Get the Scoop on Ingestible Collagen Supplements for Your Skin

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Updated 03/11/19
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There’s been a lot of chatter surrounding collagen lately. Many loyalists believe this skin-plumping powerhouse holds the key to glowing, smooth skin. You can’t walk into a beauty retailer without seeing shelves stocked with a slew of collagen-infused topicals. Many ingestible collagen supplements are popping up too. The real question is do these collagen supplements live up to the hype? Well, that depends on who you ask...

Let’s back up for just a second. What exactly is this buzzy ingredient? “Collagen is a structural protein that helps form connective tissue,” explains registered dietitian Brooke Alpert. “In terms of skin, it helps with firmness, suppleness, and strength.” Sounds pretty important, right? It is.

As we grow older, our body’s collagen production decreases. This leads to loss of elasticity and even difficulty retaining moisture. When it comes to combating these issues “boosting collagen is crucial,” maintains dermatologist Dendy Engelman. And that’s where ingestible collagen supplements come in...

“Taking a quality supplement can have many benefits, from improving skin health to encouraging muscle repair,” says Alpert.

Of course, there’s no such thing as a magic pill. (Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.) And as is the case with many wellness trends, clinical research is inconclusive. On the flip side, there’s a contingency of die-hard fans who sing the praises of collagen supplements.

Something else to keep in mind is that you may notice results after about one month—so start your regimen well before your wedding date. “No need to get discouraged if you don't see immediate results,” cautions Heather Andersen, founder of New York Pilates. “After about four weeks, I noticed smoother skin and had more energy throughout the day.”

Want to give supplements a try? Anderson recommends a non-GMO, hydrolyzed collagen. (Smaller molecules are more easily and efficiently absorbed.) Dr. Engelman prefers powder form. Her top pick? Reserveage Nutrition Collagen Replenish. “It’s tasteless and easy to mix into something you’re already sipping, whether that’s a cup of coffee or green juice.”

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You can find flavored versions as well. “Vital Proteins Matcha Collagen is one of my favorites,” says Alpert. Bulletproof also offers a chocolate option that’s quite tasty.

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Also available? Drinks such as Skinade, gummies, and easy-to-swallow capsules like Body Kitchen Peptide Fortified Collagen Youthful Beauty Capsules.

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Hungry for more? Snack on Primal Kitchen Macadamia Sea Salt Grass-Fed Collagen Bars.

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Rounding out the ever-growing list is Hum Nutrition Collagen Pop, a marine-based tablet that dissolves in water.

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So what’s the final verdict? Well, the jury’s still out. But if you have a couple extra bucks in your monthly beauty budget, the potential pros make trying ingestible collagen supplements worth it.

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