If you’re looking for the best collagen supplement then I’m sure you already know there are a lot of choices out there. It can be overwhelming trying to find the best collagen product. With so many on the market, it’s easy to get confused.
Many people today are using collagen to improve their skin, tighten sagging skin (skin laxity), lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve their joints & even prevent hair loss.
It’s a good idea to use a dietary supplement with collagen peptides as the natural collagen production in your body declines as you age. Also, exposure to UV light, smoking, pollution, and other environmental factors can lessen your collagen production.
But there is a lot of hype around collagen. Here you’ll discover if collagen is the fountain of youth or if it’s just another fad. And most importantly if collagen supplements really work or not for skin tightening.
If you’re confused about all the collagen supplements out there then you’re not alone. You’ll discover the best one you can buy and why it makes a difference.
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Why You Need to Take Collagen
Collagen is a protein that occurs naturally in your body. It’s found especially in your skin, bones, and connective tissues. So clearly it’s important to make sure your levels of collagen aren’t falling too low. Crazy enough collagen is pound for pound stronger than steel.
The collagen in your body is critical to the integrity of your skin, hair, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, bones, blood vessels, and more. Increase your collagen can rebuild deteriorated blood vessels which could improve heart health.
Think of collagen as the “super glue” that’s keeping your body from falling apart. It holds everything together in a nice tight package.
Collagen is also what’s going to make your skin look plump, moisturized, and help to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles.
The sad fact is as you age your body’s collagen production starts to get lower and lower (1). Your skin is made up of 75% collagen but once you turn 25 years old it’ll begin to lessen collagen production by 1.5% every year.
As your collagen production goes down your connective tissue weakens causing saggy skin, wrinkles, and fine lines.
There are 16 different collagen types out there but the ones you need to know about are type I, II, and III. They make up almost 90% of the collagen in your body (2).
Type I is the kind of collagen you’re going to find the vast majority of in your skin. Unfortunately, this is the same type of collagen that is the first to become depleted as you age. So it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that supplementing with type 1 collagen is necessary.
Here’s a study finding taking collagen peptide supplements helped to reduce skin wrinkles (3). Most people who are looking to take the best collagen peptides are looking for exactly this.
And here’s another new study from 2019 finding oral collagen peptides helped to improve skin elasticity and hydration (4). Plus it helped to fight the appearance of cellulite.
Now let’s look at the health benefits of collagen…
Why Collagen Supplements Help Sagging Skin
Improved Skin Health
Without a doubt, the number one reason why most people want to take collagen supplements is to improve the look and quality of their skin.
Physical appearances are important to most people so collagen supplements can improve skin health by lessening the appearance of wrinkles. And it’ll also help to fight away sun damage.
Here’s a study finding collagen can even help to slow down the aging of the skin (5). It does so by lessening the appearance of wrinkles as well as boosting skin hydration.
Skin elasticity is another benefit that collagen can help with too (6). The less elasticity of the skin you have the more likely you are to get saggy wrinkly skin.
This study found giving women collagen powder for 8 weeks significantly helped them to improve their skin (7). The researchers found the women on a collagen powder had more skin elasticity and less skin dryness than those not taking any.
Another study found those using collagen supplements were able to boost the production of other proteins in the body (8). These proteins contribute to the structure of your skin too.
Korean women were given a collagen powder in this study and it resulted in them having less skin cracking (9).
So taking a collagen peptides supplement will help to reduce wrinkle depth as well as improve the elasticity of your skin (10,11). Two very important cosmetic reasons why to take and find the best collagen.
Improved Joint Health
Collagen plays an important role in the health of your joints too. If you have any achy or injured joints then taking a collagen powder can help.
You’ll find collagen throughout your entire body but it’s mostly in your joints and connective tissues. So the better you can improve the quality and amount of collagen in your body the better your joints are going to feel.
This study found athletes using collagen ended up having significantly less pain in their joints and were able to recover faster (12).
Collagen works to lessen joint pain by lowering the inflammation (13). With decreased inflammation, you’re going to be to lessen pain in your joints.
Another study found adults taking a collagen powder had significantly less joint pain than before (14). They were also able to participate in physical activities when those who didn’t take the collagen couldn’t.
If you ever suffer from arthritis then taking a collagen powder might also help to improve your symptoms (15).
If you have any problems with cellulite then you know it can be a royal pain trying to get rid of it. But collagen does help with cellulite and reducing its appearance.
Here’s a study finding that taking collagen supplements can help to reduce the appearance of cellulite (16).
You can find out more ways on how to get rid of cellulite here too.
Prevent Hair Loss
If you’re like many people who are experiencing hair loss as you age then collagen might be able to prevent it. Your hair health does lessen with age but getting your collagen fix can strengthen it.
Collagen has been found to stimulate your hair as well as your nails to grow longer (17). I’ve heard of many people taking a collagen powder who found it helped improve their skin, hair, teeth, and nails.
A double-blind study followed women with thinning hair and placed them on a collagen powder (18). The researchers found collagen peptides helped these women with renewed hair growth.
Another problem that can come with aging is the loss of muscle known as sarcopenia.
This can not only make you more frail and weak but it can also make your body look “skinny fat.” This is when you might have lost a lot of weight but are still flabby. It’s important to have some muscle on your body for many reasons.
A study followed elderly men and found those using collagen peptides daily when combined with weight lifting were able to gain significantly more muscle than those not taking any (19).
If you’ve had any problems with sleeping then maybe taking a collagen powder before bed can help.
Studies have found taking glycine at night was able to increase how well the participants slept at night (21).
It also was able to reduce sleepiness during the day when participants didn’t get enough sleep the night before (22).
It’s critical to make sure you’re getting enough quality sleep since sleep and weight loss are highly linked together.
Improved Gut Health
Your gut health is one of the most important factors not only with weight loss but your mood as well. If the health of your gut is out-of-whack then it could lead to mood disorders like anxiety and depression. 80% of your immune system is also in your gut.
Studies have found collagen supplements are effective for strengthening the gut. It contains amino acids like glycine that promote the health of your gut. And the better the health of your gut then the better collagen absorption rate you’ll continue to have. Make sure you’re taking hydrolyzed collagen supplements since they’ll have a higher absorption rate.
How Collagen Can Reverse Sagging Skin
Now it’s already been mentioned it’s a good idea to take collagen supplements since it gradually diminishes in your body as you age.
Unfortunately, there is no way to completely prevent collagen loss from the aging process. But there are some anti-aging foods you can eat to help slow it down.
But other factors can cause collagen breakdown to accelerate faster than normal.
If you have a sweet tooth and eating a lot of sugar then you can very well be causing your body to lose collagen.
Eating sugar will increase the glycation rate in your body (23). This is the bonding process where a sugar molecule combines with a protein or lipid molecule. This can cause damage to the proteins making collagen in your skin brittle and dry.
If you’re a smoker or used to be one then you could also have caused damage to your collagen (24). The chemicals in smoking tobacco have been found to damage collagen and skin elastin.
Constant sun exposure can break down the collagen in your skin from the harmful UV rays (25). We all know how bad constant heavy skin exposure to the sun is and it can cause wrinkles in your skin.
Air pollution is a huge environmental factor to watch out for to prevent collagen loss. This review study found air pollution has detrimental effects on the skin (26). The researchers go so far as to recommend finding a way to decrease your exposure to pollution.
All of these factors can gradually contribute to the accelerated loss of collagen in your body over time. These reasons make it more evident it’s a good idea to boost your collagen supplementation.
#1 Best Collagen Supplement for Sagging Skin & Cellulite
There are so many collagen powders out there on the market it can be confusing to find the best one.
The first thing to look for when searching for the best collagen product is to make sure it contains multiple collagen sources. Type I collagen, type II collagen, and type III collagen sources are the most important and abundant in your body. But type V and type X are also important for your skin, hair, and bone health.
The next is to make sure the collagen powder is hydrolyzed meaning it’s already pre-broken down. This makes it much easier for your body to absorb.
You also want to make sure the collagen powder is completely flavorless and mixes easily. There’s nothing worse than getting collagen that smells and tastes gross. And you don’t want to find out that clumps up on you when you try to mix it.
I prefer to get a mixture of collagen peptides from different sources such as grass-fed cows and fish. There’s not a whole lot of science behind it but I’m a believer it allows your body to absorb it easier.
So the one collagen supplement I’ve found that contains all these and then some is BioTrust Ageless Multi-Collagen.
They use 5 different collagen types when all the other collagen in the supplement industry only contains 3 at best. You really need more types of collagen to promote collagen synthesis so you get results.
BioTrust Ageless Multi-Collagen protein is a clean product meaning it doesn’t contain a bunch of artificial junk or preservatives. They use a 3rd party to test the quality of their supplements too.
Plus their collagen contains all the essential amino acids when I couldn’t (as of writing this) find another one on the market that has the same.
Can drinking bone broth boost skin collagen?
Drinking bone broth can give you a little bit of collagen but not really enough to see significant results. The reason for this is because bone broth doesn’t have the collagen protein broken down. This makes it more difficult for your body to absorb the collagen. Another problem with bone broth is it usually only comes from a single source. Instead of bone broth, it’s better to use a supplement that includes multiple types of collagen hydrolyzed so it’s already broken down for you.
How much collagen should you take daily?
Research has found it’s best to start off taking 8 to 12g of collagen daily. I usually advise people to go with 10g of it per day (27).
What are the side effects of taking collagen?
There really aren’t any well-known side effects of supplementing with collagen. The only thing I would say is if you’re allergic to shellfish then to check the label to make sure it doesn’t contain any. Or if you’re vegetarian then to make sure it doesn’t come from cattle or pork.
The Last Word
Hopefully, you now know why it’s a good idea to supplement with collagen. You’re not only losing more and more each year as a result of aging but other factors can accelerate it.
There are a ton of health benefits to taking collagen such as improving the quality of your skin, strengthening joints, reducing cellulite, preventing hair loss, and even sleeping better.
When you start taking collagen supplements you’ll start to increase your collagen synthesis. There are seemingly a ton of different collagen supplements on the market making it confusing to find the best one.
Collagen supplementation is a quick and easy way to boost your daily collagen intake. Replenishing your lost collagen stores from multiple collagen sources is key to reversing sagging skin.
But hopefully, with the information provided here, you now know the best collagen supplement that’ll give you the most bang for your buck so you can get the results you want.
Josh holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition Science. He’s a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and he’s a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) by American Council on Exercise. He’s worked as a Strength and Conditioning Coach at the high school and college levels. He has over 15 years of experience as a personal trainer and nutrition coach. He is also the author of The Flat Belly Formula. He strives to bring inspiration and results for people to live healthier lives through smart diet and exercise.