Everything You Need to Know About Collagen

The word collagen has swept the beauty world by storm. From powders you mix in with smoothies, to serums and more, it seems that everyone is fixated on increasing their collagen intake—but why?

By definition, collagen is, "the main structural protein found in skin and other connective tissues, widely used in purified form for cosmetic surgical treatments." Basically, collagen is the most abundant protein found in the body. It makes up 30% of protein in the body and 70% of the protein in your skin, and it's responsible for giving structure to nails, hair, skin, bones, ligaments and tendons. But unfortunately, age and stress are factors that directly affect our collagen production, which starts to slow down around the age of 25. Yikes.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Vital Proteins (@vitalproteins) on

In order to maintain healthy collagen levels—which are responsible for glowing, youthful skin, mobile joints and shiny hair—it's important to incorporate this protein into your diet and beauty routine.

You might be thinking, "I already use a protein powder in the morning, will that suffice?" The answer is, maybe. First, you must know the difference between complete and incomplete proteins. You can get complete proteins from animal products, including whey and egg protein, and from plants, such as hemp and soy.

A complete protein means it contains all 20 known amino acids, including the nine essential amino acids that our bodies do not produce. Collagen however does not fall into this category, as it contains only eight of the nine essential amino acids. So if your goal is to build muscle or gain weight, you'll want to use a mix of both. However, if you're looking to strengthen skin, hair and nails and aren't necessarily looking to bulk up, daily collagen protein will totally work for you as long as you're eating a balanced diet to supplement the other amino acids.

Now that you're an expert on collagen, below are a few of our favorite collagen supplements to up your intake.

Imbibe Miracle Collagen Powder: $32.72

This hair, skin and nails formula is clinically proven to plump up skin, hair and nails in just 30 days. Imbibe's bioactive collagen contains 18 amino acids to firm skin and make you glow.

Miracle Collagen

(via Imbibe)


Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Powder: $25

This powerhouse powder is sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine hides and is wonderful for strengthening hair, skin, nails, joints, bones, and your gut—what more could you want? Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

(via Vital Proteins)


Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel Protein On-the-Go Packets: $15

If you like to drink your shakes on the way to school or after a workout, these Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel packets will do the trick. We love the vanilla coconut flavor which blends in nicely with water or almond milk.

Primal Kitchen Collagen Packets

(via Amazon)


HUM Nutrition Collagen Love: $45

Collagen in capsule form is a total timesaver for those mornings you hit snooze a few too many times to get your protein shake together. These supplements by HUM flood your body with collagen, peptides and hyaluronic acid for healthy-looking skin.

HUM Nutrition Collagen

(via Amazon)


And while we're talking about beauty, HERE is everything you need to know about serums!