water-binding and water-attracting attributes that fill up the spaces between the connective fibers collagen and elastin in the dermis. It is difficult to imagine how drinking it would support this function. And there is no research to back it up.

I’d rather spend my money on topical actives that encourage collagen production with peptides and deliver sodium hyaluronate straight to the skin, such as: M.A.D. Skincare Youth Transformation Age Corrective Serum ($60 in the shop); Arcona Peptide Hydrating Complex ($75 in the shop); BRAD Biophotonic Sublime Youth Creator Gel-Cream ($245 in the shop)

Are algae the next big thing?

Although it makes for good magazine copy, algae aren’t “pond scum.” Algae is latin for seaweed, a category that includes a hugely diverse number of plants. A beauty next big thing? You bet. Scientists are stepping up their study of the various algae, and the findings are impressive. Seaweed draws an extraordinary wealth of mineral elements (such as calcium, copper, zinc) from the sea, accounting for up to 36% of its dry mass. Seaweed is a powerful antioxidant that can reduce tumors by as much as 60%. Some seaweed is a source of vitamin C.

Algae is a key feature of Red Flower Lymphatic Phytopower Sea Cleanser and Masque ($42 in the shop). Astaxanthin, a very powerful antioxidant and one of my favorite ingredients (it can eliminate free radicals 6,000 times more effectively than vitamin C), is a red carotenoid produced by algae and is in the excellent Kenneth Mark MD Antioxidant Hydrating Cream with Astaxanthin ($120). And seaweed extract gets pride of place in Indie Lee’s Swiss Apple Facial Serum ($130 in the shop).

Are DD creams the next big thing?

The alphabetization of beauty continues with CC creams outdoing BBs, and now DD are creams hoping to usurp them both. In case you have been living under a rock, BB creams are multi-tasking primers, serums and SPFs. CC creams typically include color correctors for taking down skin redness. And DD creams... you may well ask.

Julep’s DD cream got a mention in the Wall Street Journal. But with its mediocre array of silicones and controversial chemical sunscreens, it is hard to see how it justifies a whole new category. There are only two noteworthy ingredients: phenylethyl resorcinol, a skin whitening agent found in pine bark, and a decent peptide.

Personally, I’ll stick with a tried and trusted BB cream, like Amarte’s with Natural Finish BB Cream ($55 in the shop), which has an epidermal growth factor, collagen, caviar and macadamia and argan oils.

Is adenosine triphosphate boosting the next big thing?

Adenosine triphosphate (or ATP) is the main energy source for the majority of cellular – and muscular – functions. This includes the synthesis of DNA. Living things use ATP like a battery, storing and using energy when needed and in complex ways, it seems (a sprinter will use ATP very differently from a marathon runner). In 2009, researchers found that direct intracellular delivery of ATP can accelerate the healing process of skin wounds at an “extremely fast” speed “never seen or reported in the past.”

But it has taken a few years for the skincare industry to catch on. Olay is just now getting the bandwagon going by referring to ATP-boosters with its Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream. Hence, Allure magazine pronounced it a new beauty “buzzword.”

Beauty products that boost ATP are definitely ones to keep on your radar. Another thing worth thinking about is that microcurrent is believed to work by improving the production of adenosine triphosphate. So, whip out your Myotones ($279 in the shop). ATP is one of the ingredients in Skin Nutrition’s Cell CPR ($170 in the shop), along with MAD Unirepar T-43, a bioactive complex of amino acids consisting of acetyl tyrosine, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), proline, yeast extract and butylene glycol.