Skip cosmetic surgery and get rid of wrinkles

Dr. Frank Shallenberger, MD

August 8, 2022


I have heard it said that wrinkles are something to be proud of. That they’re a badge of honor indicating the wisdom and life experiences that only age can give you.

While there might be some truth in all that, I’ve never met anyone who liked their wrinkles. Wrinkles are fine on everyone else, it seems, as long as I don’t have them.

So if you have wrinkles and want to get rid of them or you don’t have them and you want to keep them away, what can you do?

Well, there are always cosmetic procedures like lasers, injections, Botox, and surgery. But all of these procedures are expensive and have potential side effects.

But what if there was a way to get the same wrinkle-reducing effect with something that is safe, natural, and as easy to take as drinking a protein shake?

Well, there might be. Today, I’m going to tell you about a recent study on a protein supplement that can have results just as good as the procedures.

The study had three parts to it. In the first part, the researchers recruited a group of 157 Caucasian men and women between the ages of 23-69 who were all scheduled to undergo a cosmetic procedure.

The cosmetic procedures included chemical peel, dermabrasion, laser resurfacing, and plastic surgery. The researchers measured their wrinkles, the hydration status (water content) of their skin, and their levels of photodamage.

Then they gave them a 50 cc bottle of a supplement called Pure Gold Collagen to drink every morning on an empty stomach for two months. Here’s what happened.

The researchers found that 69% of the men and women “had either visible or significant improvement in their wrinkles.” And 15% of these ended up cancelling their procedures because they were so happy with the results.

The researchers also documented an amazing improvement in nasolabial folds. The nasolabial folds are those folds in the skin that extend from the side of the nose to the corners of the mouth. These folds may deepen with age, and are usually more prominent than any other wrinkle.

According to the authors, “Measurement of nasolabial fold depth using a visual score showed that supplementation with Pure Gold Collagen led to significant improvement, with a 24% reduction in the average score. In 37% of subjects, a significant improvement in nasolabial fold depth was observed, with a reduction of 44% in average score.”

And they go on to point out that the level of improvement in nasolabial fold depth was similar to what is seen with either Botox or injection of fillers. So that’s wrinkles. What about photodamage?

Photodamage refers to the damage that happens to the skin over time from the ultraviolet rays of the sun. When skin is photodamaged, it loses its pink color, luster, and smoothness, becomes rough and irregular, and develops pigments.

At the end of the study, 43% of those with photodamage “had either visible or significant improvement.” As for hydration, the researchers saw similar results: “82% had either visible or significant improvement in skin hydration.”

That’s the first part of the study. The second part was different.

In the second part, the researchers looked at 10 men and women. Half of them drank a bottle of Pure Gold Collagen every day for three months. The other half drank a placebo.

The researchers were able to measure the amount of collagen in their skin before and after using high resolution ultrasound skin imaging. The measurements were taken not only in the face, but also in the forearm.

The results? There was a 19% increase in facial collagen and a 12% increase in the forearms. I find this particularly interesting because one of the things that I hear women complain about is the way their skin crinkles and appears loose on the forearms. These problems would definitely respond to an increase in collagen.

The last part of the study looked at the effect on 67 men and women of Pure Gold Collagen on skin firmness. As we get older and our skin loses collagen, it loses firmness. This is a major component of wrinkles. And when using a DermaLab SkinLab USB elasticity module, it can be measured. The measurements were made on the forearm.

On average, the skin firmness doubled after 80 days of the drink.

So in summary, the authors of the study put it this way: “Supplementation with 50 mL [one bottle] of Pure Gold Collagen on a daily basis for 60 days led to a noticeable reduction in skin dryness, wrinkles, and nasolabial fold depth. In addition, a significant increase in collagen density and skin firmness was observed after 12 weeks. The data from this study suggest that Pure Gold Collagen can counteract signs of natural aging.”

So far, so good. But how does it work? In order to understand that you have to understand what ruins the appearance of our skin as we get older in the first place.

There are two layers to the skin, the outer layer called the epidermis and the layer right below it called the dermis. Wrinkles start in the dermis. The dermis contains special cells called fibroblasts that produce the collagen and elastin that gives the skin a smooth, firm appearance.

The dermis in young skin is loaded with collagen and elastin. This is because young people have a huge amount of a special hormone called growth hormone. And the main function of growth hormone is to stimulate fibroblasts to make collagen.

Young skin is also loaded with hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is what the skin uses to retain moisture. When the skin is depleted of hyaluronic acid, it becomes dry and develops fine wrinkles. The problem with our skin as we get older is that it loses its elastin and collagen content. Here’s how.

• First is the very effect of aging itself. That’s because, as we celebrate more and more birthdays, our body makes less and less growth hormone. And the less growth hormone your body makes, the less collagen and elastin your skin will have.

• And then there’s the accumulated effect of your skin being exposed to the ultraviolet rays of the sun over a lifetime. Ultraviolet light photodamage destroys both collagen and elastin.

• Don’t forget sugar and the effect of diets high in carbohydrates. This leads to higher blood sugar levels, which through a process called glycation also damages the elastin and collagen content of the skin.

• Everybody knows about smoking. Smoking alters the components of the dermis, including the fibroblasts, and leads to premature aging of the skin.

• Stress is a big player in the aging process. This is no less true for the skin. When we’re stressed, the body makes an abundance of the stress hormone cortisol. Excess cortisol is known to decrease the production of collagen and elastin, while at the same time destroying what is already present.

So by now you probably have a pretty good idea of how Pure Gold Collagen works. Several experiments have shown that when we eat collagen, it gets absorbed intact and the blood levels increase. Anybody who has cut their skin before knows that the dermis of the skin has an intensive blood supply.

So as the blood levels of collagen increase, the fibroblasts in the dermis are exposed to higher levels of collagen. But just because the collagen gets absorbed into the blood doesn’t necessarily mean that it goes to the skin, does it?

One group of researchers recently proved that it does. They radioactively labeled collagen and gave it in one feeding to a group of rats. They were able to show that not only did the collagen go straight to the skin, it stayed there a remarkable two weeks. And what does it do when it gets there? Another study showed that when fibroblasts were exposed to extra collagen, it stimulated them to produce almost twice as much collagen on their own.

Pure Gold Collagen is a liquid supplement that contains soluble hydrolyzed collagen type-I obtained from the cartilage of fish. Why fish cartilage? It’s because fish cartilage is much more effective at collecting in the skin than other forms of collagen.

In addition, fish cartilage also contains low-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid, which is also deposited in the dermis. You can buy other forms of collagen at a much cheaper price, but they may not work as well because they are made from an inferior source for collagen and don’t contain hyaluronic acid. You can buy Pure Gold Collagen on Amazon. A 30-day supply costs $211 plus shipping.

If that’s too much for you, there is an alternative. I recently formulated Healthy Hair & Nails. It has many of the same ingredients as Pure Gold Collagen, but at a smaller concentration. The nutrients will work the same way but may take a little longer to see the same results. At only $49.95, it’s much less expensive.


Borumand, M. and S. Sibilla. “Daily consumption of the collagen supplement Pure Gold Collagen® reduces visible signs of aging.” Clin Interv Aging. 2014 October 13;9:1747-58.

Ohara, H., H. Matsumoto, et al. “Comparison of quantity and structures of hydroxyproline-containing peptides in human blood after oral ingestion of gelatin hydrolysates from different sources.” J Agric Food Chem. 2007;55(4):1532–1535.

Watanabe-Kamiyama, M., M. Shimizu, et al. “Absorption and effectiveness of orally administered low molecular weight collagen hydrolysate in rats.” J Agric Food Chem. 2010;58(2):835–841.

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