Healthy Drinks

What a Derm and a Dietitian *Really* Think About Hailey Bieber’s $17 ‘Skin-Supporting’ Erewhon Smoothie

Photo: Stocksy/Tatjana Zlatkovic
It’s safe to say that 2022 is the year of Hailey Bieber. She kickstarted the glazed doughnut skin trend, launched a product line to inch us closer to glazed goodness, and recently collaborated with Erewhon—LA’s premiere luxury food market—on an exclusive “skin-supporting smoothie” to amplify your glow from the inside out.

 

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But does Hailey Bieber's Strawberry Glaze Skin Smoothie—which will set you back a whopping $17—actually hold promise to yield a supermodel-quality glow? And how nutritious is it, really? We asked a derm and a dietitian for the scoop.

Skin-supporting ingredients in the Hailey Bieber Erewhon smoothie

Here’s a closer look at the key ingredients in the Hailey Bieber Erewhon smoothie. Keep reading to see if and how they can truly support your skin from within.

Collagen peptides

Collagen powders have been a staple on the wellness scene for a few years now—but is there proof in the pudding (ahem… peptides)? “There is a lack of clinical studies on the effect of consuming collagen, but some clinical studies have found improved skin elasticity with collagen supplements in older adults,” says Michele Green, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City. “When collagen is ingested, it is broken down to amino acids—the building blocks of protein—which are distributed throughout the body where protein is needed the most. This can include the skin, as our skin contains collagen and elastin that gives it its structure, firmness, and elasticity.”

However, Dr. Green mentions that such supplements aren’t required to be cleared by the FDA, so it’s important to take marketing claims with a proverbial grain of salt. Plus, since existing research shows the most statistically significant results of collagen ingestion in older populations, younger adults may not experience the same caliber of benefits.

As dietitian Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, of Real Nutrition in New York City adds, consistency is also key when it comes to taking any dietary supplements. “Some studies have shown consuming collagen may help to preserve the youthfulness of your skin by limiting wrinkles and dryness, improving elasticity, and promoting the development of other skin firming proteins in the body—but it usually takes two months or more to see results with consumption,” she explains.

Hyaluronic acid

Another skin-supporting ingredient in this smoothie is hyaluronic acid (HA), which you may be more familiar with via topicals such as serums, moisturizers, masks, and the like. “Hyaluronic acid is commonly infused in skincare products as it is a humectant, which means it pulls moisture from the environment and binds it to the skin to deliver hydration,” Dr. Green says. But does it offer similar benefits if you get it through diet? “Some studies have shown improvement in wrinkle depth and volume after consuming oral hyaluronan,” she explains. Shapiro adds that oral HA can help to hydrate the skin on a cellular level, which may “help skin to look and remain plump to ward off signs of aging.”

With these points in mind, Dr. Green says that more extensive research is needed to determine just how efficacious dietary HA is when it comes to boosting overall skin health. Moreover, it's unclear whether the concentration of hyaluronic acid in this smoothie is enough to boost your complexion.

Antioxidant-rich fruits

Strawberries are a staple in many smoothie recipes, in part because they’re a rich source of antioxidants like vitamin C. “Collagen works best when taken with vitamin C to promote optimal skin health,” Shapiro says. In addition, it’s known that vitamin C supports collagen synthesis, both topically and through diet. In short, these berries pair well with the collagen powder and may promote a more revitalized appearance.

Avocados are another source of vitamins and antioxidants in this smoothie. “This fruit contains vitamins A, D, and E, along with beta carotene, which are antioxidants that promote skin health from the inside out by protecting skin from sun damage and boosting the production of collagen,” says Shapiro. (Avocados are also famous for their robust fatty acid content, which Shapiro says can help to hydrate and nourish your complexion.)

“Consuming antioxidant-rich foods may help decrease the risk of free radical damage and oxidative stress,” Dr. Green adds, which can yield benefits for your skin and overall health. “Free radicals are unstable molecules that damage cells in our bodies. There are studies that show the sun’s UV rays cause free radical damage to the skin, leading to premature signs of aging like loss of collagen, wrinkles, skin laxity, dullness, and sun spots.” Simply put, less free radical damage is associated with healthier, more vibrant skin.

Coconut cream

Coconut cream adds richness to Hailey Bieber’s smoothie—as well as a few attractive benefits for your skin and body. “Coconut cream is low in carbs, void of sugar, and high in fat, so it will not inflame the skin and will therefore provide anti-inflammatory benefits,” Shapiro shares. Similar to coconut water (which you may be more familiar with to boost hydration levels and replenish electrolytes at the peak of summer or during a hot yoga class), it also contains some potassium, which she says “helps to de-bloat the body and can decrease puffiness in the face, too.”

How this smoothie stacks up from a nutritional standpoint

Generally speaking, how nutritious is Hailey Bieber’s Erewhon smoothie, really? “This smoothie can be a healthy addition to your diet depending on your nutrition goals,” Shapiro says. However, there are some pros and cons worth noting.

In addition to the skin-specific callouts above, this smoothie also contains sea moss: a buzzy ingredient that gets Shapiro’s official stamp of approval due to its well-rounded nutrient profile. “Sea moss is rich in fiber, which not only helps to decrease cholesterol levels but may help assist with digestion, regularity, and gut health overall,” Shapiro says. Shapiro also loves that it’s rich in minerals such as iron and iodine, the latter of which is scarce in American diets yet is crucial for proper thyroid function. (For the record, Korean-American singer, rapper, and entrepreneur Jay Park shared his own smoothie recipe—which also happened to contain sea moss—on the variety show The Manager a few months before Bieber’s debuted at Erewhon’s tonic bar. IYKYK.)

From there, Dr. Green is mindful to call out the smoothie’s sugar content via dates and maple syrup—though, to be fair, it’s unclear how much of each is included per serving. “The sugar in maple syrup and dates are better for the body than processed sugars and artificial sweeteners, but that doesn’t mean you can overload on these natural sugars without the consequences of the inflammation it triggers,” Dr. Green says. After all, it’s no surprise that excess sugar consumption can negatively impact your skin health and overall well-being. “Sugar molecules can attach to the collagen in our skin and form free radicals that cause oxidative stress on the body, resulting in collagen damage that causes the skin to appear dull, dry, and/or saggy. Too much sugar can also exacerbate inflammatory skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema,” she says—not to mention that long-term sugar intake can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes, heart conditions, and countless other health issues.

Finally, Shapiro mentions that while coconut cream has its merits, it’s best to consume it in moderation since it is high in saturated fat. “Saturated fat can raise cholesterol levels, so consuming it regularly and in large amounts may not be the healthiest option,” she says.

The final verdict

TL;DR: Is the Hailey Bieber Erewhon smoothie worth the hefty price tag in terms of supporting your skin and greater health? Of course, it’s up to you (plus your budget and taste buds) to determine whether this $17 smoothie is worth the cost—but overall, don’t expect any miracles from either a single purchase or daily trips to Erewhon.

Shapiro loves that this smoothie is likely rich in fiber—thanks to strawberries, avocado, and sea moss—which can help to keep you satisfied and balance blood sugar levels, among other benefits. With that said, “This smoothie is likely high in saturated fat and sugar, so decide what works best for you,” Shapiro says. As far as skin support goes, she reiterates that it may help to boost your complexion via its skin-firming, hydrating, and anti-inflammatory ingredients.

Next, while Dr. Green advocates for a holistic, inside-out approach to skincare, she notes that there are countless factors that will influence how healthy your skin is, so this smoothie won’t work as a quick fix to correct long-term damage or negate unhealthy habits. “This smoothie will not neutralize the negative effects of environmental damage like UV radiation, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption,” Dr. Green explains. Moreover, she reminds that many of the ingredients in Hailey Bieber’s smoothie require additional studies to prove their efficacy as far as skin health is concerned.

In other words, if you’re game to buy this smoothie once or even daily, it likely won’t move the needle too far in either direction to help or hurt your skin goals. But if you’re looking for major progress on your complexion, you’ll definitely want to continue eating a diet rich in whole foods and skin-friendly nutrients—but also opt for tried and true topicals that boast proven benefits for your skin. “To tackle fine lines, wrinkles, acne, dullness, and pigmentation, incorporating retinol into your skincare routine would be best recommended,” Dr. Green concludes. “Buying an over-the-counter retinol product is likely cheaper than buying this smoothie every day,” so heed the doctor’s advice to benefit your skin *and* your bank balance.

Tips to make your own Hailey Bieber Erewhon smoothie

Whether you’re on a budget, aren’t based in LA, or are simply interested in mixing up your smoothie game, Shapiro offers a few parting tips to make your own Hailey Bieber–inspired smoothie:

1. Stick with organic, low-sugar almond milk. “If you are making this at home, I would use organic almond milk because it doesn't contain any gums or fillers,” Shapiro says. Otherwise, keep your eye out for alternatives with minimal additives (including sugar) and similar benefits.

2. Buy collagen powder and HA that will yield multiple servings. Don’t forget: Taking supplements on a consistent basis will promote the most progress, so buy these skin-friendly supplements in bulk.

3. Shop for cost-effective items at budget-friendly grocers. Erewhon is as elite (read: expensive) as it gets when it comes to food shopping, so making your hauls at grocers like Trader Joe’s or bulk retailers like Costco will be much kinder on your wallet. “You can also use frozen organic strawberries and frozen avocado, as these are two fruits that spoil quickly but last long in the freezer,” Shapiro says.

4. Modify the recipe as desired. Smoothies are great since they’re infinitely customizable, and this one is no exception. For instance, Shapiro says that Greek yogurt is a worthy (and gut-friendly) stand-in for coconut cream, which will reduce your intake of saturated fat and thus help to keep cholesterol in check, plus it'll add protein. Lastly, to make your own recipe even more healthful, “use one date per smoothie and skip the maple syrup to minimize sugar,” Shapiro says.

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