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The 9 Best Collagen Supplements For Skin, Joints & More*

Alexandra Engler
Author: Expert reviewer:
Updated on August 2, 2022
Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director
By Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com.
Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN
Expert review by
Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN
mbg Vice President of Scientific Affairs
Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN is Vice President of Scientific Affairs at mindbodygreen. She received her bachelor's degree in Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania and Ph.D. in Foods and Nutrition from the University of Georgia.
Image by mbg creative
Last updated on August 2, 2022
Our editors have independently chosen the products listed on this page. If you purchase something mentioned in this article, we may earn a small commission.

Collagen supplements have become a popular treatment in the realm of skin health, and rightfully so. 

Research shows that results are promising for the short and long-term use of oral collagen supplements for skin aging1 (think: skin hydration and elasticity), gut health, joint function2, and a variety of other full-body benefits.*

Thankfully, there is a flood of collagen supplements on the market.

And with so many options available, you may be struck with a bout of decision fatigue—or be tempted to grab whatever reasonable-looking jar you find at your local health shop.

But not so fast: There is actually a method for determining your best collagen fit, and it comes down to your goals and needs. 

See, collagen formulas vary quite a bit—be it due to collagen type or additional ingredients—and these factors play a role in how effective it will be toward an intended outcome.

Read on for our best bets.

What is collagen?

Collagen describes a family of proteins that comprise the most abundant proteins in the animal kingdom. In fact, there are at least 28 kinds of collagen that we know of that exist in vertebrates (yes, us included), but types I, II and III are the most common in the human body.
Meet the expert
  • Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN is Vice President of Scientific Affairs at mindbodygreen.
  • Vincent Pedre, M.D., is a board-certified internist in private practice in New York City.
  • Nour Zibdeh, M.S., RDN, is a functional and integrative dietitian and nutritionist, author, and speaker.

mbg's picks for the best collagen supplements of 2022

Best all-around collagen peptide powder: mindbodygreen beauty & gut collagen+

beauty & gut collagen+
VIEW ON mindbodygreen | $70

Pros

  • Specialized complex: collagen plus 7 nutrients, botanicals, and bioactives
  • Supports strong hair and nails, glowing skin, and a healthy gut*

Cons

  • Not vegan
Dietary: Gluten-free, Soy-free, Dairy-free, Sugar-free, GMO-free, Keto-friendly, Major allergen-free
Form: Powder

Who else recommends it? Bobbi Brown called it her 'latest obsession.'

The one-step beauty routine for youthful skin, healthy hair & strong nails.* The innovative blend is rooted in its high-potency collagen foundation, delivering 17.7 grams of pasture-raised, grass-fed bovine collagen peptides (delivering types I and III collagen) but then it layers in several targeted ingredients, both nutrients and botanical bioactives, for holistic inside-out support.*

There are vitamins C and E for enhanced collagen production and antioxidant support, hyaluronic acid for skin hydration, the protein building block L-glutamine, biotin for your beauty needs, and curcumin from turmeric extract and sulforaphane from broccoli seed extract for supporting detoxification and combating oxidative stress and photoaging.*

Last but definitely not least: This collagen product is free of GMOs, dairy, soy, and gluten and clearly breaks down the amino acid profile on its label. Did we mention it comes in unflavored and chocolate varieties?

Best marine collagen: Natural Force Marine Collagen Peptides

Natural Force Marine Collagen Peptides
VIEW ON Amazon | $47VIEW ON Natural Force | $40

Pros

  • Suitable for pescatarians
  • BPA-free
  • Sustainably-sourced fish
  • Promotes thicker hair, stronger nails, and brighter skin*

Cons

  • Not vegan
  • Contains fish (allergen)
Dietary: Soy-free, Keto-friendly, Grain-free
Form: Powder

While bovine collagen peptides tend to be the most effective, if you generally follow a pescatarian diet, marine collagen will be just right for you. Always look for peptides sourced from wild-caught sources, like this one, which comes from sustainably sourced cod and nothing else (there's more on sourcing parameters below). We also like how transparent this brand is: They break down the amino acid profile, are third-party tested, and a Certified B Corp.

Best vegan collagen: Zuma Collagen Precursor

Zuma Collagen Precursor
VIEW ON Zuma Nutrition | $90

Pros

  • Vegan
  • Supports skin, joint, and tissue health*

Cons

  • Doesn't contain actual collagen
  • Expensive
  • Only sold in monthly supply
  • 8-capsule serving
Dietary: Gluten-free, Vegan
Form: Capsule

Well, we must start off by saying: There is no such thing as vegan collagen—cows, fish, and chicken are decidedly not vegan. What you can find are vegan supplements that bolster your natural, endogenous (within your body) collagen production with curated formulas.* This particular supplement pack features a healthy dose of vitamin C, an antioxidant that's essential in collagen synthesis, as well as a B complex and key amino acids. We should point out that this array involves 8 capsules in total.

Best flavor variety: Thrive Market Matcha Mint Grass-fed Collagen Peptides

Thrive Market Matcha Mint Grass-fed Collagen Peptides
VIEW ON Thrive Market | $68

Pros

  • Promotes healthy hair, skin, nails*
  • Easily dissolves
  • Natural flavor
  • Certified B corporation

Cons

  • Contains caffeine
  • Not vegan
Dietary: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, GMO-free, Certified Kosher
Form: Powder

As far as taste varieties go, chocolate and unflavored reign supreme. That's why we were pleasantly surprised by this refreshing matcha mint option. The base is 10 grams of pasture-raised, ethically sourced bovine collagen (they, too, list the amino acid profile), and the sweetener used is extracted from monk fruit. And thanks to the matcha, it even contains six milligrams of caffeine per serving for a little morning boost.*

Best budget collagen peptide: Orgain Collagen Peptides

Orgain Collagen Peptides
VIEW ON Amazon | $23VIEW ON iHerb | $35

Pros

  • Unflavored
  • Supports hair, skin, nails, and joints*
  • Sourced from grass-fed and pasture-raised cows
  • Only one ingredient

Cons

  • Not vegan
Dietary: Gluten-free, Soy-free, Dairy-free, GMO-free
Form: Powder

If you're looking for a less expensive option, this Orgain powder packs 20 grams of bovine sourced collagen peptides per serving for a more affordable price. (Also of note: You're just getting collagen in this—no additional ingredients to support your health.) If you don't like the unflavored variety, that can be remedied by mixing it into a flavored beverage of choice.

Best for muscles: Vital Proteins Performance protein powder

Vital Proteins Performance protein powder
VIEW ON Vital Proteins | $30VIEW ON iHerb | $34

Pros

  • Contains all 9 essential amino acids
  • 4 g branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)
  • NSF-Certified for sport

Cons

  • Contains added sugars
  • Not dairy-free
  • Long list of "other ingredients"
Dietary: Lactose-free
Form: Powder

This is a good blend for athletes: The whey and collagen combo bumps the protein up to 25 grams (so about 10 grams of collagen and 15 grams of whey protein). Both whey and collagen contribute key amino acids critical for muscle mass, but whey has all nine of the essential amino acids, while collagen is missing one (making it incomplete by definition).* Just make sure you (and your skin) can tolerate whey.

Best for hair: Garden of Life Grass-fed Collagen Beauty Powder

Garden of Life Grass-fed Collagen Beauty Powder
VIEW ON Amazon | $23VIEW ON Garden of Life | $25

Pros

  • Contains nutrients, botanicals, and probiotic
  • Certified B corporation

Cons

  • Long list of "other ingredients"
  • Not vegan
Dietary: Soy-free, Dairy-free, Keto-friendly
Form: Powder

While the base contains a decent dose of types I and III collagen (12 grams of protein), the stars for the hair are biotin, silica, and vitamin C. Biotin is a main component of keratin production, or the primary protein of hair. (In one small study, women with thinning hair reported significant regrowth when supplementing with biotin as compared to those given a placebo.*) It's then layered with vitamin C to help neutralize free radicals (which can lead to aging hair) and silica (which may help strengthen hair and minimize thinning).*

Best for skin: Mukti Bioactive Collagen Booster

Bioactive Collagen Booster
VIEW ON Mukti | $72VIEW ON Beauty Heroes | $65

Pros

  • Features botanicals and berry blend
  • Promotes skin hydration, elasticity, and moisture retention*

Cons

  • Not vegan
  • Long list of "other ingredients"
  • May contain: wheat, dairy, peanuts, soy, nuts and eggs as product is made on equipment that also processes products containing these ingredients.
Dietary: GMO-free
Form: Powder

This blend uses three grams of marine collagen, which is on the light end, but is bolstered with additional actives to support your skin.* There's hyaluronic acid and aloe vera for hydration, astaxanthin for photodamage protection, and a proprietary super wild berry antioxidant complex to help with oxidative stress.*

Best capsule: Hum Collagen Love

Collagen Love
VIEW ON Hum | $40VIEW ON Amazon | $38

Pros

  • Supports skin firmness and elasticity*
  • Phytonutrient + bioactive skin protection blend*

Cons

  • Small collagen dose
  • Not vegan
  • Serving size is 3 capsules
Dietary: Gluten-free, Soy-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free, Wheat-free
Form: Capsule

While we believe that powder is the best way to ingest a meaningful amount of collagen, some people love the ease of a capsule. If that's you, go for this blend of bovine collagen (600 milligrams), vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, chondroitin, and phytonutrient antioxidants from red wine and grapeseed extracts.

What our reviewers say

"To my delight, since I began taking mindbodygreen's beauty & gut collagen+, I've noticed significant improvements in overall skin hydration.* What's more, I've actually been able to take this supplement every day and stay consistent—something I wasn't doing with collagen capsules."
Chelsea So

Benefits of collagen

Here, some of the top health areas you can expect high-quality collagen supplementation will help support:* 

  1. Skin and hair: Studies have shown that taking collagen peptides will support skin elasticity and hydration levels and promote youthful texture3.* Collagen supplements also provide many of the amino acids and nutrients needed for hair growth. *
  2. Gut: Research shows that collagen can help support your gut health4.* As gut health specialist Vincent Pedre, M.D., told mbg, "For the same reasons collagen helps repair and grow muscle tissue, it serves as an excellent nutrient source for supporting the rapidly dividing cells that line the interior of the gut."*
  3. Joints: Based on growing research, collagen has also been found to help support joint health and comfort5.* Collagen is found in all connective tissues that make up our joints (including ligaments and tendons), and collagen supplements provide almost 20 unique essential and nonessential amino acids to support natural levels throughout the body.* Healthy connective tissue structure helps support joint health and function.*
  4. Muscles: Parts of our muscles are made up of...you guessed it, collagen. A clinical study demonstrated that hydrolyzed collagen supplementation supports muscle strength6 and body composition.* In fact, according to Nour Zibdeh, M.S., RDN, CLT, "Collagen can also support lean muscle and help improve body composition."* While this is an emerging area of research, science has shown that collagen supplements can support skeletal muscle mass and strength7.*

How to choose

While we've vetted the above products and can recommend them wholeheartedly, we also want to give you the tools to look for your own collagen supplements—or at least help you understand our process.

1.

Dose

There is no official daily recommendation for collagen supplementation. For healthy adults, the recommendation for overall protein needs is about one gram of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.

If you're physically active, your needs may be higher. Collagen is a protein made of peptides, but it's not a complete protein—it doesn't have all nine of the essential amino acids (it's missing tryptophan and is on the lower side on a few others)—but can absolutely contribute to your overall daily protein goals and needs.*

For a collagen supplement, we recommend looking in the 10- to 20-gram range (per serving). 

2.

Source

Look for brands that describe in detail where their collagen is sourced from (i.e., the animal, region, etc.), be it on the packaging or website.

Look for keywords like "grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine collagen from Brazilian cows," or "sustainably-sourced, wild-caught cod." Ideally, they'll note what collagen types are provided (e.g., types I, II, or III) as well.

Bonus points if they list the amino acid profile. If your diet allows, we prefer grass-fed bovine collagen, which you can learn more about here.

3.

Form

Powders are the best, as they are able to deliver the most potent amount of collagen.

Powders are also a convenient way to add a meaningful dose of collagen to your nutrition routine, whether blending into a sweet smoothie with colorful fruits or mixed into your morning coffee or latte.

If you prefer other delivery methods—drinks, tonics, capsules, gummies—that's fine; just know that you're not getting as much collagen in these products. 

4.

Additional ingredients

If there are additional, beneficial ingredients—such as vitamins and minerals or botanical bioactives—they can help create a more holistic product to achieve your desired effects (or if you want just collagen, that's great too!).*

Look for research backing up why the ingredients were added and thoughtful explanations of the overall formulas.

On the other end, make sure the formula is clean. Less is more here: Skip artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, gluten, GMOs, soy, gluten, and known allergens. If your collagen product has flavors, look for natural varieties (such as organic cocoa, organic vanilla).

If there's a sweetener, we recommend natural plant-derived sources like organic monk fruit extract or organic coconut sugar.

5.

Transparency

This is less about decoding an ingredient label and more about finding brands that are open and honest about their product. It shouldn't be hard to find their Supplement Facts panel and other ingredient list.

The type and source of collagen should be apparent. If they make any benefit claims, there should be science to support them. They should be open about where the ingredients come from, and they should explain the packaging it comes in (i.e., is it environmentally friendly?).

RELATED: The 7 Best Collagen Powders + Dosage, Formats & More 

How we select supplements

At mindbodygreen, our expert-vetted dietary supplement product selections and recommendations in the supplement space elevate quality, efficacy, innovation, and safety.

Our team ensures that each supplement product is thoughtfully formulated--from the active ingredients to those "Other ingredient" excipients too.

We are highly preferential towards clean formulas that are plant-centric (and oftentimes vegan or vegetarian) as well as free of GMOs, gluten, soy, dairy, major food allergens, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, synthetic dyes, and more.

Overall, we recommend products with clean ingredients at efficacious doses in bioactive forms. Whenever possible, we celebrate and elevate plant-origin (i.e., plant-sourced) ingredients from a variety of botanicals.

Ingredient source and innovation are top of mind for our critical reviews and selection of supplement products. We prioritize forward-thinking formulations and delivery formats that are genuinely helpful in transforming your health.

We included collagen supplement brands and products that prioritize quality. This includes robust manufacturing practices and comprehensive purity and potency testing.

You can learn more about mindbodygreen supplements+ manufacturing and quality testing practices here.

Frequently asked questions

Which form of collagen is most effective?

Collagen supplements can come in many forms: powder, liquid, capsules, and gummies. The most effectively dosed, versatile, and ubiquitous format is powders. Collagen powders are exactly as they sound: A powdered format of collagen peptides that can be added to foods, smoothies, coffee, or even water. Ease of use aside, powders are the best form because they can better deliver potent doses of the protein—whereas things like gummies and capsules usually contain smaller amounts. For more information, here’s our guide to collagen powders.

What are the side effects of taking collagen?

Overall, collagen peptides are safe for consumption, and few side effects, complaints, or cautions are reported. They fall into the "benign" bucket. However, everyone is different, and everyone's body reacts to products in unique ways. This is why some side effects are reported anecdotally. Whether the experiences are directly tied to the collagen peptides is difficult to pinpoint, particularly considering collagen powders can contain other active ingredients and some "Other ingredients" too (depending on the brand and product). The most common reported were: Bad taste in the mouth and stomach upset. For more information on collagen side effects, check out our guide.

Who may not benefit from collagen?

Given that collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, and collagen supplements support a wide range of areas in the body (think: skin, gut, joints, and more), most people can find some benefit that appeals to them.* However, collagen peptides are inherently not vegan—and thus may not align with someone who strictly follows that diet. This is because there is no plant source of collagen since the protein is absent in the plant kingdom. If you see a collagen product that says it's "vegan," please know that it does not contain collagen itself. Rather it contains various collagen supporting and boosting ingredients, such as certain amino acids or micronutrients like vitamins C and E.* Learn more about collagen sourcing here.

How long does it take for collagen supplements to work?

When you incorporate a new supplement into your routine, it's only natural to expect results. But how fast do those results show up? Well, to answer that you need to get specific about what benefit and area of the body you’re expecting it to work on. See some areas (like the gut) experience improved function much quicker than others (like the bones) simply due to our physiology (gut cells turn over more often than bone does!)* Basically the answer to this question is “it’s complicated”—but luckily we’re very adept at breaking down complicated concepts into easy to understand guides. So see here for more information on how long it takes collagen to work.

What happens when you stop taking collagen supplements?

Collagen supplement benefits last as long and regularly as you continue to consume them. For skincare and healthy aging benefits, for example, without supplying your body with the peptides that stimulate fibroblast production, your body will simply revert back to its prior state.* That is why it’s recommended to take collagen supplements consistently over time to experience the beneficial effects.

Why does my collagen powder include vitamin C and hyaluronic acid?

High-quality collagen powders will often add in additional active ingredients to bolster the overall product. This is especially true for skincare-focused collagen supplements, where you might see additional actives such as vitamin C, E, hyaluronic acid, biotin, and various plant-derived antioxidants. Vitamin C in particular plays an important supporting role in collagen supplements, as the antioxidant is vital in the collagen synthesis process.* Hyaluronic acid is a humectant naturally produced by the body that is the key compound involved in skin moisture (and thus can support skin hydration alongside the collagen peptides.)*

The takeaway

Finding your perfect collagen fit really boils down to figuring out what your goals and priorities are.

Once you narrow down the why, then you can start looking into the what. But we went ahead and made the latter part easy for you—these 16 options are the best out there.

RELATED: Does Collagen Work? How To Make Sure Your Supplement Does*

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.
And do you want to turn your passion for wellbeing into a fulfilling career? Become a Certified Health Coach! Learn more here.
Alexandra Engler
Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director

Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.