Total Shape is a reader-supported site. Purchases made through links may earn a commission. Learn more.

What’s the Best Collagen Supplement for Skin, Hair, Joints, and Nails?

Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: August 14, 2021

The one thing I’ve never liked about powdered protein or collagen is that, in most cases, the taste is pretty bad. That’s why I switched to collagen supplements in capsule form years ago.

One thing you have to be careful about, though, is picking the right product for your personal goals.

Why’s that?

There are different collagen types, and some of them are good for your skin, while others may help with joints and nails.

So, we spent about three months testing different products to see if we could come up with a list of the best collagen supplements. We'll skip the powders in this article and focus on the pill.

Here’s what we found.

10 Best Collagen Supplements

1 - Purely Optimal Collagen Complex (Editor's Choice)

Purely Optimal Collagen Complex

Purely Optimal Collagen Complex deserves the first place on our list of the best collagen supplements. What we love about their Collagen Complex is the fact that its bovine collagen source is grass-fed. It has 5 different types of collagen, all packed into one easy-to-swallow pill.

It also works to strengthen bones with a formula entirely free of GMOs.

Assuming you aren’t allergic to any of the ingredients within this collagen supplement, Collagen Complex is considered one of the most trustworthy and effective supplements around.

  • Dose: 1,500 mg
Pros
  • Easy-to-swallow capsules
  • Claimed to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and stretch marks
  • Helps protect bones and joints
  • Contains 5 major collagen types
Cons
  • It may cause an allergic reaction in some users

2 - Dr. Emil's Nutrition Multi-Collagen Plus

Dr. Emil's Nutrition MultiCollagen Plus

First on our list of best collagen supplements is this one from Dr. Emil’s. Based on reviews, we found that this may have the best all-round effects due to a full range of collagen types and a high dose, sourced from chicken bone broth.

We also found that the capsules seem easy to swallow. If you're not a fan of powdered supplements, this collagen hydrolysate the one to try.

  • Dose: 1,735mg
Pros
  • Claims to contain collagen type 1, 2, 3, 5 & 10
  • May work well for joint, hair, skin, and nails
  • Non GMO and no unnecessary fillers
  • Comes in easy to swallow capsules
Cons
  • Full dose requires three capsules in one go

3 - Caribou Nutrition Multi-Collagen Pills

Caribou Nutrition Multi Collagen Supplements From Grass Fed Bovine Collagen Sources

Caribou has aimed to create a collagen supplement with a broad mix of sources, including grass fed, pasture raised cows.

This may provide a higher purity that many reviewers say is improving the vibrance of their skin, hair, and nails.

There are also reports that it might support your gut health and digestion.

  • Dose: 2,000 mg
Pros
  • Uses a unique blend of chicken, grass fed bovine, and marine collagen
  • Some positive reports that it may help with joint pain
  • May also help to boost stomach and gut health
Cons
  • It’s not cheap

4 - Orphic Nutrition Premium Collagen Peptides

Orphic Nutrition Premium Collagen Peptides

What stood out for us with this product is that there were a lot of reviews that made positive statements about the collagen peptides helping with joint and back pain.

The vital proteins it provides, seem to target soft tissue in those areas [1].

  • Dose: 1,500 mg
Pros
  • Seems to work well for skin, hair, and nails
  • Doesn’t leave a smell or aftertaste
  • Online comments are positive about joint and back pain relief
Cons
  • Pills seem to be quite large

5 - Youtheory Collagen

Youtheory Collagen

This is one of the few collagen supplements we found with the added bonus of some vitamin C.

It’s also one of the highest doses we could find, which might make it suitable for anyone with significant joint issues.

Just keep in mind that it might not be as effective for your skin and nails.

  • Dose: 6,000 mg
Pros
  • Might be the most suitable for joint issues due to high dose
  • Contains some added vitamin C
  • Dairy, soy, and gluten free option to avoid allergies
Cons
  • Only contains three types of collagen

6 - Physician's Choice Bioactive Collagen Pills

Physician's Choice Collagen Peptides Powder

This is a product that has been created for anti-aging benefits in women. We noted in quite a few reviews that it might help to improve skin elasticity within about four weeks.

It has some vitamin C mixed with it, so it may also help with immunity.

The supplement may also improve your joints and reduce inflammation. But for the full dose, you’ll need to swallow five pills.

  • Dose: 2,500 mg
Pros
  • Specifically formulated for women to help with the appearance of skin and hair
  • Reports of it showing improvements within four weeks
  • The vitamin c and grass fed source of bovine collagen should also promote healthy joints and bones
Cons
  • You’ll have to remember to take five pills

7 - Zeal Naturals Collagen Peptides

Zeal Naturals Collagen Peptides

Another one of the stronger products available, this one is also marketed as Keto and Paleo supportive as there are no carbohydrate fillers.

It also contains the amino acids that work to keep your skin and joints healthy.

The only thing we’d say is that swallowing six capsules might not suit everyone, in which case you may want to consider a collagen powder supplement.

  • Dose: 3,000mg
Pros
  • Uses hydrolyzed grass fed collagen from cows for better quality
  • Keto and paleo friendly due to no carb fillers
  • Positive reports that it may help with joint health within weeks
Cons
  • Swallowing six capsules might not suit everyone

8 - NutriRise Hydrolyzed Collagen Complex

NutriRise Hydrolyzed Collagen Complex

This is one of few collagen supplements that is purely based on marine sources. By using wild caught and sustainable fish stocks, it claims to provide a higher quality source of the main types of collagen.

Just keep in mind that you might get a slightly fishy aftertaste, which you might find a bit too strong if you're not used to that. In that case, you may want to consider another brand instead.

  • Dose: 1,500 mg
Pros
  • Contains the most important collagen types
  • Sourced from wild caught fish and sustainable stocks
  • Certified gluten free and non GMO for added peace of mind
Cons
  • Might leave a slightly fishy aftertaste

9 - Reserveage Ultra Collagen Booster

Reserveage Ultra Collagen Booster with Hyaluronic acid

This is another one formulated as a beauty enhancer for women.

It comes with hyaluronic acid and an added herbal blend that suggests it may help to detox and rejuvenate your skin.

It’s a considerably lower dose than the above products, so keep that in mind when comparing the prices.

  • Dose: 1,000 mg
Pros
  • Contains hyaluronic acid and an herbal blend for added skin benefits
  • Specifically formulated for women
  • Capsules seem to be easy to swallow compared to a collagen powder
Cons
  • Not the strongest dose available

10 - Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

This is the final collagen peptides supplement we’ll recommend, and we like it because it’s available in a nice bulk-order bottle.

There are also positive reviews about its effects on skin health due to its amino acids profile, which may be particularly interesting to women.

Just keep in mind that the pills are pretty large, and you may want to break them down a bit.

  • Dose: 3,300 mg
Pros
  • Good bulk serving option
  • Positive reports on it promoting skin health
  • Some users have reported relief for joint issues
Cons
  • The capsules are pretty large to get used

Buyer’s Guide

buyers guide

1 - Compare The Dosage

The good thing with collagen supplements is that they are pretty easy to compare based on the dosage. Compared to the powdered form, a collagen pill is also a lot easier to take if you need higher dosage.

This is much more important than looking at the number of servings, which could be a bit misleading.

If you have serious joint issues, then aim for something stronger, like supplements designed for relieving joint pain. And if you just want to boost your appearance, then a lower dose may work fine.

2 - Pay Attention To The Collagen Source And Types

Collagen supplements and pills can be sourced from many different animal products. Chicken, cows, and eggs are very common, but marine collagen is becoming more popular as a sustainable option.

The important thing to look out for is the type of collagen the supplement contains. The main ones for the human body are type 1, 2, 3, 5, and 10. The blend of these collagen types with hyaluronic acid and antioxidants maintains skin elasticity and texture and promotes better collagen production in the body.

We generally recommend getting all of them in one supplement, as this may give you the best overall results.

Related Articles:

What Is The Best Collagen Supplement?

Of all the collagen supplements we tested out, we found that the most flexible one with the best effects on the whole body is Pure Optimal Collagen Complex.

It's easy on the stomach and there's no aftertaste compared to the other supplements and collagen powder products in the market.

Because it has the most important collagen proteins, you should be able to get some good results for your appearance and joints as well.

Order yours today and let us know on our social media pages how much of a difference it makes.

Our #1 Recommendation

Purely Optimal Collagen Complex

Pros
  • Easy-to-swallow capsules
  • Claimed to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and stretch marks
  • Helps protect bones and joints
  • Contains 5 major collagen types
Cons
  • It may cause an allergic reaction in some users

About the author

You may also like

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *