Meiji Amino Collagen Review: Does Collagen Powder Work?

 

The first time I tried Meiji Amino Collagen, I was in my 20s. At this ‘tender’ age, I didn’t notice any significant improvements after consuming half-a-year’s worth of collagen powder. 

Now that I’m in my 40s, would Meiji Amino Collagen start to make a difference to my less-taut and wrinkly skin? Or is collagen powder just a money-sucking myth? Let’s find out. 

Meiji Amino Collagen

 


Tell Me About Meiji Amino Collagen Powder

From my intro, you would know that Meiji Amino Collagen has been in the market for a very long time, definitely more than 15 years. This collagen powder originated in Japan, but luckily we also have it in Singapore from major drugstores such as Guardian, Watsons and Don Don Donki.

Unlike other collagen products in the market, Meiji Amino Collagen is only available in powder form and they come with a month’s supply. You can choose to have the powder in a can or a refill pack. 

INFO: Quantity varies from 28 to 40 days’ worth of Meiji Collagen Powder, depending on promotion. A 30-day supply is the norm though. 

Meiji Amino Collagen Powder
Comes in two forms – Can vs Refill Pack

Meiji Collagen Powder – 2 Types of Formulation

In terms of formulation, there are two types – Standard and Premium. Both contains 5,000mg of fish collagen, but the Premium version (gold-brown packaging) is packed with these extra ingredients:

  1. Ceramide: 1,200mg
  2. Hyaluronic acid: 20mg
  3. Coenzyme Q10: 10mg

It’s pretty obvious that the premium range targets those of a mature age, probably above 40 years old. I may consider upgrading to the premium range in my next purchase.

Ingredients of a Standard Can of Meiji Collagen

Other than 5,000mg of fish collagen, both Standard and Premium formulations also come with the following ingredients:

  • Amino acid (arginine) – 450mg
  • Glucosamine – 60mg
  • Vitamin C – 50mg

Do note that the quantities of Glucosamine and Vitamin C in Meiji Collagen are way below the daily recommended intake (of 1,500mg for Glucosamine and 500mg for Vitamin C). Do not skip your other sources of these nutrients, especially vitamin C.

Meiji Amino Collagen Ingredients
Ingredient of Meiji Amino Collagen Powder

Here’s the full ingredient list:

Fish Collagen, Peptide (gelatin), Maltodextrin, Vegetable Oil, Vitaminc C, Glucosamine, Arginine, Gum Arabic, Flavouring, Emulsifier

Marketing Claims: What are the Benefits of Meiji Amino Collagen?

Although most people associate collagen with anti-aging benefits such as firmer and younger skin, Meiji marketed it generically as a product to boost “beauty”.

Meiji’s Tagline 1: Amino Collagen for a more beautiful you.

Meiji’s Tagline 2: Beauty in a spoon.

I couldn’t find an explicit write-up of Meiji Collagen’s tangible benefits. Instead, most benefits were presented anecdotally or implied from the benefits of their individual ingredient. It made me wonder whether such companies are restricted from or not confident in promising what the collagen powder can achieve. 

The one thing I gathered from its FAQ is how collagen can be found in skin, hair, nails, bones and cartilage, and that collagen starts to decline dramatically from the age of 20.

It seems like Meiji wanted me to conclude that I can get better skin, hair, nails, bones and joints without explicitly telling me so.

 


Why I Chose Meiji Collagen Among Other Brands? 

With so many collagen products in the market, why did I choose Meiji Amino Collagen especially since it didn’t produce significant results when I tried it in my 20s? 

I bought Meiji due to “tax-free” impulse. As you see, I was making payment at a supermarket in Japan when I realized that I was just a few hundred yen short of meeting the minimum sum required for a tax-free purchase (¥5000). So, I grabbed a product located near the cashier and which I was familiar with (to quicken the decision-making process).

This product happened to be Meiji Amino Collagen Powder. Long time no see, my friend!

Meiji Collagen
Got this 30-day refill pack from Japan at ¥1550 (tax-free)

So, I didn’t buy Meiji Collagen due to brand loyalty. On the contrary, I was quite skeptical over a collagen product’s efficacy. But I thought there’s no harm trying, now that I’ve officially entered the “mature” phase. LOL!

I’ve since tried Meiji Amino Collagen (Standard) for 2.5 months and am ready to share my observation. Read on! 

 


Preparing the Drink: Meiji Amino Collagen 

Preparing Meiji Collagen drink is quite an effortless affair. I’m really impressed with how thoughtful Meiji is in its product design and formulation. 

Let’s start with the can design. Instead of a traditional “milo-can” lid that requires a metal device to ply open, Meiji Amino Collagen comes with a plastic lid. And it’s not just a simple plastic lid. This lid can be semi-lifted on one end, while the other stays fixed to the can. 

Meiji Collagen Powder
Lift up part of the plastic lid to access the scoop and powder

A thumb’s strength is all that is required to open the lid, after which, you’ll see a plastic scoop in the can that gives you the exact amount that you need (7g of powder). No ambiguity or the trouble of searching for a separate spoon. 

TIP 1: The scoop is only available in the can version. Hence, those buying it for the first time should get a can instead of a refill pack.

TIP 2: You can get a level spoonful of powder by scraping the scoop against the inner part of the lid. 

Closing the lid was easy too. Just pressed the lid down. There’s no need to align anything with this semi-flexible lid. 

Now, in case you wonder if a plastic lid would seal the product properly, I’m happy to report that I haven’t seen any clumps or crawlies in my powder.

How well does Meiji Collagen mix with Drinks?

Most powder dissolves readily in hot water, but not in cold liquid. Meiji Amino Collagen surprised me when I saw how easy it was to mix the powder in both hot and cold water.  

Although it took slightly longer to stir the powder into cold beverage, it was still a brief effort that required no more than a minute.

Does Meiji Amino Collagen coagulate? 

Sometimes, you’ll see clumps forming when you mix two different types of liquids together, e.g. lemon juice with milk. So, does Meiji Amino Collagen coagulate when mixed with a different type of beverage?

So far, I’ve mixed it with fruit juices, milk, coffee and tea and have not noticed any clumps or solids.

 


Taste Test of Meiji Amino Collagen 

I mixed Meiji Amino Collagen with plain water to see how it tasted like without being masked. It has a fishy taste, but it’s so mild I wouldn’t have any problem finishing the drink. 

I was impressed at how the drink has a thin and almost water-like consistency. This, as compared to a previous collagen product that I’ve tried is so much more refreshing and easy to drink.

Another bonus is how effortless it is to wash the mug and teaspoon since I didn’t have to deal with any sticky residue. 

Meiji Collagen Powder
Meiji Amino Collagen when mixed with water

Which beverage goes well with Meiji Collagen? 

I didn’t like Meiji Collagen in my tea and coffee because the mild fishy taste couldn’t be masked completely.

So far, citrusy beverage works best for me. Years ago, I used to drink it with Vitamin C effervescent tablet. Right now, I mix it with fruit powder, courtesy from Project B, and it tastes wonderful!

Project B Natural Fruit Booster
Passion Fruit Powder

How I Prepare My Meiji Collagen Drink

I would first fill my cup with a scoop of Meiji Collagen powder and half a teaspoon of Passion Fruit Powder. Then I pour just enough hot water to submerge the powder (maybe one-fifth filled).

Once the solution is thoroughly mixed, I’ll fill the cup with ice cubes before topping up with cold water. Then I’ll have with me a cup of icy-cold collagen dessert that serves as a healthy late-night “snack”. 

Meiji Collagen Powder
How I prepare my Meiji Amino Collagen drink

 


Meiji Amino Collagen: Does it work? 

Now comes the important question, does Meiji Amino Collagen work? Can it reverse the signs of aging? 

Here’s the chronological order of when I thought the benefits presented themselves. Do note that this anecdotal record could be due to placebo effect since they weren’t scientifically measured.

After 2 Weeks: Better Nails, Skin Firmness & Radiance

The first thing I noticed was how fast my nails seem to be growing out within a week. I could tell because I was having gel manicure and the new-grown “gap” seemed to widen faster than what I was used to. 

Collagen Benefits
Nails seemed to grow out faster

Secondly, I thought my nails were stronger. Ever since I started doing gel manicure, my nails had been brittle and would break easily. However, in the last two months, they only broke once.

Right now, my nails feel stiffer, thicker and don’t bend as easily.

Collagen Benefits
My nails broke when I was touring in Japan (Before taking Meiji Collagen – May 2019)
Innisfree Nail Polish Color 23 & 3258
Stronger nails these days (After consuming Meiji Collagen Powder)

My beauty diary also reminded me that my skin was more radiant, taut and bouncy at the 2-week mark.

The pores on my cheeks also appeared smaller. 

2 Months Later: Visibly Fairer

I must have gotten used to the positive changes quickly as I could no longer tell that my skin was visibly younger, firmer or brighter. That changed at the second month mark. 

I remember looking at myself through the mirror one morning and thought, “Wow, I’m so fair!” 

In case you wonder, I haven’t used Vitamin C serum for at least half a year. So the visibly fairer skin is likely due to the consumption of Meiji Collagen Powder and/or use of SANA cream

Other improvements I’ve noticed when working on this review include a reduction in my under-eye dynamic lines and forehead wrinkles

Don’t Expect Dramatic Improvements

Yes, Meiji Amino Collagen has shown quite a number of anti-aging benefits. However, the results are subtle by nature.

My fine lines, wrinkles and nasolabial folds remain, albeit less deep perhaps. My left knee (jogger’s knee) still hurts when I jog. And I would still have to go for my regular botox session.

Therefore, if you expect dramatic changes, you may walk away feeling disappointed. If you have high expectation, e.g. you want your wrinkles to disappear completely, non-invasive procedures such as botox and fillers may produce quicker and better results. 

Does collagen powder really work? 

Just like other health supplements such as Vitamin C, Calcium and Fish Oil, it’s hard to tell whether they truly work.

Based on my experience of using Meiji Amino Collagen, I like to think that it does help in improving nails, skin elasticity and radiance. However, I cannot be 100% sure that what I’ve noticed aren’t due to placebo effect. 

Can you get fat consuming Meiji Collagen Powder? 

I came across some online reviews that mentioned how Meiji Collagen Powder made them appear fatter. 

Based on the nutritional value, a serving of Meiji Collagen Powder contains only 27 calories, most of which is made up of protein (5.3g) and very little carbo (1.3g). 

For reference, a McDonald’s Cheeseburger has 300 calories and a cup of iced lemon tea has 150 calories. Therefore, I think it’s unlikely to put on weight with a protein-based drink like Meiji Collagen Powder. 

However, if regaining bouncier skin and baby fat is equivalent to appearing ‘fatter’, I totally wouldn’t mind that at all. It just means that the product works! :)

Meiji Collagen Calories

 


Love its Environmentally-Friendly Packaging

Meiji Amino Collagen doesn’t come in single-use packaging and hence isn’t travel-friendly. But that’s what I appreciate about the brand.

I like how the product minimizes waste with it’s refill pack and 30-day packaging. The climate is worsening, so let us all do our part in reducing our carbon footprints. 

Come to think of it, Meiji’s 30-day refill pack is actually easier to carry home than a 30-bottle carton. Perhaps, it’s travel-friendly in a different way. :)

Meiji Collagen
A refill pack that I bought from Japan

 


Price of Meiji Amino Collagen (Japan & Singapore)

The price has come down a lot over the years. More than a decade ago, Meiji Amino Collagen was selling at around S$50 or S$60 which is equivalent to S$80 worth of today’s money (assume 2% inflation rate).

Today, I often see a 30-day supply selling for just S$29 or S$39. You can get it even cheaper in Japan – I got mine at ¥1550 (tax-free). Here’s the online price.

Meiji Collagen Powder
Price of Meiji Amino Collagen during a promotion

 


In Summary: Pros vs Cons of Meiji Amino Collagen

What’s Good? 

  1. A long-established brand with 100 years of history 
  2. Drink is easy to prepare
  3. Refreshing and water-like consistency
  4. Showed improvements to nails, skin firmness and radiance 
  5. Cheaper than many of its competitors
  6. Environmentally-friendly packaging

What’s Bad? 

  1. Mild Fishy Taste (can be completely masked when mixed with citrusy beverage)
  2. Subtle improvements
  3. Knee still hurts when jogging
  4. Not convenient to travel with

 


Recommendations: Would I buy Meiji Collagen Again?  

Oh definitely. With the skin and nail benefits observed, I wouldn’t mind paying S$1 a day to delay the signs of aging (and to boost better health).

However, the benefits shown by Meiji Amino Collagen Powder aren’t huge enough to stop me from trying out other brands. I’m also wondering if other brands can work better in improving joints and cartilage. 

Nevertheless, I know Meiji Amino Collagen is one that I would fall back on, i.e. if I can’t find anything better. Judging at how many years this product has been in the market, I believe this collagen product works! Or does it? :) Rating: 4/5

Here’s the latest price on Amazon and Ebay

 


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