The purpose of this randomized, placebo-controlled, triple-blind trial on 60 healthy female volunteers was to assess the cosmetic effects on skin quality of a food supplement containing special collagen peptides together with acerola extract, vitamin C, vitamin E, biotin, and zinc after an intake of 12 weeks (Elasten®, QUIRIS Healthcare, Germany). To reduce assessment bias maximally and increase the accuracy and objectivity of the outcomes, the trial design was triple blinded in a manner that neither the subjects nor the person administering the products nor the person who assessed the primary outcomes knew which subjects had received the test product and which had received the placebo. The expert grader assessing the confocal laser scanning microscopy images was additionally blinded regarding the time when the image was taken (on days 1 or 85). The objective, blinded, and validated image analyses using confocal laser scanning microscopy showed a significant improvement of the collagen structure of facial skin (primary endpoint) after intake of the test product, while no improvements were found after intake of the placebo. The proven positive nutritional effect on the collagen structure was fully consistent with positive subjective evaluations of relevant skin parameters such as elasticity, crinkliness/wrinkliness, and evenness in different body areas such as face, hands, décolleté, neck, backside, legs, and belly, all serving as secondary endpoints. The test product was found to be safe and very well tolerated. A cosmetically relevant improvement of the facial skin was demonstrated after administration of the collagen supplement.
Keywords: antiaging; collagen peptides; dermal collagen structure; dermonutrient; oral collagen supplement; skin beauty.