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As you scroll through Instagram, every glowing influencer is raving about the benefits of collagen and how it has “changed my life!” Can collagen supplements really revolutionize your skin? We’ve tried everything, and collagen is the easiest and most effective way to see results and transform your skin. This anti-inflammatory supplement is easy to add into your daily routine, and you don’t have to add another topical product to your already-exhaustive skincare routine.

You may have seen collagen as an ingredient in some of your beauty products before, but we’re talking about adding a collagen powder to your morning smoothie or oatmeal. Taking a collagen supplement transforms your beauty from the inside out.

What is collagen?

Collagen is a fibrous protein that is very abundant in the animal kingdom—there are at least sixteen different types that all help to make up the structure of our skin, bone, cartilage, and muscle. Our own bodies create collagen that helps us build elasticity and withstand stretching. As we age our fibroblasts produce less collagen, which is why we wrinkle. This is where a collagen supplement can help.

How does collagen transform the skin?

According to Rob Maru, a holistic nutritionist, collagen can prevent skin aging, promote skin hydration, reduce facial lines and wrinkling, reduce eye wrinkle depth, boost skin elasticity, and infuse the skin dermis with more collagen. So go ahead and join your insta-famous beauty experts and take collagen supplements for healthier and stronger nails, brighter skin, softer and more luxurious hair, and even less joint pain!

Why take collagen supplements versus topical products?

When you take an oral collagen supplement, the collagen absorbs into the GI tract, circulates in the blood, and then is absorbed into the skin. It’s as if the body is literally producing more collagen naturally, no matter your age. Topical collagen may result in short-term benefits, but it does not penetrate deep enough into the skin.

How do I choose a collagen supplement?

Make sure your collagen powder has Vitamin C, which is essential for collagen formation in the body. Look for a powder with hyaluronic acid, which like collagen, decreases in the body as we age. Hyaluronic acid helps the skin stay supple and hydrated. For optimal health benefits look for marine collagen (which has been heavily tested and science-backed) or organic, grass-fed collagen.

What if I’m vegetarian or vegan?

There is no substitute for collagen, and it is an animal product. However, you can still load up on Vitamin C and amino acids like glycine, proline, and lysine. These can help the body naturally produce more collagen. You can also try a vegan topical collagen that is sourced from algae, like Genius Liquid Collagen.

Okay, so where do I get my collagen?

Primal Kitchen offers fun ways to incorporate collagen into your diet, like their Collagen Nut & Seed Bars, or their Collagen Protein powders. For marine collagen try Amandean’s Wild-Caught Fish Marine Collagen. And perhaps the most popular brand of all, Vital Proteins offers a grass-fed, pasture-raised collagen peptides supplement.