The 12 Best Collagen Supplements, According to Experts

Whether you prefer powders or capsules.
By Rebecca Deczynski
February 11, 2021
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Over the past few years, "collagen" has been the word on many beauty aficionados' lips when asked to share their favorite skincare secret. The protein—which is naturally produced by the body—has the potential to make hair and nails grow faster, reduce fine lines, and more. It's no wonder why collagen supplements have become so popular.

These are the best collagen supplements you can buy right now. Keep reading for more on each, plus expert-backed information on the popular wellness treatment.

Although experts say that research on the potential benefits of collagen supplements is still in its beginning stages, there's reason enough to consider taking them. After all, collagen is known to play an important role in how skin ages. "The hope is, the more collagen we have readily available in our dermis, the less elastin we're going to have—which results from the breakdown of collagen, often from UV light," explains dermatologist Orit Markowitz, MD. "That's what causes all these deep-pocketed wrinkles."

While there's not enough clinical research to draw a direct connection between ingested collagen and increased amounts of the protein in the skin, Markowitz says that it can't hurt to take a supplement—but don't expect any miracles. "The reality is, if I had to pick between collagen supplements and sunscreen in terms of preserving collagen, you're going to get a lot more bang for your buck with the sunscreen than any supplement," she says. "But I like the idea of systemically increasing the amount of something with the hope that it might increase it locally."

It's not just your skin that can benefit from collagen. "There's also evidence suggesting that it may improve joint comfort and support joint mobility," dietitian Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD, says. Dietitian Sammi Brondo, MS, RD, adds that the protein can support bone health, as well as nail and hair growth.

But as is true with all supplements, not all collagen is made equally. Dermatologist Michele J. Farber, MD, of Schweiger Dermatology Group, says that while more research is needed to substantiate the potential benefits of collagen supplement, some options are better than others. "Look for hydrolyzed collagen as this is broken down into amino acids and may be easier to absorb," she says. "Products with Types I and III collagen are also best, as these are the predominant collagen types in human skin, with the ratio shifting with age."

It's also important to note that collagen isn't vegan or vegetarian-friendly: Options are derived from different animal sources, including cow, pig, and fish. Whether you're hoping to give your skin an anti-aging boost or support healthy nails and hair, these are the best collagen supplements you can buy.

Credit: Amazon

To Buy, $28

With over 47,000 five-star reviews, this hydrolyzed bovine collagen powder is an Amazon best-seller, and for good reason: it’s non-GMO-tested, and it’s made of just collagen peptides, no additives. The flavorless powder can easily be mixed into hot or cold drinks. And best of all, it has a 90-day satisfaction guarantee.

“I gave it a full month before leaving a review and just finished the last scoop yesterday. I put it in my coffee every morning, never noticed an aftertaste, and it dissolved easily,” wrote one reviewer. “But let me tell you, I would straight up lick it off the floor even if it tasted like cat litter because my hair and nails are so glorious. I don’t hate my skin! I [in my] am mid-40s people—this is a game changer.”

Credit: Amazon

To Buy, $25 (was $27)

Brondo is a fan of this hydrolyzed collagen powder. “I love the original because it’s totally flavorless, so you can add it to pretty much anything for a boost of protein and it won’t change the taste,” she says. And she’s not alone in her love for the product: Jennifer Aniston has been incorporating it into her morning smoothies for years (she’s now even the chief creative officer of Vital Proteins). 

The bovine-derived collagen comes from pasture-raised and grass-fed cattle, and the powder also includes both vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. “I have been taking it daily for about 3 to 4 months, and my joints feel great, my skin looks glowy, and my hair is so shiny,” wrote one shopper on Amazon. “From my perspective, I see and feel a difference!”

Credit: Amazon

To Buy, $19

If you’d rather steer clear of beef or pork products, Amazon shoppers are seriously impressed by this Canadian brand’s collagen powder, which is derived from sustainably sourced, wild-caught fish. Shoppers say that it’s totally flavorless—you can mix it into your morning coffee without any weird aftertaste. 

Some reviewers have been surprised by its benefits. “I started [taking] collagen to see if it would help with my brittle, thin fingernails and to my amazement, not only did my fingernails become super strong like when I was in my 20s, my knees don’t hurt as bad either,” one wrote. “I think that it is also helping my super fine hair grow faster than normal.”

Credit: Target

To Buy, $22

No true collagen supplement is vegan or vegetarian—the protein can only be derived from animal sources. For a similar benefit, you can take an animal-free supplement that’s intended to boost your body’s natural production of collagen. This flavorless powder by Rae does just that with the help of ingredients like vitamin C and bamboo extract.

Target shoppers say they can see a real difference in their skin after incorporating the powder into their routines, with some adding that the supplement has improved their hair growth.

Credit: Amazon

To Buy, $23 (was $37)

If mixing collagen into coffee or water doesn’t sound too appealing, you can also take the protein via pill. These vitamins contain five different types of collagen (including the important types 1 and 3) derived from chicken, beef, and fish. One bottle contains 150 tablets, or a 50-day supply. 

One Amazon shopper was pleased to find that the supplements helped ease her back pain after surgery. “There is no nasty aftertaste and didn’t upset my stomach. I haven’t been taking them too long, but I have noticed that my nails grow quickly and seem stronger than they were before,” she wrote. “But, most importantly, my back has been feeling so much better and I am convinced it helped speed up the recovery and strengthen my spine.”

Credit: Amazon

To Buy, $40 (was $50)

If you want to get some extra benefits from your collagen supplement, this powder from Ancient Nutrition is a great option. It not only contains five different types of collagen (sourced from beef, chicken, fish, and eggs), but also vitamin C and probiotics. It’s earned over 10,000 five-star reviews from happy Amazon customers. 

One shared, “Not only did it address my gut issues, but I found that my skin had improved, my hair appeared to be growing faster (my hairdresser brought it to my attention), my nails became stronger (noticed by my manicurist), and I noticed that my eyelashes were getting longer too. In the last 5 months, I have recommended [it] to over 10 people.”

Credit: Amazon

To Buy, $23 (was $30)

While flavorless collagen products are the most common, some prefer to have something that tastes more like a treat. This vanilla bean-flavored collagen powder, which is made of bovine collagen types 1 and 3, is naturally sweetened with monk fruit and great in coffee.

“I started to notice results in my skin approximately 2 and a half weeks after using this product every day. My face has become SO much clearer, softer, and just glowy looking at the 30 day mark,” wrote one reviewer. “I’ve also noticed my nails and hair have grown longer and stronger, and I’ve even noticed recently how much longer my eyelashes were (didn’t even think that was something collagen would affect).”

Credit: Amazon

To Buy, $8 (was $12)

Collagen supplements can get pricey, especially since consistency is key. At $8 for the smallest jar, Youtheroy’s collagen supplements are a budget-friendly way to try out the ingredient. If you’re satisfied with the results you see, you can get the largest bottle for around $15 as of this writing—or about 30 cents a serving.

“My 56 year old knees are starting to act up and keeping an active lifestyle is important to me. These worked wonders within the first week. They work great on their own or combined with other joint supplements, but honestly, these are such a part of my daily routine now that I’ve been able to eliminate a lot of others,” one reviewer wrote. “You’ll also see big improvements in your skin’s appearance and possibly get fuller, thicker hair.”

Credit: Amazon

To Buy, $25 (was $32)

Made with bovine collagen types 1 and 3, this powder has over 3,000 testimonials from Amazon customers who have seen improvements in their hair, skin, nails, and mobility in as little as a few weeks. “I bought this hoping it would help my thinning hair and I believe it has,” one shopper wrote. “However, there was a surprise bonus that I never expected. I have had saggy, crepey skin on my legs for several years (I am 57). I’ve tried all kinds of lotions and topicals that promised results but never delivered. But, after one month of this stuff, the crepes are GONE!”

Some shoppers have also found that the supplement helps assuage their chronic pain. “After a few rounds of mild chemotherapy I ended up with very thin hair. Three months of using collagen and I have more hair than I did before the chemo!” another reviewer wrote. “It has also helped [alleviate] much of the pain caused from fibromyalgia and chronic Lyme disease.”

Credit: Amazon

To Buy, $30

Powdered collagen supplements aren’t the most convenient thing to take when you’re on the go—which is why this product is so innovative. Made with marine collagen, the strawberry and lemon tablets can be dropped into a glass of water to create a fruity drink.

“I’ve tried a lot of different collagen products, and this one is my favorite,” one shopper wrote. “I like how it dissolves in water and tastes great.”

Credit: Amazon

To Buy, $28 (was $35)

If you like your morning coffee on the creamy side, Vital Proteins has just the thing. The brand’s dairy-free bovine-derived collagen creamer comes in mocha, coconut, and vanilla. Although shoppers say it doesn’t have as major an impact on creaminess as a liquid creamer would, it adds a subtle flavor that many love.

And don’t forget about its health benefits. “The collagen really helps with my joints. I notice I’m a lot stiffer when I don’t use this supplement,” one Amazon reviewer wrote. “This is seriously the best creamer around. It has a subtle vanilla flavor and mixes well with hot liquids.”

Credit: Amazon

To Buy, $20 (was $25)

If you’re not a fan of traditional tablets and powders, consider this “collagen candy”—which is essentially a sweet and sour (yet sugar-free) packet that can be eaten like a Pixy Stix. 

Cassetty is a fan of the brand’s impressive clinical results. “Studies suggest that Collagen Candy’s nutrients significantly reduce eye wrinkles and improve the appearance of cellulite,” she says. “Of course, you have to take a product daily as directed to benefit and what’s great about Collagen Candy is it’s so fun and delicious to take.”

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