"Our line of beauty-specific products support the skin’s moisture, improving the elasticity, tone and vibrance,” promises Vital Proteins, which sells collagen powder. Skin mostly consists of the protein collagen, which over time becomes fragmented, like a fraying rope. We also produce less of it as we age. The result: wrinkled and less-firm skin. “Research has shown that if you improve your collagen, your skin will look better,” says Gary Fisher, professor of molecular dermatology at the University of Michigan. So why not just eat collagen? “It’s like a story from the Dark Ages,” says Marcel Nimni, emeritus professor at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. “If you want to be smart, eat brain. If you want courage, eat heart. If you want to be beautiful, eat collagen.”