Best collagen supplements for skin and vitality

From powders to capsules; here is the supplement that does so much more than help your skin glow.

Collagen supplements

by Ellen Kinsey |
Updated on

If you are looking to invest in your wellbeing and ways to enhance your natural beauty from within - here are the very best collagen supplements. Collagen products are not limited to rejuvenating your skin, however. They can be extremely effective in providing a holistic approach to supporting your wellbeing and ensuring you feel your best from the inside out. If you are wondering what collagen does - it is a crucial protein that supports our joints, bones, nails and hair and serves as our bodies' structural foundation. Consistency is key when it comes to taking collagen - as with any of the best supplements. To achieve lasting effects, a simple way we like to incorporate them into your routine is by adding a scoop to your morning hot beverage or smoothie. So let's get into it:

Collagen has many benefits and is among the best supplements for perimenopause and menopause due to its connection with hormonal changes experienced during this phase. As we age, our estrogen levels decrease and, in turn, collagen levels naturally decline, impacting our strength, health, and vitality. This depletion reduces skin elasticity and may cause joint discomfort and slower injury recovery. Research demonstrates that high-quality collagen supplements containing hydrolysed collagen peptides can be absorbed by the body, stimulating natural collagen production in the skin's fibroblasts. So what does this actually mean? Well, this means that collagen supplements can help alleviate symptoms associated with skin ageing and maintain bone density, which is particularly important considering the increased prevalence of osteoporosis during menopause.

The best collagen supplements at a glance:

Best overall collagen supplement: Ancient + Brave Bovine Collagen 200g - view on Amazon UK
Best collagen capsule supplement: Ingenious Beauty Ultimate Collagen+ Marine Capsules - view on Amazon UK
Best collagen supplement for beauty: JS Health Vitality X + Collagen - view on JS Health Vitamins
Best vegan collagen supplement alternative: NOW Foods L-Proline Supplement - view on Amazon UK

These natural powdered supplements are derived from animal sources, such as bovine collagen from cows or marine collagen from fish. While vitamin A foods should help give your skin and hair a natural boost, these powders stimulate the body's collagen production and offer many benefits. However, choosing clean and sustainable sources is vital to ensure it is truly high quality and effective.

We had the opportunity to speak with Jo Woodhurst, Head of Nutrition at Ancient + Brave, who provided us valuable insights into selecting the best collagen supplements and answered questions about the benefits of collagen, options for vegan individuals and more. Read on below to find Jo's expertise. With this knowledge in mind, here is our curated selection of the finest collagen supplements to help you find one tailored to your needs.

Disclaimer: Always talk to your GP before starting a new supplement regime.

Best collagen supplements

Best overall collagen supplement

Ancient +Brave's award-winning blends are clean, effective and made from the highest quality ingredients. This Bovine Collagen is sustainably sourced from EU grass-fed cows raised without hormones, antibiotics, chemicals, or GMOs. Plus, the powder has no strong taste, is odourless and easy to add to hot or cold drinks or smoothies. If you don't eat meat or beef, then they also have a Marine Collagen powder too.

Our review: "This collagen is tasteless and easy to dissolve in any drink. The consistency is great, and is made from high-quality sources of protein made in Britain. They also have a coffee or cocoa collagen for those that would like it integrated into a drink."

Pros

  • Clean ingredients made from grass-fed bovine collagen powder
  • Tasteless and odourless
  • The cows have been raised naturally without hormones, antibiotics, chemicals, or GMOs. 
  • 5000mg per Serving
  • Made from type 1 grass-fed bovine collagen

Cons

  • Not suitable for vegetarians or vegans

Best affordable collagen

Available in a range of different forms including supplement tablets and powder form to add to soups and smoothies, these supplements are a lot more affordable than other collagen products, so are a great one to try if you're on a budget but still want to reap all the beauty benefits of collagen.

Our review: "The smell might not be so pleasant but we really couldn't taste them when ingesting. Thanks to the smooth surface, they were also surprisingly easy to swallow considering the size, although remembering to take three per day can be tricky. To truly understand how they were effecting my skin, I took them for a month and then stopped taking them for a few days to see what happened. Within one day my skin appeared more dull and dry in texture and I even had a few blemishes appear. Within a few days of taking the supplements again this had cleared up and my skin appeared healthier with an added glow."

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Skin hydrating
  • Unflavoured
  • Easy to swallow

Cons

  • Three tablets per day
  • Not suitable for vegans or vegetarians

Best hot drinks collagen supplement

Treat yourself to the delectable blend of Peruvian raw cacao and hydrolysed collagen peptides in this nourishing powder. Sourced from grass-fed European cows, these easily digestible and highly absorbable collagen peptides nourish you from within. The powder includes additional organic ingredients like beetroot, cinnamon, carob, ashwagandha, and baobab to add flavour and nutritional benefits. So next time you want to satisfy your cravings - this healthy hot chocolate brew is perfect with warmed milk, plant-based milk, or a daily smoothie. Ancient + Brave also recommends a ketogenic version that can be made by blending it with True MCT oil for an extra boost. They also have a coffee version too.

Our review: "This has become a staple for me this month. I have incorporated this cacao collagen into my foods and drinks daily - I have added it to yoghurt, made hot drinks when camping and even made homemade ice cream with it. The ingredients are high-quality organic, and you can taste the cinnamon which complements the rich cacao flavour. If you are not a coffee or tea person but are looking for a nourishing hot drink. This is a great choice."

Pros

  • Adaptable and versatile
  • Great flavour
  • Organic and high-quality ingredients
  • All of the ingredients are certified by the Soil Association

Cons

  • Not suitable for vegetarians or vegans

Best collagen marine capsule supplement

Ingenious Beauty Ultimate Collagen+

Rrp: $85.99

Price: $59.99

These innovative capsules, scientifically tested through double-blind placebo-controlled trials, offer a unique approach to collagen supplementation. They ensure optimal absorption by bypassing digestion and releasing collagen in the small intestine. In order to see results, Ingenious Beauty recommends that you take three capsules on an empty stomach, preferably before bed, allowing them to work overnight.

Customer review: "I have been using this product for a few months now and took "selfies" at the beginning of each bottle. I am absolutely positive I can see a difference! I am one of the most sceptical people about these "beauty" products and looking younger! The reason I started these capsules was that my nails have never been particularly strong, and with weddings coming up this year, I really would love to have nice nails and have them painted!"

Pros

  • The capsules release collagen in the small intestine for optimal absorption
  • Double-blind placebo-controlled trials support the efficacy of these capsules
  • Trusted brand with an independent trial

Cons

  • You have to take three capsules on an empty stomach, preferably before bed, which may not be convenient for everyone

Best bovine collagen capsule supplement

HUM Nutrition's beliefs are that self-care and skin care begin from within, and their collagen supplement is made from bovine-derived collagen of the highest quality. These capsules undergo triple testing for potency and purity and a made from collagen peptides, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C to help with signs of ageing, minimise the appearance of fine lines, aid skin repair, and protect your vitality.

Customer review: "So I was using this on a regular basis and saw strength in my nails and hair! I was just expecting a better glow to skin."

Pros

  • A blend with Collagen 1 and 3
  • The capsule form of convenience
  • It contains chondroitin sulphate and moisturising hyaluronic acid

Cons

  • Not suitable for vegetarians or vegans.
  • Only 30 day supply

Best marine collagen supplement

This is the collagen supplement Jennifer Aniston praises for her youthful-looking skin. Designed to encourage a fresh appearance, this unflavoured collagen powder is super easy to use. Vital Proteins Marine Collagen is made from fresh fish scales - but don't worry - there is no fishy taste. The pescatarian-friendly powder is also highly bioavailable - meaning its digested and absorbed by the body quickly for optimal benefits) and mixes seamlessly in hot or cold liquids. Just stir into coffee, blend into a smoothie or mix into stews. Vital Proteins also have bovine collagen, sachets, creamers and matcha collagen.

Our review: "The Vital Protein creamers and matcha are absolutely lovely. They are made from organic coconut, so they are perfect if you are looking for a dairy-free option. Their coconut flavour is my favourite. This is a great choice if you are looking for a high-quality option."

Pros

  • Endorsement by Jennifer Aniston
  • The unflavoured collagen powder can be easily added to various hot or cold beverages.
  • Vital Proteins offers different sizes, forms, and flavours

Cons

  • Not suitable for vegetarians or vegans.

Best collagen supplement for beauty

Vitality X + Collagen's specially formulated ingredients feature peptan hydrolysed marine collagen plus ten ingredients that support your skin, hair and nails and energy levels. Proven to decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and improve skin elasticity and hydration, these sustainably-sourced marine collagen peptides, as well as other powerful antioxidants and ingredients such as turmeric, vitamin C, vitamin E and blueberry extract.

Customer review: "I can see some results after four weeks, ready to purchase my net tub. Got used to the taste after the first few. Really like the look of the packaging. Interested to see long-term improvements."

Pros

  • Added nutrients for a boost
  • High-quality ingredients
  • Includes L-Glutamine for digestion
  • Uses Marine Collagen (primarily Type 1 collagen)

Cons

  • Not suitable for vegetarians or vegans

Best vegan collagen supplement alternative

In the same vein as collagen supplements - L-Proline is a major amino acid in cartilage. It is necessary to maintain youthful skin and repair muscle, connective tissue and skin damage. The NOW Foods L-Proline, 500 mg supplements, strengthen the components of your body, including skin, tendons, ligaments, joints, bones, and blood vessels - the essential amino acid needed for collagen production. This makes it an excellent alternative to collagen itself, as it does not contain animal products.

Customer review: "I ordered it, started taking them, and within about five days or less, the injury improved, and now I’m not aware of it anymore. What a relief because I was in a fair bit of trouble. Believe in natural healing, people, believe!"

Pros

  • L-Proline, an essential amino acid in this supplement, aids in the body's collagen production,
  • Suitable for vegetarians or vegans.
  • Highly-rated

Cons

  • Not strictly a collagen product

Recommended

CORREXIKO Marine Collagen Pills
Price: $29.00

CORREXIKO Marine Collagen Pills are sourced from wild-caught deep-sea fish from Canada, ensuring the highest quality. Free from heavy metals, CORREXIKO pills contain pure marine collagen extracted from fish skin, enriched with hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and essential minerals for collagen synthesis. Take two capsules morning and evening for radiant skin, strong joints, and flexible bones.

Customer review: "I don’t normally write reviews but this product is really good. My skin is normally on the drier side (I never bother moisturising my body though) but my legs and arms are significantly softer. Even my husband has noticed and I’m not doing anything else differently. I don’t think my nails or hair have improved but I’m still on my first pack. I’ll definitely buy again. I tried it in plain water and it had a very slight taste. It’s absolutely lovely in coffee! It makes it really creamy so it’s actually something I look forward to everyday which makes it much easier to remember!"

Pros

  • Collagen sourced from naturally rich fish skin
  • Enhanced with collagen enhancers such as Zinc
  • From wild-caught deep-sea fish for purity
  • Ensure the health of skin, hair, bones and joints

Cons

  • Some customers suggested adding a flavouring in to take away fishy taste

Best collagen supplement with Vitamin C

These hydrolysed collagen peptides powder from Love Life Supplements deliver exceptional quality collagen, enhanced with vitamin C for increased collagen production. With 10 to 20 times the glycine and proline concentration compared to other protein supplements, this hydrolysed bovine collagen powder ensures optimal benefits. Each 456g tub offers 30 servings of 15.2 grams for proven results. It contains 18 amino acids, the building blocks of our tissues and the primary component of proteins. Plus, it also comes in a chocolate orange flavour. The original powder has no taste but is ultra-fine, making it blendable with hot or cold drinks and food.

Customer review: "With the one which we used to buy, we had always a problem that it changed the taste of meals/drinks after adding it to them. This one is different, it's pretty tasteless, with great absorbency in everything we tried it for, plus the quality of the ingredients speaks for itself."

Pros

  • Unflavoured, clean and high-quality ingredients
  • Includes Vitamin C
  • Excellent value

Cons

  • Not suitable for vegetarians or vegans

Best liquid collagen supplement

For those who prefer liquid supplements, this collagen liquid stands out. With just one tablespoon a day, you'll get a potent blend of antioxidants derived from the pomegranate, green tea, cranberry, and elderberry extracts. Although once opened, you must keep it refrigerated. This delicious liquid also contains collagen types one and three, and the clean formula uses just purified water with vitamin C, and essential amino acids, promoting skin hydration, strength, flexibility, and overall well-being.

Customer review: "The reason it's taken me a while to write a review is that I wanted to see how good it was and if I could see or feel any different not sure about feeling different as I'm lucky enough to have no aches or pains but I will say I've noticed my face looks so much better it could be down to my morning and night cleansing, but I do believe this has also played a part in my skin hair and nails definitely would recommend."

Pros

  • Convenient liquid form
  • This collagen drink requires only one tablespoon a day for a potent dose
  • Antioxidant-rich blend
  • It does not contain artificial flavours
  • Provides Collagen Type 1 and 3

Cons

  • Not suitable for vegetarians or vegans

Best collagen creamer

US import Dose & Co is a celebrity-loved brand favoured even by the Kardashians. With this popular collagen creamer, you can turn your morning cup of coffee into a rich, creamy, caramel and collagen-packed beverage. This collagen creamer comes in caramel, but there are other versions too. It can also be stirred into yoghurt, ice cream, smoothies, porridge or enjoyed as a hot beverage with milk. There is also a dairy-free creamer available for those with dietary requirements.

Customer review: "I cannot recommend this product highly enough to taste great in tea and coffee. Definitely worth spending the little extra for a luxury drink rather than the must-have health benefits."

Pros

  • It has a dairy-free collagen creamer
  • The creamer can be easily stirred into various food and drink options, including yoghurt, ice cream, porridge, and more
  • It has plain collagen too

Cons

  • Not suitable for vegetarians or vegans

Best collagen liquid supplement for vegans

If you are plant-based, you, too, can reap the benefits of vegan collagen with this skin-enhancing elixir. Based on bio-fermented probiotics, this drink supports your body's collagen production. Packed with plant-based protein from organic maqui berry, acai, papaya, blueberry, goji berry, and pomegranate powders, it also contains grape seed extract, zinc, and vitamin C for skin nourishment. Free from sugar, gluten, and artificial colours, this collagen boost offers a holistic approach to inner beauty with no animal product involved.

Customer review: "Bought as a gift for a friend in need. She loves this product and felt she noticed a change in her skin. "

Pros

  • Plant-based approach to supporting collagen production
  • The blend contains organic maqui berry, acai, papaya, blueberry, goji berry, pomegranate powders, grape seed extract, zinc, and vitamin C
  • Free from sugar and artificial additives

Cons

  • Not suitable for vegetarians or vegans

Best vegan collagen liquid supplement for skin

Whether you are plant-based on are looking for a potent skin supplement to take on the go - the Arella Vegan Collagen aims to rejuvenate your overall health and well-being supported by scientific research. It features VeCollal®, their plant-based collagen alternative made from a range of vitamins and minerals to promote nail and hair growth as well as glowing skin. It comes in a Japanese plum flavour which is a delicious way to take the formula made up of vitamins A and C, Panax ginseng, biotin and B12. However - it is important to note that it is not recommended to take a supplement with ginseng if you have an auto-immune condition.

Pros

  • Plant-based approach to supporting collagen production
  • Delicious flavour
  • Sachet form is easy to take on the go

Cons

  • It is not recommended to take a supplement with ginseng if you have an auto-immune condition.

Buyer's guide to collagen supplements

What are the different types of collagen?

There are three main types of collagen: type one is the most common type of collagen – found in skin, bone, teeth, tendon, ligaments, vascular ligature, and organs. Type two is usually found in cartilage. Then type three is in the skin, muscle, and blood vessels.

As mentioned above, we had the opportunity to speak with Jo Woodhurst, Head of Nutrition at Ancient + Brave, who answered our questions about the benefits of collagen:

What are the benefits of taking collagen supplements?

When we spoke to Jo, she told us that collagen is one of the main proteins and much like structural scaffolding, it keeps everything held together, keeping us strong, healthy and vital. Jo says, "as well as factors such as UV exposure, diet and smoking, as we age, our collagen levels naturally decline."

As we move past roughly 40 years old, it is thought that collagen depletes faster than our body can produce it. Whilst this is happening, we might notice changes in our body, like a downturn in our skin’s elasticity, joint pain, or we feel like we’re more prone to injury and less likely to bounce back like we once did."

Jo mentions that studies show that supplementing hydrolysed collagen peptides can combat collagen depletion, improve skin elasticity and hydration, support joint repair and preserve bone density.

"Collagen peptides stimulate your body’s production of this nourishing protein at a cellular level providing you with whole-body benefits."

Collagen powder in a spoon and a glass of water on a pink background. Beauty concept. Place for your text

What are collagen supplements made from?

"Collagen is an animal-derived protein, which may initially give some of you the ‘ick’, but it is worth remembering that collagen has been part of our ancestors' diet for thousands of years," says Jo. "Only now do we have it in an easy-to-use (and thanks to Ancient + Brave True Collagen) tasteless, odourless form."

Collagen comes from bones, and the most popular choices are collagen derived from cows, commonly known as bovine collagen, and collagen derived from fish, called marine collagen. Whichever you choose, it is important that both of these sources are clean and have traceability - states Jo.

"Just like all products in the wellness market, not all collagen is created equal. Finding a high-quality supplement that delivers results while ticking the boxes for sustainability is key."

Why is collagen good for perimenopause and menopause?

"Many of the symptoms we experience throughout the menopause journey are, of course, related to the flux and change in our hormone levels," Jo states. "As collagen is closely linked to oestrogen levels when oestrogen drops, so does collagen formation." This means that collagen should be on your radar when it comes to menopause supplements.

"This happens relatively quickly, with studies showing up to 30 per cent of dermal collagen lost in the first five years after menopause and continuing at a rate of 2 per cent loss per year.

"This means it is important within this time to reduce things that decrease levels or break down collagen fibres further, such as smoking, poor nutrition, inflammatory foods, stress, and poor hydration.

"On top of this, research is showing that high-quality collagen supplements, which contain hydrolysed collagen peptide, are absorbed by the body and travel to your skin's fibroblasts, which leads to enhanced natural collagen production - helping your skin offset some of those symptoms we see. Collagen is a huge component in our bone health too, and as osteoporosis is so prevalent in menopausal women, we should be looking to protect our bone density too. In addition to that, the best vitamin D supplements can also contribute to strong bones and muscles, as without Vitamin D, our bodies cannot effectively absorb calcium, which is essential to adequate bone health."

Can there be vegan collagen supplements?

We always try to be inclusive in our product roundups, ensuring there is an option for different dietary requirements. However, unfortunately, it is important to note that there is no such thing as vegan collagen. Here is Jo's explanation:

"Plants don’t naturally make collagen. However, new technology is seeing some lab-created vegan collagen come to market. At Ancient + Brave, however, our groundbreaking vegan Collygyn collection looks to provide the body with the building blocks it needs to create its own collagen, such as the plant-based key amino acids glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, arginine and alanine alongside some nutrient cofactors required for collagen production, such as Vitamin C and antioxidant-rich botanicals."

What is the best way to take collagen supplements?

Here is Jo's suggestion: "Taking collagen consistently is key, as the effects will become more sustainable with regular use. Therefore, the best way to take collagen supplements is by attaching this new habit to an existing one, such as adding a scoop to your morning hot cuppa."

How to tell if it is good-quality collagen?

When compiling the best collagen list, we ensured to take note of Jo's suggestions and ingredients to be wary of to ensure only the highest-quality and highest-rated supplements were listed. Here are a few things to take heed of when navigating the world of supplements and powders:

"Whilst we see the potential benefits of some formulations out there, which include extra ‘collagen boosting’ nutrients, a concerning issue in some collagen products is the use of artificial flavours, sugars and fillers, which can greatly reduce the benefit of taking the powder in the first place", states Jo. "On top of this, some of these substances can be harmful for our gut health."

"Another huge benefit of collagen peptide supplements is its great safety profile. Hydrolysed collagen peptides have been regarded as safe by the European Food Safety Authority and so far have no known drug−nutrient interactions."

When should collagen not be taken?

It's always important to consult a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen to ensure it's appropriate for you or any medication you may be on - Jo elaborates on this:

"Due to the severity of the disease, we do urge caution around cancer and breast cancer diagnosis, however. Research is lacking on the effects of collagen supplementation during cancer treatment. So, as with any other supplements, it is advised to speak to your personal health professional during these instances."

Additionally, if you are a fan of Liz Earl, she interviewed Ancient and Brave’s head of nutrition, Jo, on her podcast.

Meet the expert:

This article contains expert advice from Jo Woodhurst, Head of Nutrition at Ancient + Brave. We've made sure to review and evaluate each supplement we have recommended with the help of expert professionals. Always speak with a healthcare professional before starting a new supplement regime. This will ensure that the supplement is appropriate to you, that you're taking the right dosage for your individual needs and to ensure it doesn't interact with prescription or over-the-counter medications you may be taking.

Ellen Kinsey was a Senior Health and Wellness Product Writer and has been a part of Bauer Media since 2020. She has left Bauer Media to study Ayurveda in India to expand her knowledge and skills in the health and wellness field, where she plans to continue making journalistic contributions.

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