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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

60 Models Considered
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best collagen supplements for women

Collagen, a protein in the body, supports much of the body’s function. While the body naturally creates the substance, the quantity of collagen tends to decrease with age. Collagen supplements can help combat the effects of aging, along with supporting joint, bone, and muscle health. Collagen supplements are commonly packaged in either powder or pill form.

Before you purchase a collagen supplement for women, there are important factors to consider. One factor is taste. Protein supplements aren’t known for tasting pleasant, but some are better than others. You also want to think about any added proteins or vitamins, the form of the collagen supplement, quantity, and price.

At BestReviews, we’re happy to help you with your decision. Keep reading our buying guide to learn more about the benefits of collagen supplements for women and the factors that will influence your choice. We’ve included some recommendations, too. We’re confident that you’ll be able to find a supplement that suits your needs best.

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Bovine collagen is often sourced from countries with strong beef industries, including Brazil, Colombia, and Argentina. Marine collagen comes from the coast of France, the waters surrounding Iceland, and other areas in the far Northern Hemisphere.

Key considerations

Type

Collagen is the most plentiful protein in the body. It’s found everywhere from your teeth to your muscles. There are several types of collagen in the body, but the following are prevalent in supplements:

Type I accounts for 90% of your body’s collagen. Consisting of tightly packed fibers, this collagen gives structure to connective tissue, teeth, skin, bones, and fibrous collagen.

Type II is more loosely packed and supports the elastic cartilage that pads joints.

Type III supports arteries, organs, and muscles.

Type IV assists with the filtration process and is commonly found in skin’s layers.

Type V can be found in the placenta of pregnant women.

Type X is also found in cartilage and supports joint and bone health.

While collagen occurs naturally in the body, it does decrease over time. Part of the cause is aging, but additional factors include excessive UV ray exposure, smoking, and excessive sugar consumption. Collagen marketed to women tends to focus on skin rejuvenation, with an emphasis on skin repair and hydration.

Source

Collagen is sourced from connective tissues. While humans create their own, so do other animals. Commercial collagen is sourced in two ways:

Bovine collagen: Sourced from cows, typically hides, bovine collagen is the more popular variety on the market. The process to extract collagen from hides includes breaking down the collagen proteins into smaller amino acids that are easier to consume. Bovine collagen mainly consists of Type I and Type III collagen, supporting joint health, promoting a healthier gut, increasing nail and hair health, and improving recovery time after exercise. This type is easy to find online and in health stores.

Marine collagen: This collagen is sourced from fish and primarily consists of Type I collagen. This collagen protein is derived from scales and skin, which would otherwise be discarded as waste, and processed into smaller amino acids. The environmental impact of harvesting fish skin is relatively low compared to cowhide. A marine collagen is a fine option for pescatarians, those who avoid red meat consumption, or anyone looking to reduce their ecological footprint. Marine collagen is best for beauty and skincare. It’s known to reduce signs of aging, such as wrinkles, along with moisturizing skin and promoting skin and hair health. Collagen from fish is absorbed better than collagen from cows, meaning your body is able to utilize more of it. Marine collagen can be somewhat harder to find than bovine collagen, however.

Other ingredients

Some collagen supplements include extra nutrients to enhance collagen absorption. Vitamin C is a popular additive because it helps to regulate collagen synthesis. Vitamin E can improve the lifespan of cells. Both vitamins are antioxidants, meaning that they protect cells from the oxidation process that weakens otherwise healthy cells. Hyaluronic acid, which retains skin moisture, is sometimes found in marine collagen.

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Did You Know?
Another emerging, popular collagen supplement form is the gummy candy. These are great for people who hate swallowing pills but note that gummies include added sugar.
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Features

Form

Collagen supplements are usually sold in one of two forms: pills or powder. Both have their pros and cons, so your decision largely depends on personal preference.

Pills can be taken quickly. Their size and form make them portable, so you can ingest pills anywhere and bring them with you when traveling. However, not everyone enjoys swallowing pills, especially large ones. Pills may also mean less collagen per dose, so you’ll have to take more than one pill per day, which may not be cost-effective.

Powder is easily mixed into drinks and foods. Popular brands of collagen powder tend to be unflavored, though flavored ones are available. The nice part about collagen powder is that you can control exactly how much you ingest. However, it’s less ideal for folks with busy schedules or those who travel often.

Taste

Taste is primarily a concern for powder supplements. Unflavored powder is more common, but some popular flavors of collagen powder include chocolate, vanilla, and berry. Some people do find the taste of the powder to be chalky, but you can easily disguise that by mixing it into the right drink or food. Be warned that flavored powder has sugar in it, which can be counterproductive if you’re trying to eat more healthfully, too.

Since collagen is sourced from animals, mainly fish and cows, collagen is inherently not vegan. Vegans and vegetarians (non-pescatarians) can supplement the body’s natural collagen production with extra vitamin C.

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Collagen supplement prices

It’s worth investing in quality for anything that you put into your body. As with the majority of health products, you get what you pay for. Expect to spend from $8 to $40 for a collagen supplement for women. The price depends on quantity, form, organic ingredients, and any additives. Generally speaking, $15 to $30 is the sweet spot for a quality women’s collagen supplement.

Inexpensive: For supplements under $8, you can expect to get a bottle of 60 to 90 pills or a 4- to 6-ounce packet of powder. At this price point, it’s less likely that the supplement includes lots of additional nutrients. Note that quite a few supplements require that you take two pills a day, so a supply of 90 will last you about a month and a half. Most of the collagen in this range is the bovine variety

Mid-range: The $10 to $20 range opens up your options for both pills and powder. You’ll find greater quantities, up to 120 pills and about 10 ounces of powder, and more brands sourced from grass-fed, organically raised cows. This is also the range in which you start to encounter more marine collagen.

Expensive: Brands priced at $20 to $30 are more likely to include additional ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid and other anti-aging nutrients. Powder canisters containing 16 ounces are common here, too. Collagen supplements for women that cost over $30 tend to be in bulk quantities (either multiple pill bottles or multiple canisters of powder).

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Did You Know?
Collagen injections are a popular cosmetic procedure known to reduce fine lines and give your skin a plumper appearance. When done well, the effects can last for a few years. These injections are typically limited to the face and provide no holistic body benefits.
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BestReviews

Tips

  • Mix collagen powder in your favorite beverage. If you opt for a powdered collagen supplement for women, you can mix it in coffee, smoothies, or soups to disguise any chalky taste
  • Store collagen supplements correctly. Collagen powder and collagen pills should be stored in a cool, dry place. High-quality collagen may last up to a few years. After the expiration date, the integrity of the product is at risk.
  • Base your dose on your age. For those taking collagen supplements as an anti-aging treatment, note that women under 35 can consume less collagen (between 2.5 and 5 grams should suffice).
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In cosmetic (usually marine) collagen, biotin and silica are sometimes added. Both ingredients are known to support hair and nail growth.

FAQ

Q. Who should avoid collagen supplements?

A. Some collagen supplements are made with shellfish, fish, and eggs, which can trigger allergic reactions. If you’re allergic to any of these, be sure to examine the ingredients label before purchase. 

Q. How much collagen should I take per day?

A. Dosage may vary depending on a number of factors, including diet and overall health. The typical dose is between 3 and 10 grams each day. If you’re unsure of how much you need, we recommend consulting a medical practitioner. 

Q. Do collagen supplements cause any side effects?

A. When taken as suggested, collagen supplements don’t cause any serious side effects, but some people may notice mild digestive discomfort.

 

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