Whether you're a fan of skincare, wellness supplements, or both, you've probably noticed the recent buzz surrounding collagen powder. Promising both nutritional and beauty benefits, it's easy to see why the stuff is so popular.
"Collagen is a protein naturally produced by your body that aids in the structure and integrity of connective tissues, bone, cartilage, and skin," explains registered dietician Melissa Rifkin. "Nutritionally, collagen powder contains amino acids that serve these functions, and more, within the body."
It's unclear whether ingesting collagen will actually make your skin plumper, smoother, or more elastic. But at the very least, it's a solid source of protein. As far as what you can put it in, it's just as versatile (if not more) than traditional protein powder. Mix some into your daily smoothie or coffee, bake a batch of complexion-enhancing cookies, or whip up some protein-packed soup, sauce, or salad dressing.
Scroll down for the best collagen powders currently available.
Vital Proteins Original Collagen Peptides
Ranks high on animal welfare standards
Contains vitamin C
Does not dissolve well in iced drinks
Vital Proteins puts extra care into the sourcing of its bovine collagen peptides. The cows used for the production of the collagen peptides are raised in alignment with the Global Animal Partnership 5-step animal welfare rating standards—an important quality to look for when purchasing protein powders sourced from animal ingredients. In addition to grass-fed bovine collagen, Vital Proteins adds vitamin C to its powder to increase collagen absorption. You can also consume vitamin C with collagen powder naturally by mixing it into a fruit or vegetable smoothie, but for those who prefer adding collagen powder to water or coffee, Vital Proteins makes vitamin C consumption extra easy.
Price at time of publish: $42
Key Ingredients: Collagen Peptides | Certified: Non-GMO, paleo-friendly, gluten-free | Dosage: 20 grams | Size: 284 grams | Type: Bovine
Great Lakes Wellness Quick Dissolve Collagen Peptides Convenience Pack - Unflavored
Less collagen per serving than others
Great Lakes Gelatin Company uses grass-fed and pasture-raised cows from Argentina and Brazil to make its collagen powder. This product is pareve, gluten-free, non-GMO, keto, paleo-friendly, glyphosate-free, USP/NF compliant, and contains no MSG. Consumer Labs, a third-party testing company, has also given this product its stamp of approval and has verified that the claims on the bottle match the actual ingredients. One 16-ounce container provides 38 servings of high-quality collagen and costs under $30, a true steal.
Price at time of publish: $25
Key Ingredients: Collagen Hydrolysate | Certified: Kosher | Dosage: 12 grams | Size: 454 grams | Type: Bovine
Natural Force Marine Collagen Peptides
Manufactured in a cGMP-certified facility
Natural Force Marine Collagen Peptides is a pure marine collagen peptide powder that is sustainably sourced from wild-caught Alaskan cod, featuring type 1 hydrolyzed marine collagen. Natural Force guarantees that every bag is always free of unnecessary fillers, synthetic colors, or anything artificial. They test each bag for allergens like gluten and soy as well as the heavy metals mercury, lead, arsenic, and cadmium. Shoppers can go to their website to find the certificate of analysis which displays third-party testing results.
Price at time of publish: $33
Key Ingredients: Hydrolyzed marine collagen peptides from wild-caught cod | Certified: keto certified, certified b corporation, certified paleo | Dosage: 1 scoop, or 11.1 grams | Size: 333 grams | Type: Marine
Best for Smoothies
Further Food Collagen Peptides
Paleo and keto-friendly
Hard to find in store
Sourced from the highest quality grass-fed, pasture-raised hydrolyzed bovine hide collagen, Further Food’s collagen peptides are non-GMO, antibiotic-free, hormone-free, sugar-free, kosher, paleo, and keto-friendly. Further, Food’s collagen peptides are made in facilities that are NSF cGMP certified, and their product is paleo and keto-friendly. As a bonus, consumers can feel good about packaging as the collagen is packaged in 100 percent Post-Consumer Recycled jars.
Price at time of publish: $49
Key Ingredients: Bovine hide, hydrolyzed collagen peptides | Certified: Non-GMO, antibiotic-free, hormone-free, sugar-free, Kosher certified | Dosage: 1 scoop, or 8 grams | Size: 680 grams | Type: Bovine
Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel
10 grams of protein and collagen per serving
No fillers, preservatives or artificial ingredients
This product is sugar-free, Whole30 approved, and made without dairy, whey, or soy ingredients, and these peptides are keto and paleo-friendly. Primal Kitchen has sought out highly dissolvable collagen that meets its strict standards for sourcing and processing. One scoop provides ten grams of protein, collagen, and only 40 calories, making it a great addition to smoothies and shakes.
Price at time of publish: $29
Key Ingredients: Bovine collagen peptides | Certified: Gluten-free, whole 30 approved, keto certified | Dosage: 1 scoop, or 10 grams of collagen | Size: 550 grams | Type: Bovine
Thrive Market Chocolate Grass-Fed Collagen Peptides
No added sugar
Gluten, dairy, and soy free
Membership needed to shop Thrive Market
Thrive Market prides itself on using quality ingredients and their chocolate-flavored collagen peptides are no exception. This supplement offers collagen from grass-fed and pasture-raised cows and uses organic cacao powder, organic vanilla flavor, and monk fruit extract to provide a rich, satisfying flavor. In addition to providing a dose of collagen, this powder is a great way to boost shakes and meals with 10 grams of protein.
Price at time of publish: $22
Key Ingredients: Bovine hide collagen, organic cocoa powder, organic vanilla flavor, Monk (Luo Han Guo) fruit extract | Certified: Non-GMO, hormone-free, sugar-free, B corporation, dairy-free, certified kosher | Dosage: 1 scoop | Size: 331 grams | Type: Bovine
Reserveage Collagen Booster
Contains hyaluronic acid
Easy to consume
Reserveage Ultra Collagen Booster uses BioCell Collagen as its main ingredient. BioCell Collagen is a patented hydrolyzed chicken sternal cartilage extract that contains a naturally-occurring matrix of hydrolyzed collagen type II, as well as chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid, both naturally occurring substances in the body that promote good tissue. In addition to BioCell Collagen, Reserveage adds a specific blend of fruit and vegetable extracts such as Acerola Cherry, Asparagus, and Pomegranate to each capsule, as these extracts have been researched for their ability to help retain skin elasticity.
Price at time of publish: $24
Key Ingredients: BioCell collagen, resveratrol | Certified: No corn, soy, wheat, yeast, lactose, citrus, milk, egg or fish products, sugar, salt, starch, artificial coloring, flavoring, or preservatives | Dosage: 2 capsules | Size: 60 capsules | Type: Chicken
Best for Joints
Healthy Origins UC-II with Undenatured Type II Collagen
Third party tested
Verified by consumerlabs.com
Easy to consume
Consumer Labs Research ranks Healthy Origins UC-II Collagen as the best for joint pain. UC-II contains a patented form of undenatured, type II collagen derived from chicken sternum. UC-II has been examined in multiple research studies for its efficacy in relieving joint pain. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study tested the use of UC-II in individuals reporting knee discomfort when exercising. Researchers examined the efficacy of the supplement based on participants’ ability to extend their knees. After 120 days of supplementation, subjects in the UC-II group exhibited a statistically significant improvement in average knee extension compared to the placebo.
Price at time of publish: $28
Key Ingredients: UC-II standardized chicken cartilage | Certified: Non-GMO, gluten-free, BPA Free, does not contain wheat, gluten, fish, shellfish, egg, soy, peanuts, or milk | Dosage: 1 capsule | Size: 120 caps | Type: Chicken
Best For Skin
Besha Natural Collagen Peptides
Verified by consumerlabs.com
Research grade form of collagen
Sourced from pigs
Collagen supports the elasticity and structure of the skin, and over time, as collagen levels naturally decrease, the skin’s propensity to wrinkle increases. Besha, a German-made product, is a top pick for skin by Consumer Labs. The collagen used in Besha is VERISOL, a form of bioactive collagen peptides that have been used in research studies examining collagen’s effect on skin elasticity. Of note, VERISOL is derived from pigs, so if you have dietary restrictions, you may want to pick collagen derived from fish or cow.
Price at time of publish: $26
Key Ingredients: Collagen powder verisol | Certified: N/A | Dosage: 2.9 grams | Size: 98.6 grams | Type: Pork
Best with MCT
Garden of Life Grass Fed Collagen Coconut MCT Powder
Blends collagen, MCTs, and probiotics
Grass fed collagen peptides
Looking for a protein and energy boost that is also nourishing for the gut? Garden of Life offers clean, traceable, third-party certified Collagen with targeted ingredients to meet your needs. Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) are a type of dietary fat thought to offer a range of benefits such as increased satiety, energy expenditures, and the ability to burn fat. One serving of this powder contains three grams of MCTs from organic coconuts, nine grams of protein, ten grams of collagen, and five milligrams of the probiotic Bacillus Subtilis.
Price at time of publish: $30
Key Ingredients: Collagen, medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), bacillus subtilis (500 Million CFU), collagen peptides (Bovine) | Certified: Gluten-free, non-GMO, keto certified | Dosage: 1 scoop, or 10 grams | Size: 408 grams | Type: Bovine
Bulletproof Unflavored Collagen Protein Powder
Only 35 calories per scoop
Can be added to recipes
Bulletproof’s Unflavored Collagen Protein is a pantry must-have. You can add this unflavored collagen powder to smoothies, oatmeal, baked goods, or sauces for a nutrient boost without worrying about taste. One scoop provides 10 grams of hydrolyzed collagen, 9 grams of protein, and only 35 calories. This product contains just one ingredient (hydrolyzed collagen powder) and comes from pasture-raised cows without added hormones.
Price at time of publish: $33
Key Ingredients: Hydrolyzed collagen powder | Certified: N/A | Dosage: 2 scoops, or 20 grams | Size: 500 grams | Type: Bovine
Best for Mixing
Golde Coconut Collagen Boost
Our tester said this product made her a "collagen convert." The plant-based powder can be mixed into just about anything, from frothy homemade lattes and whisked teas to smoothies and baked goods. According to the brand, it's also great to pour over ice with your milk of choice.
Coconut Collagen Boost is made with skin-loving ingredients, like bamboo-derived silica and hyaluronic acid. "The coconut adds the perfect amount of sweetness without being overwhelming," our tester noted. The only downside is that the smaller size comes in a resealable bag, which isn't as convenient as a lidded tub.
Price at Time of Publish: $29
Key Ingredients: Coconut milk powder, hyaluronic acid, bamboo extract | Certified: Vegan, keto | Amount: 4–8 ounces | Dosage: 2 teaspoons | Type: Plant-based
Best Coffee Creamer
Moon Juice Collagen Protect Creamer
If you're looking for something to mix into your morning coffee, Moon Juice might be your best bet. This plant-based collagen powder calls on hyaluronic acid and silver ear mushrooms to promote hydrated, healthier skin. The vegan formula isn't technically flavored, but the blend of natural ingredients lends to a slightly sweet taste reminiscent of vanilla shortbread. We just wish it was a little more affordable.
Price at Time of Publish: $32
Key Ingredients: Rice bran, silver ear mushroom, hyaluronic acid | Certified: Vegan | Amount: 4.5–8.5 ounces | Dosage: 2 tablespoons | Type: Plant-based
Vital Proteins is our top choice for collagen. They put extra care into the sourcing of their bovine collagen peptides. In addition to grass-fed bovine collagen, Vital Proteins adds vitamin C to their powder to increase collagen absorption. Add this powder to your favorite liquid, a smoothie, oats, or soups, and dressings for a collagen and protein boost.
Meet the Expert
Melissa Rifkin, MS, RD, CDN, of Melissa Rifkin Nutrition, is a registered dietician specializing in nutritious eating and weight management.
Jonathan Valdez, MBA, RDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist and the owner of Genki Nutrition, which offers telehealth-based disease prevention and weight-management programs.
What to Look for in Collagen Powders
Type and Collagen Source
When buying collagen powder, pay attention to the type and source. Registered dietitian nutritionist Jonathan Valdez explains that there are three main types found in supplements: type I provides bone and skin health, type II supports joints and cartilage, and type III promotes healthy skin and muscle function.
Collagen powder often comes from animal sources, like bovine, pork, or fish. "Bovine, most commonly used, contains type I and II, while fish is primarily type I," says Valdez. "However, fish is better absorbed." There are also vegan options made with marine collagen peptides, rice bran, and coconut milk powder.
According to Rifkin and Valdez, collagen powder should ideally also contain vitamin C. "This nutrient aids in collagen synthesis within the body," Rifkin explains. Some are blended with biotin, which Valdez says supports "healthy skin and hair," as well as glucosamine to "help with bone health."
You'll also find collagen powder containing MCT (medium-chain triglycerides). Derived from coconut oil, the soluble fat is thought to give you an energy boost and improve athletic performance.
Since the FDA doesn't regulate collagen powder, Valdez says to "make sure the supplements are third-party tested." If the product has a stamp of approval from organizations like Informed Choice, USP, NSF, or ConsumerLab.com, he says you can have peace of mind about the safety of the ingredients.
Does collagen powder work?
"Collagen can improve skin elasticity, aid in wound healing, and lower inflammation," says Valdez. "[But] there isn't enough evidence to show it is superior to a balanced diet with adequate protein."
According to Rifkin, collagen powder can be a great source of protein-building amino acids. "Because it aids in the structure of skin, it may possess some beauty benefits too," she adds, explaining that ingesting it could aid in "a more youthful look." The jury's still out on whether collagen powder does everything it claims to do, but in the end, it probably won't hurt.
What does collagen powder do?
The reported benefits of consuming collagen powder are wide-ranging, including weight loss, glowing skin, healthy hair, and joint support. However, more research needs to be done to support anecdotal claims.
How Is collagen powder made?
Collagen supplements are made by extracting the collagen from the connective tissues of animals such as cows, fish, and chickens. Collagen peptides are the broken-down elements of the longer protein chain and are more bioavailable and absorbable by humans in this form.
What can you mix with collagen powder?
Collagen powder can be blended into your daily smoothies, soups, and sauces or added to baked goods, dressings, and marinades. An unflavored collagen powder will be the most versatile in the kitchen.
Why Trust Byrdie
Christina Heiser is a beauty and wellness writer with bylines in Women's Health and Everyday Health. Her work regularly appears on websites, including NBC News and A Sweat Life.
Theresa Holland is a commerce writer and regular Byrdie contributor specializing in skincare, wellness, and workout essentials. She interviewed two registered dietitians for this story. With their expert insight in mind, she compiled the best collagen powders for every use and concern. You can find more of her articles on Travel + Leisure and People.
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Proksch E, Schunck M, Zague V, Segger D, Degwert J, Oesser S. Oral intake of specific bioactive collagen peptides reduces skin wrinkles and increases dermal matrix synthesis. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2014;27(3):113-119. doi:10.1159/000355523
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