Collagen supplements continue to grow in popularity thanks to their many beauty benefits. Celebs like Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, and Kourtney Kardashian enrich their daily diets with collagen supplements to achieve youth-maintaining results. And If it’s good enough for the stars, it must be good enough for the rest of us!
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To date, research has shown that collagen supplements can help improve skin integrity, muscle strength, and joint mobility. Since collagen occurs naturally in our bodies but becomes less and less abundant with age, it can be helpful to give your body a little boost with an effective collagen supplement. When it comes to skin, collagen supplements have shown promise in improving skin laxity, hydration, and density, essentially making your skin appear more youthful, healthier, and giving you that coveted “glow.”
But it’s important to make sure you are choosing the best collagen supplements the market has to offer — so that you can reap the most benefits.
The lowdown on collagen
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. In addition to helping keep our joints and muscles in tip-top shape, collagen also helps our skin maintain its firmness, allowing it to bounce back when pulled or pinched. You may have noticed more mature skin tends to bounce back a little more slowly than younger skin – this is a result of mature skin having less collagen. Losing collagen is normal as we age, but it can lead to some undesirable effects, including more wrinkles and sagging in the skin.
Enter collagen supplements. Whether in pill, powder, or liquid form, collagen supplements taken regularly can help reduce the rate at which the naturally-occurring collagen in our bodies breaks down. Collagen supplements are available in bovine, marine, and vegan form, although marine collagen is generally considered the best kind that will give the most beneficial, noticeable results. Marine collagen works better because it is absorbed up to 1.5 times more efficiently into the body, meaning it will enter your bloodstream faster and give you the results you want faster as well. That said, some bovine collagen supplements also come well-recommended by nutritionists and dietitians.
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The key to collagen supplementation is to be consistent. You must take these supplements daily for at least 12 weeks before you can determine whether you have achieved your desired results. By the way, depending on your diet, you may already be getting collagen through regular food sources like fish and other types of protein.
Follow these three tips when looking for collagen supplements: 1) Look for hydrolyzed options (they absorb more efficiently into the bloodstream); 2) Make sure your bovine collagen comes from grass-fed, pasture-raised, antibiotic-free animals; 3) Look for third-party verification. Dietary supplements are considered food products and are not regulated by the FDA, so you want to make sure you are getting a product that is in fact what it claims to be.
We've scoured the market to find the best options for everyone.
Best overall collagen supplement
Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen Protein, $39.96, Amazon
Available in a variety of flavors, including cucumber lime, vanilla, and chocolate, Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen Protein features non-GMO hydrolyzed bovine protein from pasture-raised, grass-fed, hormone-free, cage-free, and cruelty-free animal sources. Key ingredients include: Hydrolyzed bovine hide collagen peptides, fermented eggshell membrane collagen, chicken bone broth protein concentrate, bacillius coagulans, hydrolyzed fish collagen peptides. One scoop provides 10g of protein that you can mix in with smoothies, protein shakes, and other beverages.
Best drug store option
Orgain Keto Collagen Protein Powder, $27.99, Amazon
This gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and lactose-free protein powder (with no added sugars) will satisfy your sweet tooth while helping to support healthy hair, skin, and nails. Key ingredients include: Collagen peptides and coconut medium-chain triglycerides. It’s also keto and paleo friendly with zero net carbs.
8Greens Skin + Marine Collagen, $15.99, Amazon
Beloved by iconic ‘90s supermodels like Christy Turlington and Helena Christensen, these fizzy tablets from 8Greens will make your daily collagen intake seamless and effortless. In addition to collagen, this supplement contains biotin and green tea to help maintain skin elasticity and reduce the free radical damage that contributes to collagen degradation and premature aging.
Best for skeptics
Naturenetics Optimized Collagen, $29.95, Amazon
Naturenetics is a brand that cares deeply about third-party testing to make sure its products meet the rigorous standards for supplements. This is important because there are so many brands out there that cannot necessarily be trusted to be above board. This optimized collagen supplement also contains Verisol, a special type of collagen that targets fibroblasts in the skin. Fibroblasts are skin cells that produce collagen. Keeping fibroblasts healthy also keeps the collagen production in your skin thriving.
Best marine collagen
Goop Beauty GoopGenes Marine Collagen Superpowder, $95, Goop
Derived from wild Alaskan pollock, the GoopGenes Marine Collagen Superpowder also contains ceramides and astraxanthin, two powerful skin-supporting ingredients that help with hydration and elasticity. Rough texture, crepiness, and loss of moisture are all addressed with this supplement that tastes a little bit like vanilla birthday cake.
Best for the whole body
Shore Magic Premium Marine Collagen, $114, Amazon
This collagen powder from Shore Magic is sustainably sourced from wild fish skins, one pure ingredient with major benefits — strengthening hair, nails, skin, muscles, and joints. For a total body overhaul, Shore Magic provides the support you need to look and feel your best. It’s also formulated without synthetics, fillers, additives, or preservatives.
Best celebrity endorsement
Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides, $15.99, Amazon
Jennifer Aniston and Kourtney Kardashian both rely on Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides to maintain their famous glowing complexions. This grass fed, pasture raised bovine collagen is paleo friendly, kosher, and gluten and dairy free. It is also a best seller and consistently top rated on Amazon.
Sports Research Collagen Powder, $39.95, Amazon
With over 120,000 reviews on Amazon, this collagen supplement has a rating of 4.6 out of 5. Reviewers praise it for helping with joint pain, overall body aches, and even weight loss. This product is also third party tested, non-GMO, keto certified, and paleo friendly.
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