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. Just check out these pictures of Botox gone horribly wrong.
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 (source). 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?