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Collagen is one of the top supplements in demand right now, and it’s touted as a multi-use supplement that you can put in smoothies, food, and even your coffee.

Collagen is a type of protein that provides the structural framework for the cells and tissues in your body.

We actually produce collagen naturally, and in our youth, it gives our skin its plump, wrinkle-free look and helps make our hair thicker, our nails stronger, and our bodies more agile.

As we age, we start to lose this natural collagen. You may notice brittle hair and nails, joint stiffness, and skin that sags or appears dull.

While it’s easy to just think of collagen as the key to looking younger, it’s also super important in helping us repair damaged bone, muscle, and cartilage. But still, there’s a lot that taking collagen daily can and can’t do for you.

Here’s how to find the best collagen supplement to help you reap the real benefits.

You can call us the collagen connoisseurs. Our goal was to find the products with:

  • High quality ingredients. These products have the highest quality ingredients we could find, with no artificial ingredients or unnecessary fillers. We also gravitated toward products that sourced grass-fed beef or wild-caught fish for their collagen.
  • Reviewer approval. All the products we included had at least a 4-star rating from customers.
  • Third party testing and certifications. We looked for brands that either third-party test all of their products or that make them in a certified Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) facility. A cGMP certification ensures that the manufacturing facility is meeting FDA guidelines, while third-party testing is a service that brands can pay for to provide more transparency to their customers.
  • Vetted products only. All the products on our list were put through a rigorous vetting process that checks for unsupported health claims, product quality, and whether companies engage in shady business practices. We only include products that passed this process.

Pricing guide

$ = under $1 per serving
$$ = $1–$1.75 per serving
$$$ = over $1.75 per serving

Terms to know: Types of collagen

There are at least 16 types of collagen, but almost all the collagen in the body is type 1, 2, or 3. Which you choose comes down to your goals for taking collagen:

  • Types 1 and 3 are found primarily in the skin, organs, and bones. Bovine collagen (from cows) contains types 1 and 3 and is the most common form. Collagen from fish also primarily contains type 1. These types are usually marketed for skin.
  • Type 2 is found mainly in cartilage. Collagen sourced from chicken typically contains type 2. This type is often marketed for joint health.

Best overall collagen supplement

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

  • Price: $$
  • Form: powder
  • Type of collagen: collagen peptides
  • Source: bovine
  • Certifications: third party testing, cGMP
  • Potential allergens: N/A
  • Pros: 18 grams (g) of protein, contains vitamin C and hyaluronic acid
  • Cons: some reviewers say it mixes poorly
NutritionAmount per 20 grams (1 serving)
calories70
protein18 g
hydrolyzed collagen 20 g

Probably one of the most recognizable names in the collagen game, this Vital Proteins powder is great to add to your morning coffee or your overnight oats. It dissolves fast with no added flavor, so your taste buds won’t even notice the nutrition upgrade.

It’s highly bioavailable and produced from grass-fed cows, which means no hormones or pesticides. It also boasts 18 g of protein per serving, plus hyaluronic acid for added skin and joint benefits (hiii, improved skin elasticity/hydration and reduced joint pain) and vitamin C to help give collagen production an added boost.

Best subscription collagen supplement

Care/of Collagen

  • Price: $$ (varies based on your subscription)
  • Form: powder
  • Type of collagen: collagen peptides
  • Source: bovine
  • Certifications: cGMP
  • Potential allergens: N/A
  • Pros: one-stop-shop for all vitamins, contains hydrolyzed collagen
  • Cons: only 15 servings per container, can get expensive
NutritionAmount per 10.5 g (1 serving)
calories40
protein9 g
bovine collagen peptides10 g

Take care of yo’self with Care/of. This vitamin subscription service helps you create a custom vitamin regimen based on your specific dietary needs and goals. To start, take a quick 5-minute quiz that goes into detail about what it is you’re looking for in a supplement routine. Afterward, Care/of will offer a variety of recommendations based on your answers.

When it comes to its collagen powder, Care/of creates its product from hydrolyzed collagen, which essentially means that the collagen molecules are broken into smaller chains, making for easier digestion and absorption in the body. The company recommends mixing vigorously into hot coffee, tea, or smoothies.

Care/of offers four flavors of collagen powder:

  • Unflavored
  • Lemon Passionfruit
  • Matcha
  • Vanilla Oat Creamer

Best collagen supplement for women

Vital Proteins Beauty Collagen

  • Price: $$$
  • Form: powder
  • Type of collagen: collagen peptides
  • Source: bovine
  • Certifications: third party tested, cGMP
  • Potential allergens: coconut
  • Pros: flavored, contains hyaluronic acid and probiotics
  • Cons: expensive, only 14 servings per container
NutritionAmount per 18 g (1 serving)
calories70
protein14 g
bovine collagen peptides15 g

Comprised of bovine collagen peptides, this powder is bursting with citrus flavor and bound to perk up any morning (if citrus is your thing, ofc).

It also comes with added hyaluronic acid and some probiotic action, which helps support a healthy gut and healthier skin. It comes in some dreamy flavors like Lavender Lemon, Strawberry Lemon, Tropical Hibiscus, and Watermelon Mint.

The downside is that it’s super pricey and only contains 14 servings per container.

Best liquid collagen supplement

Neocell Collagen + C Pomegranate Liquid

  • Price: $
  • Form: liquid
  • Type of collagen: type 1 and 3
  • Source: bovine
  • Certifications: cGMP
  • Potential allergens: N/A
  • Pros: inexpensive, convenient, contains hydrolyzed collagen
  • Cons: thick consistency, “medicinal” taste, less collagen per serving than powdered products
NutritionAmount per 1 tablespoon (1 serving)
calories25
protein4 g
hydrolyzed bovine collagen4 g

Neocell offers a convenient, fruit-flavored collagen liquid if you prefer taking shots to pills or powders. This one comes with added vitamin C and other antioxidants from pomegranate, cranberry, elderberry, and green tea.

However, some reviewers say the product has a thick, medicinal vibe, and this liquid form actually doesn’t offer as much collagen per serving as powders.

Best marine collagen supplement

Nordic Naturals Marine Collagen Powder

  • Price: $$
  • Form: powder
  • Type of collagen: type 1
  • Source: marine
  • Certifications: third party tested, cGMP
  • Potential allergens: fish, trace shellfish
  • Pros: contains vitamin C, mixes easily
  • Cons: some reviewers report a mildly fishy taste
NutritionAmount per 5 g (1 serving)
calories20
protein4 g
hydrolyzed marine collagen peptides4.2 g

Nordic Naturals is a leader in sustainably sourced products and is known for its high quality fish oil. This strawberry flavored powder contains type 1 collagen from wild-caught arctic cod, plus vitamin C from acerola fruit for an antioxidant and collagen-inducing boost.

It’s also non-GMO and free of gluten, dairy, artificial colors, and flavors. Reviewers love how well the powder mixes into liquids, but some say it has a mildly fishy taste.

Best vegan collagen booster

Garden of Life Organic Plant Collagen Builder

  • Price: $$
  • Form: tablets
  • Type of collagen: N/A
  • Source: N/A
  • Certifications: cGMP, organic
  • Potential allergens: N/A
  • Pros: contains plant-based ingredients to support collagen formation, vegan, organic
  • Cons: reviewers report it can smell or taste bad, doesn’t actually contain collagen
NutritionAmount per 2 tablets (1 serving)
caloriesN/A
proteinN/A
collagen peptidesN/A

Real talk: Naturally sourced collagen really only comes from animals. Many vegan collagen products on the market are collagen boosters, which means they’re filled with naturally occurring nutrients that promote collagen production. But just to be clear: There is no collagen in this product.

Garden of Life Organic Plant Collagen Builder may help support strong, healthy hair, skin, and nails through its rich plant food ingredients. This includes B vitamins (including biotin), vitamin C, silica, and antioxidants from pomegranate, turmeric, and green and rooibos tea. It’s certified organic, gluten-free, and kosher.

Best budget collagen supplement

Orgain Collagen Peptides

  • Price: $
  • Form: powder
  • Type of collagen: type 1 and 3
  • Source: bovine
  • Certifications: third party testing, cGMP
  • Potential allergens: N/A
  • Pros: contains only collagen peptides, inexpensive
  • Cons: some reviewers report poor taste
NutritionAmount per 10 g (1 serving)
calories35
protein9 g
bovine collagen peptides10 g

The ingredients? Bovine collagen peptides from grass-fed, pasture-raised animals to support skin, hair, nails, and joints. Literally, that’s it.

It’s free of sugar, gluten, soy, and dairy. Plus, it offers zero in the odor and flavor department which means, yes, add it to a-n-y-thing.

This supplement gets amazing reviews (4.6 out of 5 stars from over 21,000!), with tons of peeps saying Orgain is the perf balance between quality and price.

Best collagen supplement for skin

Live Conscious Collagen Peptides

  • Price: $
  • Form: powder
  • Type of collagen: 1 and 3
  • Source: bovine
  • Certifications: third party tested, cGMP
  • Potential allergens: N/A
  • Pros: reviewers say it’s truly flavorless
  • Cons: some reviewers say the scoop doesn’t hold a full 11-g serving
NutritionAmount per 11 g (1 serving)
calories40
protein10 g
bovine collagen peptides11 g

Live Conscious Collagen Peptides contains types 1 and 3 collagen sourced from pasture-raised and grass-fed cows.

This powder is non-GMO and free of additives and fillers. The company also puts the powder through third-party testing to make sure the product actually contains what it says.

Reviewers are BIG fans of this supplement. They’ve seen huge improvements in their hair, skin, and joint pain.

Best collagen supplement for joints

Codeage Multi Collagen Peptide Powder

  • Price: $
  • Form: powder
  • Type of collagen: type 1, 2, 3, 5, and 10
  • Source: bovine, chicken, fish, eggshell
  • Certifications: cGMP
  • Potential allergens: fish, egg
  • Pros: inexpensive, contains multiple types of collagen
  • Cons: some reviewers complain of quality control issues, like inconsistencies between packages
NutritionAmount per 9 g (1 serving)
calories43
protein9 g
multi-collagen complex9 g

“Multi” is an understatement here. This flavorless powder checks all the collagen boxes and even includes five types to up the benefits for your joints and beyond.

It’s got hydrolyzed collagen peptides from grass-fed cows, wild-caught cod and snapper, organic beef bone broth, organic chicken bone broth, and eggshell membrane. Plus, a single container has up to 63 servings, so you’re set for a couple of months every time you buy.

Most reviewers are thrilled with their results after starting this powder and say it’s a great value. But some peeps report inconsistencies between packages when ordering from Amazon.

Best capsule collagen supplement

Reserveage Ultra Collagen Booster

  • Price: $
  • Form: capsule
  • Type of collagen: type 2
  • Source: chicken
  • Certifications: cGMP
  • Potential allergens: N/A
  • Pros: convenient capsule form, also contains hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate
  • Cons: very little actual collagen
NutritionAmount per 3 capsules (1 serving)
caloriesN/A
proteinN/A
hydrolyzed type 2 collagen 600 milligrams

These pills pack in some serious nutrient power. Three capsules contain the brand’s BioCell Collagen, a type 2 collagen protein blend of hydrolyzed collagen, hyaluronic acid, and chondroitin sulfate (a compound that’s been found to reduce pain and improve function in those with osteoarthritis).

Plus, it includes a blend of powerful fruit and vegetable extracts, including asparagus, acerola cherry, and red grapes. This combo may help provide anti-inflammatory muscle and skin elasticity support.

It’s also free of gluten, soy, dairy, and preservatives. Unfortunately, a hefty price tag is included.

Best collagen supplement for gut health

Havasu Nutrition Collagen Peptides + Probiotics

  • Price: $
  • Form: powder
  • Type of collagen: type 1 and 3
  • Source: bovine
  • Certifications: cGMP, third party tested
  • Potential allergens: N/A
  • Pros: also contains probiotics
  • Cons: some reviewers say it doesn’t dissolve well
NutritionAmount per 7 g (1 serving)
calories25
protein6 g
bovine collagen peptides7 g

Made from hydrolyzed grass-fed bovine collagen, this flavorless powder also boasts a patented probiotic strain combo offering 15 billion CFU to support a healthy gut.

Users rave about the lack of flavor and how easy it is to mix into just about anything. The serving size is about half that of some competitor brands, so if you’re looking for a bigger protein and collagen bang for your buck, double the serving.

Best bovine collagen supplement

Great Lakes Wellness Quick Dissolve Collagen Peptides

  • Price: $
  • Form: powder
  • Type of collagen: collagen peptides
  • Source: bovine
  • Certifications: kosher, cGMP
  • Potential allergens: N/A
  • Pros: mixes well
  • Cons: reviewers report some quality control issues
NutritionAmount per 12 g (1 serving)
calories45
protein11 g
bovine collagen peptides12 g

Grass-fed, pasture-raised, and flavorless, this was a solid contender for best overall — but lost out because it doesn’t pack as much protein as our Vital Proteins pick.

Add this powder to just about anything — coffee, smoothies, yogurt, bake with it, you get the drift. While it does come in a number of flavors, our vote is for the OG versatile unflavored.

Reviewers report huge improvements in their hair, skin, and joint pain. Some say it mixes better in hot liquids than cold ones — and others recommend shopping on the Great Lakes Wellness website rather than Amazon to avoid counterfeit products.

Best bone broth collagen supplement

Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth Collagen

  • Price: $$
  • Form: powder
  • Type of collagen: type 1, 2, and 3
  • Source: chicken, beef, turkey
  • Certifications: cGMP
  • Potential allergens: N/A
  • Pros: contains 3 types of collagen
  • Cons: some reviewers report poor taste and smell
NutritionAmount per 15 g (1 serving)
calories50
protein14 g
bone broth collagen blend15 g

Paleo and keto followers, this one is for you. This powder contains three types of collagen, plus hyaluronic acid, glucosamine, and chondroitin for extra joint support. It’s also non-GMO and free of gluten, dairy, and nuts.

One thing to note is the flavor is “noticeable.” It might be best mixed into soups and stews unless you enjoy a little savory broth in your oatmeal. Some users also noted it doesn’t always dissolve well in liquid and tends to clump.

Ready to shop? Here’s what to look for to get a collagen supplement.

Type

There are at least 16 types of collagen, but almost all the collagen in the body is type 1, 2, or 3. Which you choose comes down to your goals for taking collagen:

  • Types 1 and 3 are found primarily in the skin, organs, and bones. Bovine collagen (from cows) contains types 1 and 3 and is the most common form. Collagen from fish also primarily contains type 1. These types are usually marketed for skin.
  • Type 2 is found mainly in cartilage. Collagen sourced from chicken typically contains type 2. This type is often marketed for joint health.

Source

Because collagen comes from animal sources, including bovine (cow), chicken, fish, and eggshells, it’s important to consider how these animals were raised. Quality and sustainability are key. You want to look for products from grass-fed or pasture-raised animals and sustainably sourced fish.

Flavor

You can buy collagen supplements flavored or unflavored. The most important thing to think about here is how you’ll be taking it.

If it’s going to be mixed in water, a smoothie, or your morning acai bowl, flavor (or lack of it) might make or break your experience.

Make sure you pick one you like so you’re more likely to stick to your daily supplement routine.

Use

Consider how you’d like to take your collagen. Do you want it to dissolve unnoticed into liquids, or is it going in your smoothie or overnight oats? Maybe you want to bypass powders entirely and just take a pill, a gummy, or purchase a premade collagen beverage to sip on throughout the day.

Ingredients

You want a list of ingredients that’s as small as possible, ideally with no sugar or unnecessary additives. Keep an eye out for added goodies like vitamin C (helps stimulate collagen production) and hyaluronic acid (provides added skin and joint benefits).

Third-party certification

Since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t have to evaluate the safety and quality of these supplements, third-party testing can be helpful. Third-party testing certification means a product contains what it says it does, and more importantly, contains nothing harmful. Look for seals from USP, NSF, or UL when purchasing products.

When we consume collagen from food or supplements, it’s broken down into individual amino acids that are then put to work to repair and rebuild where needed.

Collagen peptide supplements in the form of pills, tonics, powders, or gummies may have a leg up on the food form because it’s hydrolyzed into peptides (smaller chains of amino acids) first. That means part of the digestion has already been handled for us, making what we consume much easier to absorb and use.

Studies that have looked at the absorption of collagen peptides found marine collagen tends to be absorbed better due to its low molecular weight. However, studies also show hydrolyzed collagen seems to be well absorbed in general and can boost circulating levels of important amino acids.

Are there any ingredients that help collagen work even better?

There are plenty of claims around nutrients that boost collagen production. But as of right now, collagen has one true ride-or-die: vitamin C.

Vitamin C is an essential cofactor for collagen synthesis and a powerful antioxidant. So, in addition to nudging the collagen production process, it also helps keep inflammation levels low.

Supplements like collagen are regulated by the FDA. But the FDA doesn’t review dietary supplements for safety and effectiveness before they’re on the market. The manufacturers and distributors of dietary supplements are responsible for making sure their products are safe before they go to market.

However, science is beginning to focus more attention on collagen supplements and their potential benefits. Here’s what we know so far:

Joint pain

There’s some promising evidence that taking a collagen supplement can help relieve joint pain. One review of hydrolyzed collagen supplementation found benefits to joint health and also helped to reduce joint pain in people with osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

Hair, skin, and nails

Science is also looking into how consuming collagen can improve skin elasticity and even boost collagen production.

A 2015 study (done ex vivo, aka outside a living body) found improvements in both when participants took a collagen peptide supplement for 8 weeks. Collagen peptide supplementation may also help both hair and nails grow stronger.

Muscle mass

Recent research has shown taking a collagen supplement may improve muscle mass.

In a small study of premenopausal women, researchers found taking 15 g of collagen and exercising for 12 weeks helped them gain muscle mass. Another study of young men with the same parameters had similar findings.

Bone density

Strengthen those bones while you sip on some collagen peptides. A small 2018 study of postmenopausal women found those taking collagen supplements daily during a 12-month period improved the bone density of their spine and neck.

More protein

Collagen is protein! So if you’re concerned you may not get enough protein, adding some collagen to your diet isn’t the worst idea to help meet your daily quota.

Take note: Although collagen is a great source of amino acids, it lacks the essential amino acid tryptophan. This means it’s not considered a complete protein source, but as long as you’re eating a well-rounded diet rich in other sources of protein, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Some people report mild digestive side effects from taking collagen, like bloating or gas.

Additionally, if you’ve read any Amazon reviews for collagen products, you’ve probably seen angry 1-star reviews extolling certain products for exceeding safe lead levels for drinking water. Here’s why you shouldn’t be too concerned: Drinking water standards are stricter because you will drink SO much more water throughout your lifetime than you will consume collagen products.

Regardless, if you want to stay vigilant against potential heavy metal toxicity, here’s your best option: Choose a product that has undergone third-party heavy metals testing and view the reports for yourself. Then, stick to just one serving per day.

Do collagen supplements really work?

There is some scientific evidence to support their use. They really do seem to help with joint health, skin health, muscle, and bone density in certain groups and situations. However, they’re not as magical as some folks make them out to be.

Still, we’re not gonna lie — we have a scoop in our tea each evening. 🙂

How long does it take for collagen supplements to work?

Theoretically, they start working immediately, as your body absorbs the collagen from the supplement and is hopefully able to put it to use. However, when you start noticing effects will vary from person to person.

Anecdotally, many people report noticing improvements to their skin or their joint discomfort after 2 to 4 weeks.

How long should I take collagen supplements?

As long as you want to, although you may not reap any benefits if you only take collagen for a few days or weeks. And of course, stop taking them ASAP and call a healthcare professional if you think they’re causing or worsening a health condition.

Does collagen make you gain weight?

If adding collagen to your routine is causing you to consume too many calories, it’s possible. Collagen does contain calories, although it may not seem like it since most collagen supplements are pretty stealthy — tasteless, colorless, and odorless when mixed into a bev. Make sure to account for them if you’re counting calories or macros!

What form of collagen is most effective?

One form of collagen that appears to have beneficial effects in research studies is hydrolyzed collagen, or collagen peptide. These are small “pieces” of collagen that are easier to absorb and easier for the body to use. Most of the products we featured are hydrolyzed, BTW.

What are the side effects of taking collagen?

Some people report mild digestive side effects, like bloating or gas. YMMV.

Collagen isn’t quite as mythical as the internet makes it seem, but it’s some pretty good stuff. It may help boost skin, joint, bone, and muscle health. Just make sure to choose a high quality collagen supplement from a company that is GMP certified, and that also ideally has third-party testing done on its products.