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Our Recommendations For The Best Collagen Powders On The Market Today

Unless you’ve been avoiding the grocery store for the last decade, you’ve heard of this buzzy ingredient. But do you know what all the noise is about? This collagen 101 guide is here to clue you in. 

Before we get any further: Note that while research has shown that collagen supplementation can be beneficial from a skin-, joint-, and bone- health standpoint (more on these below), before taking any supplement you need to talk with your healthcare provider to make sure the supplement you’re eyeballing won’t interfere with any medications you’re already taking. This rule stands for collagen supplements. 

What Is Collagen, Exactly? 

The short answer: protein. Accounting for about third of the structural protein in the animal bodies (yes, this includes humans!) collagen acts as super-glue holding our connective tissues (i.e. hair,  skin, nails, muscles, and blood vessels) together. 

In fact, according to Dr. Josh Axe, D.N.M., C.N.S., D.C., founder of Ancient Nutrition and author of the best-selling book The Freelance RD assures: “This decline is completely normal and a natural part of human aging.” But this dip is also one of the (if not THE) main reasons wrinkles, joint issues, and brittle bones set in as the number of birthday’s we’ve celebrated climbs. 

Knowing this, it’s easy to understand why collagen supplements have garnered so much attention. Luckily, health experts and research say they actually work.  

Wondering how? Well, like all kinds of protein, collagen protein is made up of itty-bitty building blocks called amino acids, explains Licensed Medical Acupuncturist and Holistic Health Expert Jamie Bacharach, Head of Practice, at Acupuncture Jerusalem. When we ingest collagen protein, the gastrointestinal tract breaks it down into amino acids which get absorbed into our bloodstream distributed throughout the body.  

It’s not “whole” collagen protein molecules that are getting used by the body, she says. “It’s protein’s building blocks—amino acids—that are giving us the benefit.” 

The Different Types Of Collagen Supplements 

In addition to types of collagen, there are sources of collagen: bovine collagen, marine collagen, chicken collagen, eggshell membrane collagen, or plant-based collagen. 

Most collagen supplement labels will include both the type of collagen and the source. But if not, your particular goal in supplementing should be your guiding factor. 

Dr. Axe explains: Bovine and marine collagen supplements are both packed with Type I and Type III collagen. So, if you’re looking to reap skin, bone, or muscle health benefits, you want a collagen supplement with both types. If however, you’re interested in improving your joint health, he recommends chicken collagen which is rich in Type II collagen, or egg membrane collagen, which is abundant in Type V.  

Collagen supplements are available in three forms: peptides (powder), gelatin, and raw. As of yet, there’s been limited research comparing the bioavailability of these forms in humans. Though, one small 2019 study published in Frontiers In Nutrition suggests that there’s no difference in bioavailability between peptides and gelatin. 

The 5 Main Benefits Of Collagen Supplements 

1. Decreased Wrinkle-Depth  

Sashay down the cosmetic aisle of your local CVS and you’ll notice a handful of topical products with collagen claiming to improve skin appearance. To paraphrase dermatologist Heather Woolery-Lloyd, MD, founder of Specific Beauty, a skincare line formulated to brighten and correct dark spots in melanin-rich skin, these products are a hoax. 

“Topical collagen products may offer moisturization,” she says. “But the collagen in topical skincare products are too large to penetrate the skin’s top layer.” 

Where you might find success, however, is the supplement aisle. 

“There are a few published studies demonstrating skin benefits from oral collagen consumption,” says Dr. Woolery-Lloyd. For instance, in one 2018 study published in the journal Nutrients, found that those who supplemented with 100 mg of collagen peptides once daily for 12 weeks showed improved skin hydration and elasticity, reduced wrinkling and elasticity compared to those who supplemented with the placebo. 

A second, larger study published in 2015 in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology had similar findings, with researchers concluding that oral supplementation of collagen peptides “is efficacious to improve hallmarks of skin aging.”  

And so did a third, which studied a commercial available collagen product known as Verisol® (info on where to purchase this supplement below). 

2. Reduced Appearance Of Cellulite

It’s not just the skin on your face collagen supports. As it happens, collagen may also help reduce the appearance of cellulite. 

For example, in one 2015 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, 105 women were split into two groups: Those who received bioactive collagen peptides and those who received a placebo. These participants’ cellulite was measured at start, and then again after three and six months. 

The findings? Those who consumed collagen showed a statistically significant decrease in the degree of cellulite, reduced skin “waviness” on thighs, and improved dermal density compared to those on the placebo. 

3. Slashed Joint Pain And Stiffness

Yes and yes. At time of publication, there have only been a few studies published on the topic. But all have pointed towards a positive benefit. 

One study in the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition in 2013, for instance, found that people with joint pain or mobility who supplemented with Type II collagen—again, that’s the type found in (and good for) your joints—for 4 consecutive months significantly improved joint function. 

In fact, research published in the Journal of The Science of Food and Agriculture in 2014 found that collagen supplementation can actually reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis—a condition that marked by the degeneration of joint cartilage that causes pain and stiffness, especially in the hip, knee, and thumb joints—in as little as 13 weeks. 

Some good news for athletes: Other research published in 2008 in Current Medical Research and Opinion found that when college athletes consistently supplemented with collagen for 24 weeks, they saw a reduction in performance-limiting joint pain. In other words, you don’t have to celebrate a quarter-century on earth or already suffer from joint ailments to reap the joint perks of the buzzy ingredient. 

4. Bolstered Bone Density

Just as the claims that collagen supports joint health are supported, so too are those that saying collagen benefits bone density. 

Case and point: One study published in Nutrients in 2018 found that 12 months of daily collagen peptide supplementation increased the bone mineral density in postmenopausal women with primary, age-related reduction of bone density. 

Another study also found that collagen supplementation may improve bone density, though there was no consensus on dosage or time-frame. 

5. May Support Overall Muscle Mass

“Whenever we think about supporting muscle mass, protein is essential,” says Lansman. 

While there’s no research showing that collage protein powder is better than any kind of protein powder from a muscle-preservation standpoint, one small study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, did find that collagen supplementation preserved lean muscle in women over the age of 70. 

It’s worth noting, however, that unlike other popular protein powders like whey and hemp, collagen is not a complete protein. Meaning, it does not contain nine of the essential amino acids our body needs to build muscle-supporting protein. Missing tryptophan, it only includes eight. 

To reap collagen’s benefits and give your body all the aminos it needs to support muscle growth and recovery, many experts suggest opting for a collagen-whey protein mix. “You might also vary your protein throughout the day to guarantee that over the course of the day you’re getting all the aminos you need.”

How To Supplement With Collagen 

Collagen is not a shot of espresso or smear of concealer. You won’t be able to feel or see it’s benefits immediately. On the contrary, it’s generally going to take two to six months of consistent collagen ingestion for benefit. 

Though what your intention is may decrease or increase your expected timeline. For instance, improved skin appearance was documented in one study to appear in as little as four weeks, while improved bone density may take up to twelve months

Guidance on effective daily dosages varies by type of collagen. For instance, researchers have found that an effective daily dose for Types I and III is between 2.5g and 10g. For Type II collagen, you can go with a much smaller dose per day of 40mg

Many collagen protein supplements contain other ingredients. To know exactly how much collagen you’re getting, read the ingredient list carefully. 

A Brief Note On Verisol

Verisol is a proprietary collagen that some collagen supplements use. We like Verisol-based collagen powders the most because it was used in the only placebo-controlled clinical trials that showed promising results for collagen. In fact, Health Canada—the department of Canada’s government responsible for its health policy—has issued Verisol with a Natural Product Number (NPN), which they only give to products they’ve tested and found to be “safe, effective, and high quality.”


The Best Collagen Powder Supplements

With the case for collagen laid out, let’s answer the question that brought you here in the first place: What’s the best collagen protein powder and supplement on the market? Because everyone’s wellness wants and dietary needs differ, we’ve decided to recommend based on categories like “Best marine collagen”, “Best collagen for wrinkles and aging”, “Best collagen for joint strength,” and so on.


Collagen brandTypeGrams collagen per servingPrice per gram
Promix Unflavored Collagen PeptidesI and III20$0.48
Vital Proteins Marine CollagenI and III12$2.00
Organixx Clean Sourced CollagenI, II, III, V, and X8.5$0.24
Besha Collagen PeptidesI and III2.9$0.16
Kalumi Beauty Collagen BarsI and III12$0.55
Physician’s Choice Bioactive Collagen I and III2.5$0.26
We calculate price per gram according to ingredient labels: multiply grams of collagen per serving by total number of servings, and divide the price by that product. Note: type II products not included in table due to major difference in recommended dosage.
best collagen powder recommendation

Our recommendation: most trustworthy and best value

Besha Collagen Peptides With Verisol

2.9 g Verisol collagen per serving

Besha has a lot going for it, and one potential drawback. It uses Verisol collagen, which in our view is the most trustworthy proprietary collagen, as it’s the only one used in placebo-controlled clinical trials. It’s also far and away the most affordable collagen on this review. You can see a shopper or two complaining about the price on Amazon, but they just didn’t do the math here—Besha is on the more inexpensive side, charging just $0.16 per collagen gram. The only potential drawback is that the serving size is on the smaller side of the daily recommended dosage, which is from 2.5g to 10g. But you can correct that by just taking more.


best cage free collagen

Types I, II, III, V, and X

Organixx Clean Sourced Collagen

Best grass-fed, wild-caught, antibiotic-free collagen source

  • 8.5 grams collagen per serving
  • 20 1-scoop servings per package
  • 8 grams of protein, 0 grams of sugar, 35 calories per serving 
  • Type I, Type II, Type III, Type V, and Type X
  • Combines Bovine collagen, marine collagen, antibiotic-free chicken collagen, and eggshell membrane collagen
  • Added tryptophan to become complete protein
  • Contains Vitamin C and zinc for natural collagen production 
  • Non-GMO, yeast-free, preservatives-free, starch-free, gluten-free, dairy-free
  • Discount available with monthly subscription
  • Eco-friendly packaging 

Introducing the only collagen product on the list with all five types of collagen: Clean Sourced Collagens. By combining collagen sourced from four different sources (beef, fish, antibiotic-free chicken, and eggshell membranes), this powder provides more different types of collagen than any other product on this list. What makes this option especially noteworthy however is that it’s formulated with 140 grams per serving of tryptophan, making it a complete protein source. Meaning, it’s an A+ option post-workout. 


Marine Collagen: Type I and III

Vital Proteins Marine Collagen

Best marine collagen powder

  • 12 grams collagen per serving
  • 18 2-scoop servings per 8-ounce container 
  • 11 grams of protein per serving 
  • Marine Collagen
  • Manufactured in the USA 
  • Easily dissolves in water

Made from wild-caught cod from the North Atlantic Ocean, Vital Proteins collagen peptide powder is a great way for those who avoid red meat to get a dose of skin-boosting, joint-supporting Type I and Type III collagen.


best collagen powder

Top Choice: Type I and III

Promix Unflavored Collagen Peptides

Best collagen protein powder

  • 20 grams collagen per serving
  • 20 grams of protein, 0 grams of sugar, 80 calories per serving
  • Bovine collagen
  • Type I and III
  • Non-GMO, Corn-free, soy-free, gluten free
  • No additives, chemicals, or hormones
  • Available in 1 pound, 2.5 pound, or 5 pound bags
  • Can purchase single-serving pouches for convenience

No doubt, with only one ingredient: 100% percent collagen made from a grass-fed bovine protein, Promix takes the cake. As bioavailable as it is flavorless (read: very), this collagen supplement will pack a protein-punch (20 grams per serving) to your smoothies, teas, and cakes—without ruining the taste. 


besha collagen peptides review

Best Value | Type I and III | uses Verisol

Besha Collagen Peptides with Verisol

Best collagen peptides powder for aging, skin and nails

  • 2.9 grams collagen per serving
  • 62 two-teaspoon servings per (large) container
  • 2.61 grams of protein, 0 grams of sugar, 10 calories per serving
  • Type I and Type III
  • Bovine Collagen
  • Discount available with monthly subscription
  • Made in Germany
  • Mixes easily with water, hot or cold 

Its jar might be wack, but don’t bulldoze over Besha. This high quality collagen peptide supplement also contains the science-backed formulation for beauty benefits: Verisol. Made to promote nail, hair, and skin health, Besha’s a great pick for anyone looking to combat brittle hair and nails or thinning hair. Best part? It costs less than 47 cents per serving. 


best collagen bar

Marine collagen | Type I and III

Kalumi Beauty Collagen Bars

Best Collagen Bar

  • 12 grams collagen per serving
  • 9 bars per box
  • 15 grams of protein, 5 grams of sugar, 220 calories per serving
  • Marine Collagen
  • Type I and Type III
  • Non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free
  • Contains common-allergens cashews and fish
  • Contains Vitamin C for natural collagen production
  • Discount available with monthly subscription
  • Also available in flavors Sweetie Pie and Lemon Love 

Always on the go? Don’t want to bother making your own collagen-rich baked goods? The Kalumi beauty bar is for you. With 12 grams of Marine collagen protein per bar, as well as filling, nutrient-rich  ingredients like almond butter and sweet potato. Thanks to the sweet potato, the bar also contains 7 out of the 25 grams of fiber people need each day for optimal digestion as well as a bit of Vitamin C. 


More Collagen Products You Might Want To Try

best collagen for wrinkles

Great Value | Type I and III | uses Verisol

Physician’s Choice Bioactive Collagen Peptide with Verisol

Best collagen pills for wrinkles and aging

  • 2.5 grams Verisol collagen per serving
  • 30 5-pill servings per 150 pills per bottle
  • Types I and Type III
  • Bovine Collagen
  • Scientifically proven to reduce wrinkle depth and increase nail length
  • Manufactured in the USA
  • Third party tested 

Prefer to swollen, rather than gulp, your supplements? Trust science? Check out Physicians Choice Collagen capsules. Made from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine, this option contains a type of Verisol Peptide collagen which has been shown time and time again to reduce wrinkle depth by twenty percent and increase nail durability. 

Important: The marketing may suggest that it’s only for women. But really, anyone of any gender and sex can enjoy and reap the benefits of this collagen supplement. 


best collagen for joints

Type II

Now Supplements UC-II For Joint Health 

Best collagen supplement for joint pain and joint strength

  • 40 mg Type II collagen per serving
  • Type II
  • Chicken Collagen
  • Discount available with monthly subscription
  • Kosher, Non-GMO, Soy Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Made without Gluten, Nut Free, Sugar Free
  • Scientifically proven to improve joint health 
  • Packaged in the USA
  • GMP Quality Assured

Quit those creaky knees and hips with Now Supplements collagen offering. Known as the gold standard for joint health, UC-II has been scientifically shown to promote joint comfort, as well as healthy joint function and flexibility. In fact, if you scroll back up to the section on joint health and check out the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition study, you’ll see that UC-II was actually the supplement used. 


Editor’s note: we are regularly updating this review. If you see any problems, weird interpretations of the data, or just want to say hi, please reach out to hello@the-unwinder.com.

About the author

Gabrielle Kassel is a wellness and sex journalist and pleasure-advocate who is currently training to become a certified sex educator. In addition to The Unwinder, her work has appeared in publications such as Cosmopolitan, Healthline, Well & Good, Health, Shape, Women’s Health, Greatist, and more. In her free time, Gabrielle can be found bench-pressing, sexting, or yep, reviewing wellness products. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @gabriellekassel.

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