So you want to look young and radiant? Who doesn’t! People are so eager to look younger that they are lining up for injections of Botox in their face. In Hollywood where I live, we especially see a lot of it, and also plenty of Botox injections gone wrong as well. All those people who went through Botox are going to be pretty upset to learn that getting expensive injections in their face was completely unnecessary. They could have just drank their “Botox” instead for just a few cents per serving. No, I’m not talking about some fancy Botox drink. I’m talking about good ol’ bone broth – and amazing skin happens to be one of the benefits of bone broth.
What is Botox anyway?
If you look up “what is Botox” online, one of the first things you will see is Botulinum toxin. Yep, that’s Botox’s real name. The fact that Botox’s name includes “toxin” should be a great big warning sign that you probably don’t want this stuff in your body. You’ll notice that the name resembles “botulism”, that disease you get from eating contaminated foods and causes problems like paralysis and possible death. Well, that is because the Botox toxin causes botulism (source).
Even though Botox is toxic and lethal in high doses, it does have some benefits. Scientists found out that the toxin can cure some conditions like esophagus spasms. More recently, manufacturers are trying to prove the Botox may treat depression (which you can read about here).
The wrinkle-reducing potential of Botulinum toxin was discovered in the late 1980s. They did some tests and Botox was approved by the FDA in 2002.
How Does Botox Work?
Botox blocks nerve impulses that tell your muscles to contract. This is why the toxin is good for treating some muscle spasm conditions. In your skin, it works the same way: it stops your skin from contracting. If your skin can’t contract, then it can’t be wrinkled.
Botox injections last for about 3 to 8 months. Then the wrinkles start coming back and you’ve got to go get another injection. Since Botox costs about $800 per treatment, you can end up paying a lot for your eternal youth.
You can find Botox shots for a lot cheaper. But I wouldn’t want to get them done at a cheap doctor (well, actually, I wouldn’t want to do Botox at all…). If not done correctly, Botox can leave you looking like a sinister Frankenstein.
But Wrinkles Aren’t Caused By Muscles!
The real reason that Botox is such a stupid treatment for wrinkles is because wrinkles aren’t caused by muscle contractions. Wrinkles occur when the collagen in your skin breaks down.
Collagen is the stuff which gives your skin its elasticity. As we lose collagen, the skin becomes thinner and creases (aka wrinkles) form. So, if you really want to get rid of wrinkles permanently, you’ve got to increase your collagen levels.
You can apply collagen creams to your face to get rid of wrinkles, but the skin is inferior at absorbing it. There are a lot of oral collagen supplements that you can buy, which is slightly better because the collagen is better absorbed. But they are pricey and liquid is always easier to absorb than pills…
So Where Can We Find Collagen in Nature?
You guessed it! In the skin, bones and joints of (preferably pasture raised) animals!
My all-time favorite source of collagen is bone broth. When you cook down bones, it breaks down the collagen in bones so it becomes more easily digestible. This form of cooked collagen is better known to us as gelatin.
Once you’ve cooked down bones to make your gelatin-rich bone broth. you are left with a nutrient-rich liquid. It is easy to make your own bone broth. Read How to Make Bone Broth here.
Drink enough bone broth and you will supply your body with much-needed collagen so you can prevent wrinkles and signs of aging.
Other Benefits of Bone Broth
Beauty starts from within. And I don’t mean that in a “personality matters most” kind of way! When you are healthy within, your body will radiate on the outside too. Put as many creams on your skin as you want — you’ll be better off improving your diet!
Because bone broth contains so many nutrients (including ones we normally don’t get in our diets), it has many benefits other than just reducing wrinkles and improving skin quality.
Below are just some of the nutrients you’ll find in bone broth:
- Bone marrow (depending on the bones), which is really important for blood health and immunity
- Glycine and proline, which are amino acids that help produce heme (in blood) and glucose, and aid in digestion. They also make your skin look great because they help support collagen.
- Cartilage, which is important for joint health. Especially valuable if you have arthritis.
- Minerals like calcium and magnesium. Magnesium also happens to be great for treating insomnia, and getting enough sleep is important for beauty.
Oh, and bone broth also happens to be a digestion superfood. The gelatin in bone broth helps digestion by soothing the GI tract. It also binds with water, which makes it a lot easier to eat cooked foods because water is reintroduced into the food (source).
You might think that digestion doesn’t have anything to do with skin, but this isn’t the case. Your digestive system is in charge of absorbing nutrients (which are obviously important for healthy looking skin), removing toxins (which cause all those nasty breakouts) and keeping you hydrated (dehydration will definitely cause some wrinkles).
How to Use Bone Broth to Improve Skin and Reduce Wrinkles
I like to sneak bone broth in to as many meals as possible. Soup is the obvious choice but you can substitute it in places where you’d usually use water. Here are some ideas:
- Healthy soups (like this easy chicken soup)
- Braised greens: I use a splash of bone broth to give them some moisture and keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pan. The liquid will evaporate but the minerals will remain.
- Grains: Cooking the grains in bone broth
- Popsicles: This is for the hardcore! Sneak broth into popsicles like these sneaky green popsicles. As long as you don’t go overboard, the flavor will go unnoticed and every little bit counts.
Bone broth is impossible to overdose on. I highly recommend drinking a mug of it each day like you would your coffee! Add a little sea salt to it and it’s like a cup-o-soup.
What If You Hate the Taste of Bone Broth or Just Don’t Want to Make It?
If you don’t want to make bone broth yourself, you can order quality bone broth here and have it delivered to your door. I really like that bone broth because it is made from 100% pasture-raised beef. That is important because the beef has more nutrients in it.
For those of you who don’t like the taste of bone broth (and it does take some getting used to), you can consume collagen (aka gelatin) instead. Please note that the chemically-made packets of gelatin you find in the supermarket are not going to provide the same benefits of real gelatin.
My favorite brand of gelatin is Great Lakes. They make a very high quality yet affordable beef gelatin and porcine gelatin. Alternatively, you can buy their hydrolyzed collagen.
What’s the difference? I write more about the difference between gelatin and hydrolyzed collagen here. In a nutshell:
- Gelatin: Mixes with warm water and causes things to gel. Use in recipes like this gummies recipe.
- Hydrolyzed collagen: Does NOT cause things to gel. Use virtually anywhere, such as in your coffee, tea, soups, mashed veggies, etc.
You can buy gelatin here or buy hydrolyzed collagen here.
Want to learn more about the health and beauty benefits of gelatin? Read The Gelatin Secret: The Surprising Superfood which Transforms Your Health and Beauty. It has lots of practical information and great recipes too so you can start incorporating more gelatin into your life. Buy it here.
Now I’d love to hear from you!
Do you chug bone broth? Have you noticed improvements in your skin? Are there any funky expensive creams you swear by and refuse to give up?
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47 thoughts on “Forget Botox! Drink Bone Broth for Amazing Skin”
Hi! Loved your book on Gelatin! Making my first batch of bone broth now. Question – do you recommend microwaving the bone broth for sipping, or does that hurt the nutritional value in any way? Thanks!
Trader Joes sells organic bone broth, lonolife makes keuring cups and packets – (amazon)
I am coming very late to the party but for those doing research on bone broth and it’s effects on skin, who have stumbled across this article in search, here is validation and a slightly different explanation from Dr. Mercola that basically supports the info on this site. I’m going to try it btw.
Thanks Sylvie for your great work!
I keep sharing your page but the share statistics do not change. Thanks for all your helpful alternatives and natural living tips. I have been always making stock from carcasses and eating the gelatin in my soups and I do think it’s helped me over the years. I am curious if you have anything you suggest for RA, my husband suffers greatly and I am at a loss when researching which super foods will work. If so contact me on FB or here. Thanks a lot.
I appreciate the share! For RA I would recommend the autoimmune protocol. This is my favorite book on the topic: http://amzn.to/2Bcs2CD
Yes bone broth works.. my grandma had it from long time and her face is super glowing and healthy.
Hi Sylvie! Do you have any veggie alternative broth recipes to share that I could add the Great Lakes gelatin to make a comparable broth to maximize the same benefits? Thank you
Hi Sandy – I don’t but you know the gelatin isn’t vegetarian either right? Curious if you’re willing to use the gelatin why not broth?
All exaggerated baloney-do your research.
“Eating a diet rich in leafy green vegetables is ideal,”. “Plants offer richer sources in collagen building blocks and, in addition, provide nutrients not found in sufficient quantities in meats or broth.”
What’s more, bone broth may provide vitamins and enzymes, but they get denatured from heat as the broth cooks, rendering them less useful to the body.
I don’t mind the dissenting views but I don’t understand why it needs to be written with such a negative tone. Plenty of research done not just for this article but every single one you’ll find on this site.
This is nice. I haven’t thought of that kind of benefit that bone broth has. I’ve been drinking Au Bon Broth organic bone broth and benefits surprisingly showed with my skin being noticeable “glowing” and me looking less stressed everyday.
Are you serious? Please explain the science behind the idea that collagen in bone broth actually ends back up in the tissue beneath your skin (which leaves as you age)? You need some citations and support for your claims.
hi , is it a must the meat is organic, grass fed? thanks!
Do you think gelatin supplement is the best way to start if you have digestive issues?
How do you feelbabout store bought bone broth?Not taste wise but for the nutrients?Is it like a juice where nutrients deplete with shelf life?I bought some organic bone broth from a health food store today cause i just sont have the time to cook all that beoth lately ..Thoughts?
I think it depends on the brand. Organic won’t be quite the same as pastured but I think it’s better than nothing for sure and I totally get the time thing. This is a brand I like: hollywoodhomestead.com/buy-bone-broth/
Is eating jello good for geltin? Also if I make bone broth can I put some on my face and hope it will sink in? I did try it once and my skin felt so soft
I’ve just recently been researching, and found that consumed collagen does not actually increase body collagen in any way. It is broken down into amino acids in the gut. I would be interested in finding anything that contradicts this, and it also makes me wonder how it would actually work to improve intestinal permeability. Thanks!
I wrote an entire ebook on the topic which a whole section on gut health with references to back up each claim. It’s not something I can answer in 1-2 sentences here.
You can find out more at thegelatinsecret.com
Best to you,
Hi! I am almost 49, going through menopause and suddenly started seeing pretty deep though small folds below my lips- it came on so sudden. I never thought I would say that I was contemplating Botox or fillers until the last 2 weeks and looking in the mirror. I have been blessed and most people think I am in my mid 30’s , so to have this creep up on me has been kind of depressing. I don’t want to be vain, but I want to do what I can. I now see very fine lines above my lips starting to form, but because my naturapathy doctor has me on suppositories to rid me of excess amounts of lead, and after reading a previous post about that ,
kinda squelched my hopes. What do you think about that? And if I started, would it help the look of the wrinkles I have or just help prevent new ones?
Thank you so much!
Good article. I first learned about this from the book, “Sip Away Your Wrinkles.” I’m a man in my 60s, and I think it has made a definite difference in appearance. I get comments from people who are surprised when they learn my age.
Thanks Stephen. Nice to know you’ve noticed a difference and others have too! 🙂
I think I’m a bit late ! I’ve already got my Botox injection a couple of months back from a surgeon in Toronto ( Dr. Kris Conrad) . Everything went well. Its been a few months and there was no sign of aging or any smile line wrinkles. I’m 54. The doc advised me to take some collagen supplements . I’m no longer taking any. My problem is that I’m a vegan and consuming bone broth of pasture raised animals is impossible for me. Can you suggest some other form of collagen that can be consumed ? Will consuming dairy products be of any use ?
Unfortunately I don’t know of any vegan equivalents that would work the way gelatin and bone broth will. Are the collagen supplements vegan?? Or is that why you’re not taking them?
No, dairy products will not have the same effect although if you’re open to it and don’t have any reactions to dairy I would definitely choose a vegetarian diet over vegan. Assuming no intolerances to dairy you could see some improvements to your skin just based on the K2. Not to mention your bones will love you for it too if it’s the full fat good stuff.
Hope that helps!
I think I’m a bit late ! I’ve already got my Botox injection a couple of months back from a surgeon in Toronto ( Dr. Kris Conrad) . Everything went well. Its been a few months and there was no sign of aging or any smile line wrinkles. I’m 54. The doc advised me to take some collagen supplements and I’m no longer taking any. My problem is that I’m a vegan and consuming bone broth of pasture raised animals is impossible for me. Can you suggest some other form of collagen that can be consumed ? Will consuming dairy products be of any use ?
Tiffany, unfortunately I don’t know of a vegan alternative that will work as well as bone broth or collagen from pasture raised animals. Were the collagen supplements your doctor gave you vegan? Can you share the product name please? Thanks!
Botox is tested on animals so definitely not suitable for vegans!
I Live in Key West we have Publix & Winn Dixie lol thats it. Was wondering woyld oxtail be good bone source I cook that alot or give me some MeatBone Ideas please thank you
Yes Victoria! Oxtail would be great!
Is it to late to for the bone broth to help you if you have have already had a facial injection done to uour face.
Sorry! I was typing to fast and didn’t make myself clear, on my question. Anyway if you have already had a facial injection of any kind, will the bone broth be of help to you.
Hi Janice, Yes broth will still be helpful for you 🙂
Here is the link but you are right, as long as you eat what you feel is right you’ll be fine. Balance is key 🙂
do you know how much bone broth one can drink a day? I’ve heard not more than 2 cups because of vitamin D. I also saw that you make your gummies with gelatin from great lakes, how come their recommended serving is 2 tbsps. is that equal to a cup of bone broth some how? 🙂
Honestly, I would be shocked if you can O.D. on vitamin D simply from drinking bone broth but would love a link to that study if you have it. I would recommend you let your palate guide you like you would with salt and not worry about consuming too much. In other words, don’t choke it down or drink more broth or eat more gummies than you’d like. Also, some days you may have a lot (soup, batch of gummies, etc) and other days you run out and have none. It all balances out. Don’t overthink it.
Thank you for asking! I’m sure others have been wondering also.
Thank you. Here are some links but I think your right about just having as much as you feel is right for you.
I was so excited abut this to use for my skin but then i read somewhere that collagen will probably not end up in your skin bc your body will use all of it for energy 🙁 is that true? how much collagen is actually digested and may be used for skin? who knows :/
Ximenairina, all I can say is try it for 30 days and let me know if it doesn’t work for you. If it doesn’t you will be the 1st person I hear that from. 🙂
awesome! thank you for the positive feedback! I’ve been using it for a week and my body feels better than ever, I’m 24 and i recently had my first acne break out in my life, it went away but now my skin is a mess, this gave me hope! thank youuuu
Would you say taking a collagen supplement like the Great Lakes version is just as an effective way to get in collagen as ingesting bone broth?
Hi Caitlin, yes! I think you could although you’ll be missing the extra minerals that bone broth has that the gelatin does not. Thanks for reading! I’m actually writing a whole book on it 🙂
I love bone broth too, but recently read an article about the amount of lead in it (study done on organic chicken homemade bone broth). Lead and heavy metals concentrate in bones. So, i think moderation is probably important, especially for kids?
Thanks for your comment! You may be interested in Chris Kresser’s take on it. Seems to me that the heavy metals are negligible and the benefits of consuming it outweigh the potential risks: http://chriskresser.com/bone-broth-and-lead-toxicity-should-you-be-concerned
Of course I will update this post if new information comes my way that proves the contrary.
Greats post! The travel mug you listed, is the top plastic? I could not tell from amazon and I am worried about the heat and bpa. Thanks!
It is, but I’m not so concerned because it’s not stewing there. It just passes thru it briefly while sipping and at that point the temperature is warm, not boiling. I also have a plastic spigot on my kombucha continuous brewer yet I wouldn’t brew kombucha in plastic. Hope that helps!