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Collagen supplements may help support skin, hair, and joint health. A person can order collagen online in a few different forms. With regular use, these supplements may promote better skin and joint health.

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Collagen refers to a group of related proteins in the human body. The proteins make up a large portion of different connective tissue throughout the body, including the:

  • skin
  • joints
  • cartilage
  • tendons

Collagen supplements usually come in the form of oral pills, tablets, or capsules. Liquid varieties are also available.

When a person takes them orally, collagen supplements may help promote health and healing in the below areas of the body.

Skin health

In a 2019 study, researchers found that taking collagen helped improve skin elasticity, hydration, and density. It also aided in smoothing rough patches of skin. They also noted that people generally tolerated the supplements well.

The study included fewer than 80 participants who were all female and used only Elasten supplements. As a result, the findings may not be applicable across all collagen supplements or people.

This collagen supplement also included other ingredients, such as acerola fruit extract, vitamin C, zinc, vitamin E, and biotin. The placebo did not contain these nutrients. The additional ingredients in the collagen supplements may have led to the benefits that scientists discovered in the study, rather than the collagen alone being responsible.

Another 2019 review of studies found similar results across multiple studies.

Joint health

Collagen supplements may help keep joints healthy and improve their health over time.

An older 2008 study of over 125 student athletes found that collagen supplements helped ease joint pain. The researchers used collagen hydrolysate for their research.

A more recent study published in 2018 had similar results — scientists found that regular use of collagen supplements helped improve symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) plays a role in supplement safety and manufacturing claims, they do not directly regulate the quality or content of supplements.

With this in mind, a person should look for products with third-party testing. Companies, such as U.S. Pharmacopeia and NSF International, provide purity and quality control testing for different supplement brands.

People can also explore online reviews of both the company and the products they offer. However, these reviews are anecdotal, meaning they may not apply to everyone.

Before ordering any supplement, an individual should consult with their doctor to ensure the supplement will not interfere with their current medications or any underlying health conditions.

Vegan collagen

Most collagen comes from bovine hide, so it is unsuitable for people following a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. While some vegetarian collagen supplements are available, those following a vegan lifestyle may want to check the supplements do not use animal products.

Most of the supplements people think are vegan collagen are actually labeled as collagen boosters or collagen builders. They do not contain any collagen — instead, they contain nutrients that may support collagen synthesis, so they may not have the same effects as supplements in the studies.

Scientists have discovered a way to produce vegan collagen using bacteria and the yeast strain Pichia pastoris, though there are currently no commercially available products on the market.

Learn more about vegan collagen.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based.

Persona Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

Persona’s vital protein collagen peptides contain 20 grams per serving or 2 scoops. The company recommends 1–2 scoops per day.

Persona claims this supplement promotes overall health and wellness, such as healthy hair, skin, and joints. It also contains vitamin C.

The collagen supplement does not contain dairy or gluten.

Learn more about Persona vitamins.

Care/of Collagen Packs

Care/of is an online retailer that provides collagen and other nutrients in supplement form. The company also offers online consultations. A person can fill out a form on what they are looking for, and Care/of will provide product recommendations based on their preferences and perceived needs.

The collagen packs are available in four different flavors:

  • lemon passion fruit
  • matcha
  • vanilla oat creamer
  • unflavored

These collagen powders use grass-fed bovine collagen. For people who follow a vegetarian diet, Care/of offers vegetarian collagen. Their supplement is in a capsule made with an eggshell membrane, so though it is vegetarian, it is not vegan.

These products are not third-party tested.

Learn more about Care/of here.

HUM Collagen

HUM produces sustainable and hypoallergenic collagen supplements. Their collagen supplements do not contain genetically modified organisms, gluten, or artificial colors or flavors.

The company states it tests all products in-house and through independent labs to ensure that they pass quality assurance.

The collagen comes in a capsule with vitamin C and other antioxidants to help promote skin elasticity and firmness.

Ritual

Ritual is an online retailer that provides a range of vegan supplements and vitamins.

The company does not sell any specific collagen supplements, but many of its products contain vitamin C and other nutrients that may help the body make collagen. People may want to consider it as an alternative to collagen supplements.

However, there is no evidence that taking vitamin C will provide the same benefits seen in the collagen studies, particularly if a person is not deficient in vitamin C.

Collagen may not be the right or best choice for everyone. It also should not take the place of treatment or recommendations from a doctor or other qualified healthcare professional.

Alternatives for collagen may depend on a person’s reasons for its use. An individual wishing to improve their skin care may want to look at moisturizing creams and other products that promote skin health. Those looking to promote joint health may want to talk to their doctor about their concerns — they may find other supplements that support the joints.

Learn how to boost collagen levels in the skin.

In a 2019 study, researchers identified several common sources of collagen in the American diet. They include:

  • beef
  • bone broth
  • fish
  • chicken
  • pork
  • prepared meats

Vitamins and minerals can also promote collagen production in the body. Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins for collagen and is present in many collagen supplements.

Learn about how to get collagen from food.

Collagen supplements may help promote skin and joint health. They may also offer other health effects, but limited evidence supports their use. Before starting any new supplement, a person should talk to their doctor — they may recommend alternative solutions to help address their health concerns.

Collagen supplements may come in capsule or powdered forms. They usually contain collagen from bovine or other animal or fish sources. Vegetarian and vegan alternatives to collagen supplements are available in the form of collagen boosters or builders. These do not contain collagen but contain ingredients that may support collagen production.