Wellness brand Activated You sells a dietary supplement called Essential Skin Food that promises to help you “achieve skin that looks and feels smooth, tight, and youthful at any age”.
That’s a pretty bold statement, so we have to wonder: is Essential Skin Food formulated with ingredients that are backed by science? If so, are they used in effective doses for optimal results? Are there any side effects associated with Essential Skin Food?
Further reading: Best supplements 2024.
We’ll answer these questions and more in our Essential Skin Food review. Plus, we’ll share feedback from real customers to get their take on the results of this product.
What Are The Essential Skin Food Ingredients?
Essential Skin Food contains a blend of naturally-derived, plant-based ingredients that are said to help support the body’s natural collagen production. Here’s the details:
Dermaval is a proprietary blend of ingredients like pomegranate extract, coffeeberry, quercetin, and camu camu.
We aren’t fans of proprietary blends. Why? Primarily because the total weight of the blend per serving is indicated, but never the proportions of each ingredient. Essentially, you could be wasting your money on a formula that does not have adequate quantities of the active ingredients.
This seems to be the case for Dermaval, since the total dose of this blend is only 50 mg, translating to an average ingredient dosage of just 5 mg.
To give you an idea of how low this is, take a look at this Camu Camu powder that contains 2,500 mg per serving — 500 times more than the estimated amount used in the Essential Skin Food formula!
Essential Skin Food contains vitamin C, which is an excellent ingredient for the skin and the whole body. It’s well known for its role in the immune system, but vitamin C also plays a crucial role in collagen production.
Specifically, vitamin C prevents the auto-inactivation of lysyl and prolyl hyroxylase, two key enzymes in collagen biosynthesis.
A 2018 systematic review of 10 articles published in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine found that vitamin C supplementation has the ability to increase type I collagen synthesis.
Unfortunately, Essential Skin Food only contains 10 mg of vitamin C, which is a pretty low amount.
To give you an idea of how low this is, the publication we referenced above states that the dosage of orally supplemented vitamin C ranged from 60 mg twice daily to 500 mg twice daily in the 10 articles assessed.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, including the collagen protein. Essential Skin Food includes two amino acids, Lysine and Proline, which both play a role in collagen formation.
By incorporating these amino acids into Essential Skin Food, the formulation aims to support the body’s natural collagen production.
However, once again the amounts of these amino acids used in the Essential Skin Food formula are extremely low — only 75 mg of Lysine and 50 mg of Proline
For comparison, let’s look at the amounts of Lysine and Proline that you would find in an oral collagen supplement, such as Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides.
On the Vital Proteins website, the brand lists the typical amino acid profile. On this list, there’s 614 mg of Lysine and 2,076 mg of Proline — significantly higher amounts than the Essential Skin Food formula!
Cosmythic, a trademarked pine bark extract, demonstrated skin-lightening and anti-aging effects in a 2014 clinical trial at a 100 mg dose.
Unfortunately, like the other ingredients in Essential Skin Food, the dosage of this extract in the formula is low — only 40 mg.
How is Essential Skin Food Different From Other Collagen Supplements?
Most collagen supplements on the market contain collagen peptides derived from bovine or marine sources, whereas Essential Skin Food does not contain collagen or any animal-derived ingredients. As we discussed above, Essential Skin Food would function as a natural collagen builder (if the ingredients were used in higher dosages).
Essential Skin Food Side Effects
Based on the Essential Skin Food ingredients, it’s unlikely that this product would cause side effects. However, after reading through reviews for this product, we noticed that some customers had side effects like headache and skin breakouts.
Where to Buy Activated You Essential Skin Food?
Activated You Essential Skin Food is only available on the brand’s website (activatedyou.com) and on Amazon.com.
How Much is Activated You Essential Skin Food?
On the brand’s website, Essential Skin Food costs $69.95 USD for one jar (30 servings).
On Amazon.com, Essential Skin Food costs $57.95 USD for one jar (30 servings).
What is The Activated You Return Policy?
Activated You offers a 90-day money back guarantee that states, “If you’re not 100% satisfied with your product for any reason, you’re covered by our 100% money-back guarantee (does not cover shipping and handling) for 90 days.”
Activated You Essential Skin Food Reviews
We went over to Amazon.com to read Essential Skin Food reviews because, in our opinion, Amazon provides a more reliable source for genuine customer reviews compared to a brand’s official website.
On Amazon.com, Essential Skin Food has earned an average rating of only 3.8 out of 5 stars after more than 200 customer reviews.
There are many 5-star Essential Skin Food reviews from customers who love that it helps to promote youthful skin, reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
For example, one review says, “Great ingredients in this product. My skin feels better more youthful. I just finished 1 bottle.”
And another 5-star review says, “No bad taste or side effects at all – was considering Botox but the line between my eyebrows has visibly diminished. Happy!”
However, there are a handful of negative reviews for the Activated You Essential Skin Food. Some of these reviews are from customers who didn’t notice any results, and others mention side effects from this product.
For example, one review says, “This is the first time taking this product, and is only been around 4-5 days since I received the product and I’m experiencing a terrible headache that has been going on for 3 days now.”
Another 1-star review says, “I didn’t notice a difference, even though I waited two months to see if there was any difference.”
Overall, we do not recommend Essential Skin Food, primarily because all of the ingredients in this formula are used at very low, suboptimal doses that we feel will not give you the results that you’re looking for.
- 90-day money back guarantee
- All of the ingredients are used at very low doses
- Some reviews mention that the product didn’t work at all
What Are Some Alternatives to Essential Skin Food?
If you’re looking for alternatives to Activated You Essential Skin Food, you may want to consider an oral collagen supplement. Here’s a few brands we’ve reviewed:
If you’re looking for skincare products to address the signs of aging, we recommend Carrot & Stick. Carrot & Stick maximizes the use of powerful ingredients and minimizes the use of superficial ones, resulting in advanced skincare solutions that help promote healthy, more youthful-looking skin.
One serum we recommend is The Repair Serum. The formula contains a proprietary blend of plant-based peptides and neuropeptides that help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, sustain natural collagen production, and firm the skin.