Collagen can introduce vitality back into sagging skin. Did you know that collagen production begins to dip dramatically starting at age 20? In fact, we're all losing about 1% of our collagen each year after we turn 20. This is a concern that's on the minds of many people who are interested in maintaining a healthy, youthful appearance.
You'd be surprised to learn just how many people seek my advice as a certified nutritionist (specializing in macro coaching) when choosing collagen for weight loss, women's collagen powder, collagen gummies, and much more.
Many turn to collagen supplements for sagging skin after learning that eating healthy food and staying active aren't always enough to make up for collagen loss. In this article, I'm going to help you choose a collagen supplement that can potentially help your sagging skin.
Quick Summary of the Top Collagen Supplements For Sagging Skin
Healthier skin, enhanced youthfulness
Collagen Matrix, Type I, II, III, V & X
4.9/5 (Over 3,700 reviews)
For Skin, hair and joint health
Grass fed bovine peptides, Type I & III Collagen Mix
4.9/5 (Over 400 reviews)
Supports skin elasticity
Grass-fed and pasture-raised. Types I & III Bovine
4.8/5 (Over 7,800 reviews)
Multi collagen complex
4.5/5 (Over 10,000 reviews)
Youthful skin, healthier skin, healthier weight
Multi-collagen complex, apple cider vinegar, hyaluronic acid
4.6/5 (Over 4,400 reviews)
Skin, hair, nail + joint support
Hydrolyzed collagen from bovine hide
4.6/5 (Over 8,200 reviews)
Healthier skin, hair and nails
Hydrolyzed collagen bovine
4.9/5 (Over 300 reviews)
What Is Collagen?
We all produce collagen. Unfortunately, the steady rush of collagen production that keeps our skin so soft and supple in our younger years hits a cliff in adulthood that can leave us with sagging, dull skin. Collagen is a protein found in the bones, muscles, skin, and tendons that plays a key role in forming new cells.
Does Collagen Tighten Loose Skin?
"Collagen is what keeps our skin from sagging, giving us that plump, youthful look," according to dermatologist Dr. Ohara Aivaz. Collagen serves as a main building block for bones, skin, hair, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Supplementing with collagen has been shown to help restore skin's tightness and suppleness. However, there's an important distinction to be made.
Many brands offer collagen creams and ointments that supposedly help to restore collagen. The truth is that collagen isn't something that can be absorbed into the skin topically. Only supplementing with collagen products that are digested appears to have a noticeable benefit for increasing collagen production in the skin.
A 2019 study on how a collagen supplement improves skin hydration, elasticity, roughness, and density found that collagen peptides taken orally allowed the effects to reach deeper layers of the skin for sustainably improved skin physiology and appearance. In addition, collagen produced long-lasting and cosmetically relevant regeneration of the skin. A study from 2022 on the benefits of collagen supplements for aging and wrinkles found that oral collagen can contribute to reducing or delaying skin aging.
What to Look for in a Collagen Supplement Before Buying
Collagen may bring you one step closer to getting back to that firm and resilient skin of your youth. However, it's easy to waste your time with products that don't deliver when you don't know how to shop for collagen supplements. Let's cover the big points to keep in mind while making a choice.
Trust: Brand Transparency
The problem that happens whenever there's new data released on the effectiveness of any supplement is that brands will pop up out of nowhere to try to cash in on the "craze." While collagen supplements produce well-researched benefits, not every brand formulates their products with the quality needed to actually get those benefits. Make sure you're buying from a real and reputable brand with experience in the health and wellness space.
I tend to trust supplement companies based on how transparent they are. Is a brand openly sharing their ingredient list? This is a great sign. Many brands will also be fully transparent about how they source their ingredients.
Ingredients Quality: Third-Party Tested Ingredients
You want the best of the best when you're taking a supplement to improve skin. Quality ingredients that are configured for high bioavailability will ensure that you're not wasting your time and money. It's also a great sign when a company subjects its products to third-party quality testing.
Rating: Average Customer Rating and Positive Results
The benefit of shopping for supplements today that people didn't have 15 or 20 years ago is that we can make decisions based on social proof. Many supplement brands with confidence in their products actually allow for open comment threads directly on their product pages because they are so confident that customers will only have glowing things to say. Always take time to check out real customer reviews and ratings. In addition to giving you an idea of a product's effectiveness, reviews also help to shape your expectations based on the results and experiences shared by real customers.
The Seven Best Collagen Supplements for Sagging Skin
I was able to pinpoint seven collagen supplements that really stand out from the pack for offering sensational formulations that are capable of producing those research-backed results that are credited to collagen. All of these products come from reputable companies that offer quality ingredients with a refreshing degree of transparency. Let's see if any of them offer exactly what you're looking for as you slide into collagen supplementation.
#1: 1st Phorm Collagen With Dermaval™
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What is Dermaval™ all about? This is the question many of my own clients have definitely asked. 1st Phorm Collagen With Dermaval is a phytonutrient-rich complex that serves the exciting purpose of helping to retain healthy elastin levels in the body. Elastin is a great companion to collagen because it's responsible for skin's firmness and elasticity.
The ingredient list is very clean on this one. All varieties feature Dermaval™ and a collagen matrix. The flavored options add cocoa powder, natural flavors, and sucralose. If you want to go totally pure, just choose the unflavored option because it only contains Dermaval™ and collagen.
The collagen in this supplement's collagen matrix comes from bovine collagen, fish collagen, chicken collagen, and egg collagen. The protein amount is 15g for 60 calories. In addition, you're getting 18 essential amino acids.
- Available in chocolate, French vanilla, salted caramel, peppermint mocha, or unflavored.
- Great collagen sources.
- Dermaval™ is a skin powerhouse for firmness and elasticity.
- The flavors are so tasty that people use them instead of coffee creamer.
- No regular discounts for subscribing.
#2: Primal Harvest Collagen Powder
I'm a big fan of what Primal Harvest has created. In fact, this is a top pick for anyone looking for a wholesome, holistic collagen powder with impeccably sourced ingredients. You're looking at collagen sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised sources. No hormones or antibiotics are ever used! (Read our full review)
Something that stands out to me about this one is that it actually offers some of the best ingredients while also being one of the cheapest collagen products to buy. The protein amount is 9 g for 35 calories. The formula also contains 19 amino acids with nine essential amino acids.
One interesting tidbit about this collagen formula is that Primal Harvest uses something called GelcoPEP®. The benefit is that GelcoPEP® helps with instant mixing to make this a very palatable option that dissolves completely into whatever you're drinking for a total flavor-neutral, smell-neutral experience.
Every serving contains 10g of ultra-premium hydrolyzed collagen packed with essential amino acids.
- Generous discount when you subscribe.
- Very low in calories.
- Very clean ingredient list that's free of soy, gluten, and additives.
- Zero taste for people who just want something that dissolves in liquid.
- 9 g protein is on the low side.
- No flavor options.
#3: LiveConsious Collagen Peptides
This is another really affordable collagen supplement that packs in such great nutrients! It contains only bovine collagen sourced from grass-fed, non-GMO, and Grade-A bovine. The protein content is 10 g for 40 calories. Each serving also contains 19 amino acids.
LiveConsious Collagen Peptides really offers an incredible value because it uses high-quality ingredients that are third-party tested for half of what high-end collagen supplements cost. The powder dissolves easily without leaving any taste or odor!
- Low price with additional savings when you subscribe.
- Collagen sourced from high-quality bovine.
- Zero fillers.
- Dissolves easily and cleanly.
- No flavors available.
- While the protein level is respectable, it's on the lower side.
#4: Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen
This one immediately caught my attention because it adds vitamin C to collagen. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that fights harmful toxins that age your skin. The second thing that caught my attention is that this is technically a probiotic collagen powder.
Yes, Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen protein works some serious magic by adding 2 billion CFU per serving of Bacillus coagulans. This gets me excited because health issues caused by a lack of healthy gut bacteria are so common today! Getting your gut health in balance can absolutely help with skin sagging because you'll actually be properly absorbing all of the nutrients you're eating. The added bonus is that correcting gut imbalances with antibiotics can also help with everything from your mood to your immune system.
This formula sources its collagen from bovine hide collagen peptides, fermented eggshell, fish, and chicken bone broth. You're getting 9 g of protein for 35 calories. Finally, I want to highlight that this brand is hard to top when it comes to flavors. Ancient Nutrition collagen powder is available in vanilla, strawberry lemonade, chocolate, cucumber lime, and cold brew. There's also an unflavored option.
- Contains Bacillus coagulans to restore gut health.
- Vitamin C to fight free radicals and oxidative stress that cause aging.
- Quality collagen sources.
- Amazing flavor varieties to satisfy every taste!
- A slightly pricier option.
#5: SkinnyFit Super Youth Collagen Powder
Skinny Fit Super Youth is my pick for a "superfood" collagen supplement. However, I will reveal that this is a premium collagen powder that actually costs about two to three times the cost of most of the other powders on my list. What makes it so special? SkinnyFit adds vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and apple cider vinegar to collagen sourced from pasture-raised cows, cage-free chickens, and wild-caught fish. This blend is rich with amino acids.
Hyaluronic acid is such a powerhouse for skin. While you may have heard of hyaluronic acid being added to beauty products, it's actually naturally found in our bodies as a lubricant for joints and tissues. It also helps to reduce inflammation and swelling. Apple cider vinegar offers benefits for everything from detoxification to fat burning. Finally, vitamin C is full of antioxidants that fight free radicals that cause aging. Another thing that really impresses me is that this formula's protein amount is 15 g for just 60 calories.
- Collagen complex sourced from grass-fed, cage-free, and wild-caught sources.
- A "complete" skin supplement with hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and apple cider vinegar.
- 15 g protein.
- Sweetened with stevia. While some people love it, it's not everyone's cup of tea,
- Pricey. However, you get a nice deal when you subscribe to save 25%.
- No flavors.
#6: Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
Vital Proteins impresses me because of the way it uses hyaluronic acid and vitamin C in conjunction with bovine hide collagen peptides. That's the entire ingredient list! You're also getting 19 amino acids. Of course, this formula really outshines the others when it comes to protein. The protein content is 18 g for just 70 calories. This also happens to be one of the few collagen supplements approved for Whole30 and paleo diets. It dissolves into coffee, smoothies, and more like a dream without adding any flavor or texture. While Vital Proteins is considered a premium brand, this collagen powder is one of the cheapest on the market today.
- Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid in an affordable product.
- Zero filler.
- 18 g protein!
- Big discounts when you subscribe.
- No flavors available.
#7: Further Food Collagen
It doesn't get cleaner than this collagen powder. It features only bovine collagen peptides sourced from South America. This is a flavorless, odorless powder that seamlessly blends into hot and cold drinks. It contains 18 amino acids.
I'm excited about how clean this collagen powder is because I know that many people want truly filler-free collagen. The only part that leaves me less than dazzled is that the protein level is a little low at 9 g. However, this powder is 29 calories per serving.
- So clean! The only ingredient is collagen powder from South American bovine.
- Practically no calories.
- Low price.
- 15% off when you subscribe.
- No flavors available.
- 9 g protein is on the lower side.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let's take a look at some common questions I get with my best answers for them.
Is Collagen One Of The Best Supplements for Sagging Skin? Why?
Yes! Collagen is one of the key building blocks for tissue. Due to the fact that collagen levels naturally decline every year after the age of 20, we all experience sagging skin as the most common sign of aging. No amount of diet or exercise can restore skin's firmness. Only collagen can do that. Supplementing with collagen allows you to bring your collagen levels closer to where they were during your fresh-faced years for increased cell renewal.
Can Collagen Reverse Sagging Skin?
Collagen has been shown to increase skin's firmness and elasticity in studies! While no supplement can completely turn back the clock, collagen can help to restore cellular renewal to ensure that "young" tissue is being created to help hold skin in place.
How Do I Get Rid of Saggy Skin?
Collagen is one way to get rid of saggy skin. Some collagen supplements also contain elastin that improves skin's elasticity to combat stretching and sagging. In addition, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid are known to protect the skin from oxidative stress and free radicals that create sagging. There are many creams, ointments, injections, and procedures that promise to tighten skin. However, research shows that ingesting collagen and other tissue-supporting supplements is more effective than topical application.
How Can I Naturally Tighten My Skin?
Many people use firming creams, skin-tightening masks, and exercises to tighten skin naturally. Some other ways to tighten skin include drinking enough water daily, exfoliating skin weekly to remove dead skills, staying out of the sun, and applying moisturizer daily. Collagen peptide supplements can also naturally tighten skin by restoring depleted collagen levels from the inside!
The Bottom Line
Research shows that eating collagen really can "show up on your face." Collagen peptide supplements may provide the best way to fight the inevitable skin sagging that comes with age. When brands add in skin powerhouses like vitamin C, elastin, and hyaluronic acid, you can probably expect to see even more dramatic results relatively quickly.
Something that makes me "pro collagen" as a nutritionist is that these supplements all contain generous amounts of protein. With protein levels going as high as 18 g per scoop, collagen peptide powder can help to boost the amount of daily protein you get from lean, natural sources without having to actually add in an extra snack.
While these aren't intended to be meal supplements, I do love the way that the extra protein can ultimately help to build healthy muscles that will keep your musculoskeletal system protected from sagging.
Our Top Recommendations
Tips for Success from the Nutritionist
The fact that you're taking collagen should not be seen as a "free pass" to be relaxed about other health choices. The focus should still be on getting plenty of lean proteins from animal and plant sources. Eating a diet that's high in antioxidants is so important for preventing collagen breakdown. In addition, you want to continue to focus on staying hydrated.
One of the nice things about collagen powders is that you'll have a built-in reason to consume a cup of liquid every day when you take yours! It might also be a good idea to talk with a dermatologist about sagging skin if you're trying to improve your skin.
While diet and supplementation are the core ways to transform skin from the inside to prevent sagging, you may be given some great tips by a dermatologist for protecting and nourishing your skin.
I'm not a dermatologist, but the one thing I do know for certain is that UV exposure actually breaks down collagen in the skin. Keep wearing that sunscreen daily to help make your collagen supplements do even more good work!