Benefits of Collagen for Skin and Hair

Benefits of collagen for healthy skin

Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in the body and it makes up a large part of our skin, hair and nails. Technically a polypeptide, collagen contains a mixture of amino acids like proline and glycine, which are found in all connective tissue within the body (including vital organs!). (1)

While beauty treatments and shampoos trumpet the benefits of collagen on their labels, the real benefits come internally, not from a topical treatment.

What is Collagen?

Collagen is a long-chain amino acid and the most abundant protein in the body. It is composed of the individual amino acids Glycine, Proline, Hydroxyproline and Arginine and in nature is found exclusively in animal tissue, especially bones and connective tissue.

It is what is responsible for giving skin elasticity, hair its strength, and connective tissue its ability to hold everything in place. In fact, the collagen protein makes up 30% of the total protein in the body, and 70% of the protein in the skin! (2)

The body’s natural collagen production declines with age and many modern lifestyle factors (like stress, poor diet, gut health imbalances, etc.) can also decrease the body’s ability to make it.

Gelatin vs. Collagen

These terms are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference.

Collagen is the basic form of the protein found in the body, and gelatin is produced when collagen is boiled or otherwise heated. The two have very similar compositions and are almost interchangeable, but the difference gets confusing when it comes to supplements. In general:

  • Collagen Powder- (the Hydrolyzed form of Gelatin) contains these proteins broken down into individual peptide chains. This form is typically easier to digest and is often suggested for people with digestive problems. One advantage to this particular form of collagen is that it easily mixes into most hot and cold drinks and is tasteless, making it easy to add to foods and drinks for consumption, however, it will not gel and is not good in recipes that require gelatin. In the brand I take, this form has a blue lid)
  • Gelatin Powder – I use this grass-fed pastured gelatin powder. Gelatin is the pure form that is often recommended on diets like GAPS and SCD (though some people may not be able to digest it at first and must stick to meat stocks instead), for its ability to coat the digestive tract. From a cooking perspective, it is the form that “gels” and is great for making recipes like chewable vitamins, gummies, and marshmallows. This is the form naturally found in bone broth, as the heat breaks down the natural collagen found in the bones. (You can buy bone broth online here) This is the reason bone broth tends to thicken and gel in the fridge.

In past generations, people often consumed much larger amounts of collagen/gelatin from food, as our grandparents and great-grandparents prepared many meals at home and made things like broths, gravies, and bone-in meats that naturally contained these amino acids.

Benefits of Collagen for Skin

While collagen is beneficial to the entire body, it is most noticeably beneficial to the skin. This is because as a person ages, the epidermic (outer layer of skin) thins and loses elasticity in a process known as elastosis. As this happens, a person tends to show more signs of aging and acquire more wrinkles.

The good news is that these changes do not seem to be permanent or irreversible. In fact, a double-blind placebo study conducted last year found that women who took collagen hydrolysate (the peptide form) regularly for 8 weeks saw a 20% reduction in wrinkles! (3)

Even more exciting:

Additionally, after 8 weeks of intake a statistically significantly higher content of procollagen type I (65%) and elastin (18%) in the BCP-treated volunteers compared to the placebo-treated patients was detected.

This means that supplemental collagen appears to help the body’s own production process improve, as procollagen is the precursor to collagen in the body.

This study also showed that collagen consumption can increase skin elasticity and moisture, which also declines during the aging process.

It is important to note that this study used the hydrolyzed (peptide) form (the blue lid), which is a more easily digestible form of collagen. I’m not aware of any studies that directly compare gelatin and collagen for their ability to improve skin, so for skin health, I use the peptide form.

Other Benefits

Though not as immediately noticeable, there are other benefits that might be even more important. For instance, collagen has been studied for its role in:

  • Bone and Joint Health– Collagen may be beneficial to bones and joints in the same way it benefits the skin. By helping the body’s natural production of collagen and providing a bioavailable source of these amino acids, collagen may improve bone and joint health over time. In fact, a double-blind, placebo study showed significant improvement in joint pain. (4)
  • Hormone Balance- Emerging research shows that the specific amino acids in collagen may help improve the amino acid balance in the body and support the body’s natural hormone production.
  • Digestion– As mentioned, gelatin and collagen may help coat the digestive tract and improve digestion, and the consumption of gelatin is often recommended on gut-specific diets like GAPS and SCD.

Where To Find Collagen

There are several good sources of high-quality gelatin and collagen powders. When sourcing, it is important to make sure that it is obtained from grass-fed and pastured humanely raised sources from a reputable company. I purchase this grass fed gelatin and this grass fed collagen powder because I was able to verify that their gelatin and collagen are:

  • Sourced from pasture-raised and grass-fed animals
  • Packaged in BPA-free containers

Do you use collagen or gelatin? How do you use it?

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Reader Comments

  1. I’m obsessed with taking gelatin and bone broth! The gelatin is really nice in a morning latte with some raw milk and maple syrup 🙂 And admittedly bone broth is something I just have to get in me, some times I just drink it straight. It’s been an absolute lifesaver for my joints!

    • You might enjoy the way I’ve started to love my grass-fed chickies’ bone broth (can’t do beef); I pour it hot over shredded raw kale. In a couple of minutes, the kale is steamed and I add some Braggs aminos or pink salt… very tasty. I also take Black Seed oil with honey for joints and overall health as regards any inflamation.

    • I just got the Vital Proteins collagen peptides after reading many encouraging blogs/reviews.

      So far I’ve: added it to a drink
      applied it to my hair
      used it as a face mask.

      These are my honest first impressions:
      I don’t know how anyone can like the taste, bovine hide tastes like…bovine hide. It ain’t nice. Hopefully it did my insides good. I almost gagged and had to think of pretty things to stop.

      The face mask didn’t seem to do a thing. The only thing I noticed was that some pores on my cheek and nose looked enlarged when I initially washed it off. I’ve made better face masks with honey and egg.

      The hair mask was a bit of a hassle to get off, it really hardens the hair. But it was worth it. I felt a noticable difference after washing it out and drying.

      I’ll only be using this occasionally on my hair and adding to drinks, but it will be like taking my cod liver oil: downing the collagen mixed drink and then swiftly taking a swig of juice to drown out the memory lol.

      I think this clearly works for some-not so much for others so I guess all you can do is try it and see which group you fall into.

      • you can get the Vital Proteins collagen in unflavored , my son is severely autistic, highly sensitive to everything including taste and has no problem taking it. Don’t bother using in the collagen in hair or skin preparations because it will not be absorbed through skin according to the research I have seen. If that is true , alot of commercial companies have been blowing smoke at us for awhile……

      • I am having the same experience with this. It is hard to get past the taste and the smell. I wish I could find some way to eat this.

        • If you drink coffee, add it to the coffee. You shouldn’t be able to taste a thing!

          • That is what I do is add it to my coffee. I don’t taste a thing.

        • I add it to my yogurt in the morning and night.

        • I mix it with Santa Cruz organic lemonade masks the taste nicely. I buy it at Kroger in health food section.hope this helps.

  2. It looks like you switched brands? Didn’t you use the Great Lakes gelatin? Great article btw!

    • I switched about a year ago. Vital Proteins provides more detail regarding their sourcing and where able to verify for me that their collagen and gelatin are actually grass-fed and pastured.

      • Did you come across the article regarding the exposure of ractpamine to many cattle in Brazil. Russia has band the export of cattle from Brazil. It is not banned to the U.S. And apparently the laws are very loose down there. I do not know this first hand but read some of the reviews through Amazon. Did you see if they tested for ractpamine with this product? I’d like to try it but now I’m Leary. Thoughts??

        • Emailed the company and will be updating the article with info soon 🙂

        • Response on ractopamine-

          http://www.vitalproteins.com/frequently-asked-questions

          Is there a risk for Ractopamine in your pasture-raised products?

          Ractopamine is a beta agonist added to feed to promote leanness in animals raised for their meat. Ractopamine is prohibited for use in cattle and cattle feed in Brazil (since 2012) and New Zealand and is actively monitored and tested for illegal use. Since our cattle are pasture-raised and grass fed, this further eliminates the risk of this substance in the cattle’s diet. Vital Proteins conducts independent third-party laboratory testing of its collagen products and test results have shown our products to be free of ractopamine. Please find the following link for the analysis report: Ractopamine Certificate of Analysis

          • This is awesome how proactive and responsive the company is.

      • Thanks Katie, I had just sent this question to you yesterday, prior to receiving this post. I can’t get VP only GL through Australian eBay and through iHerb. So taking that every morning and night. Husband and I felt the difference almost immediately, lots more energy and able to sleep better. Hope it helps my hair soon as I have lost so much during this pregnancy. I am constantly vacuuming, falls in hand full after every wash and in between whilst brushing. I know its normal but it still alarms me. I did take biotin in the past.

      • As much as I love these collagen products, (really saved my health!) I am a bit worried about Brazil’s grass fed pastures. I hope it is not rainforest-turned-grassland pastures? Is there a plant-based sustainable source of collagen?? 🙂

      • Can you get this in capsule form?

      • So which is better for over health- the collagen or the gelatin? I am slightly lactose intolerant and definitely like the sounds of it coating mg intestines for better digestion, my husband also has some digestion issues. But I am pregnant and like that is helps with akin elasticity. Of course other bonuses such as hair skin and nails is great too! Any recommendations between the two? Thank you!

        • I prefer the collagen unless I need it to gel since it is much easier to mix into foods and drinks.

    • Is there something wrong with Great Lakes or other brands?

      • Great Lakes is good and I used them for years, but wasn’t able to fully verify that their product came from grass fed sources, and I was able to do so with Vital Proteins…

  3. do you use these in pregnancy – later stages? I would think they’d be ok since they are natural… Thanks! 🙂

    • I consider collagen a food rather than a supplement since it is naturally found in many foods, so I do consume in pregnancy but I also checked with my midwife to be sure…

      • Thank you – that’s what I figured too! I’ve been taking the Great Lakes but actually had just ordered the other a few days ago to try out! Great post! 🙂

  4. What would be a recommended amount for daily intake? I didn’t see that specified on your post. Thanks!

  5. Hi Wellness mommy. Love your site can I ask how much peptide collagen you take per day? And how.

  6. Hey Katie,

    What do you think about the WHO’s verdict on red meat being a carcinogen?

    • Working on a whole post on that, but in general I agree that processed feedlot meats are unhealthy and probably do cause cancer but don’t like that they didn’t differentiate between this and humanely raised organic meats before declaring all red meat dangerous. Also, all of the media comparing meat to smoking is completely overblown as smoking causes a 2500% increase in lung cancer and even processed red meat only caused an 18% increased risk of colorectal cancer.

      • Thank you! I was thinking the same thing and appreciate your input. I look forward to your post on this.

  7. I like the idea of using this as part of a skin care regime without having to spend a lot of money on facial products. If you were to use this as part of a skin care regime, what else would you add to it to make it a complete antiaging regime? I would really like to know your thoughts!
    Thanks Kate!

  8. Where can I buy this in Australia can you please tell me

    • Kitsa’s kitchen to buy Vital Proteins. Iherb ships the Great Lakes brand

    • Hi Debbie,

      I get my Great Lakes grlatin off iherb.com. They post to australia. Or I think vital proteins has a website and I think they post to Australia too but I’m not sure. I haven’t bought any of that brand yet

    • Hi Debbie, hope you don’t mind me stepping in. I’m in Sydney and i order the Great Lakes through iHerb. The product information states it is grass fed but the label on the container doesn’t. It is less expensive than Vital Proteins, which i could not source even on eBay. Someone in Tasmania is also a distributor for GL and selling on eBay but the price is more and also postage is higher. iHerb have super fast postage from the US and the prices are so much better for this and bentonite clay etc. If you find VP in AU with reasonable postage let me know. Hope that helps. Sandra

  9. Currently collagen is in trend a lot. You have written this article on a very sensitive issue for women. Good one!

  10. How much do you take each day? And have you personally noticed any change in your skin?

    I have read that hydrolyzed protein can be toxic (” When whey protein undergoes denaturation or hydrolyzation, it loses the proper dimensions intended by nature. Effectiveness is lost and the renewing process of cellular turnover wanes. Adding to the negative outcome, these processing methods give rise to toxic levels of free aspartic acid and glutamic acid (MSG). Both have toxicity profiles that make party drugs look like health foods.”). Have you done any research on this?

  11. Sorry- forgot to check the “notify me of new comments” box.

  12. Can you throw some light on vegetarian and vegan sources of glycerin and collagen? Please…

  13. I’m wondering how much collagen is taken a day in the studies? I’ve been taking 2T a day of the Great Lakes brand for a couple of years and haven’t noticed any significant differences in joint aches or reduction of wrinkles. Perhaps I need to take more?

    • Hi, the GL container says 2T morning and night. Husband and I noticed lots more energy and better sleep almost immediately. I don’t know yet about skin, hair etc. Too early to tell. We aim to make our own broth as well.

  14. Dear Kinjal:

    A friend of mine suggested flax seed as a vegetarian substitute for gelatine. The seeds gel up if you soak them in water. Also, makes a tasty tea ( Pour boiling water over 1T of flax seeds in a mug) that helps relieve gallstone pain and other digestive issues!

    Enjoy.

  15. Hi! This question isn’t actually about gelatin/collagen but I didn’t know where else to ask. I’ve been a loyal reader of you blog for a few months now I really trust your opponion. My question is about vitamin D and seasonal affect disorder. I’m from a part of the country thy sees very little sun in the winter, and I start to really feel down. Usually from now-April I just go to a tanning booth 2-3 times a week and I feel a lot better. However, this year my husband And I *may* start trying to have a baby, and I don’t think I feel comfortable tanning if there is the possiblility I have conceived (especially before a test would be able to confirm.) I was wondering what your suggestions would be to help with my mood. Also, I do really enjoy the look of being tan! 🙁

    Please share your insite. I would really appreciate it!

    • I don’t have seasonal affective disorder, but I do have genetic mutations on my VDR genes (vitamin d receptors) that make it difficult for me to uptake vitamin d correctly through diet or supplements. I was actually prescribed UV light (tanning) from a doctor before when my levels got really low. I test my levels of Vitamin D often, especially when pregnant, and make sure that I am getting enough and follow the advice of my doc on this. I’ve also found that separate of Vitamin D, having a really high (10,000 lux) light to use in the morning can help and many people with SAD use this as well… Hope that helps some and best wishes for a healthy conception and pregnancy!

  16. i feel this is missing big time from my diet and that being said, i have been vegan for over 2o years. is there an option for us? a plant based collagen?

    • There is not a vegetable source of gelatin or collagen… The specific amino acids in these polypeptides are found exclusively in animal connective tissue. There are plant based foods that are good for the skin, but none that perform exactly like collagen…

  17. For me, it messed with my hormones in a negative way. Bone broth doesn’t, but the water soluble substitutes from Vital Proteins and Great Lakes did. I would get massive headaches around the time for my period and my skin would breakout horribly….almost cystic-like acne which I had never suffered from before. Eventually my periods started coming closer and closer together…. from ever 28 days, then 27, 26, and when they started coming every 25 days I started to do some investigation!!!!! I pulled dairy out of my diet, quit any form of sugar, only one cup of coffee a day and no other forms of caffeine……low and behold, everything corrected itself when I finally suspected the gelatin supplement. I happened to read a review on Amazon – a negative review, from a woman complaining of the exact same things that were happening to me. The light bulb went on, and I pulled the gelatin out. Everything corrected itself immediately. Period went back to 28 days, no headaches, no breakouts, and I dropped 3lbs as well. I chalked up the weight gain to “putting on muscle” at the gym, but I now think it was due to the gelatin. I think it messed with my estrogen levels. So now, I just stick to the real thing….bone broth, and I have no issues. Just some food for thought. It’s not a panacea for everyone.

    • Thanks for sharing that. I also suffer negative side effects from the collagen peptides, or the hydrolyzed collagen in the form of constipation. (I’ve posted below). However, I have no problem drinking homemade bone broth. Unfortunately, there is only one source of organic bones for broth making where I live, and they are often sold out.

      I once read online (forgot the site) that after having a roasted chicken, strip down all the bones, put them in a slow cooker with plenty of water and leave it on overnight. You will wake up in the morning to fresh bone broth. I have not tried it yet, but it seems like a good idea. Perhaps better than nothing in my case.

      • Add some Braggs AC vinegar to the water, to help leach out all the goodness from the bones.
        Braggs has the mother, and it is not pasteurized, but organic, raw and good.

    • I am literally on my last tablespoon of VP collagen. I haven’t had a period since I started. I can’t possibly know if it’s a connection to the collagen. I am perimenapausal anyhow (I’m 45) But I had had a “relatively” regular cycle going on prior to taking. And have been battling acne daily on chin and neck (signs of hormonal balance as well.) I don’t really notice any hair/skin/nail difference. I have young children and fairly busy life…I am not the type to make my own bone broth, but I really do want to. Any pointers or direction on the internet you could give for making? I don’t think I should continue with the Vital Proteins.

    • I was taking a collagen supplement and I actually think I gained weight as well! I had just started running that week so I thought maybe I was putting on muscle, but when I stopped taking the supplement I instantly lost 3 lbs. I had been taking it for nearly 3 weeks.

      • Shelly, I was just about to post a question about this. I think it is fluid retention. I did the collagen peptides for 8 days and I could not button my pants. I was so bloated. I did a bit more research and read something about people who are on thyroid meds having problems taking products made from bovine hide. So, that made me wonder if that is part of my problem. I sent my product back to the company. I feel like I have lost a bit of the bloat and hope it will all be gone in another few days. I was very disappointed that I can’t take it. I was hoping it might help with osteoporosis.

        • Does anyone know if there is a collagen product I can take that won’t cause bloating?

      • The same happened to me with the bloating, so I just stopped taking it and lost the weight. I am sure it was mostly water weight.

  18. Hello! Is it necessary to take both Collagen Peptides and Collagen Protein?

    • I use interchangeably but don’t typically worry about consuming both all the time. Usually, I just add the peptides to drinks each day and only use the gelatin protein for recipes that require thickening or gelling.

      • I only have the green lid and put it in tea daily.. what is the difference from the blue lid and green lid in terms of wrinkle reduction?!

  19. Great article Katie! One more benefit of collagen when it comes to the skin is that it can help with eczema and lessening scars (as the body needs collagen in the initial scar production as well as wound healing). I’ve been taking Great Lakes collagen daily to improve my eczema scars, and my skin, hair and nails have never looked better! I should look into making bone broth more regularly though — I’m never been one for relying on a supplement. 🙂

    • Hi Christina,
      I am so happy to hear this helped with your eczema. I am trying endlessly to help my daughter cure her eczema. She is 4 years old and has suffered with it for over year. Any tips would be so appreciated. Thank you!! Amanda

  20. Thanks for the great info. I started using the vital proteins collagen as a protein source in my smoothie and notice a huge difference in my skin and nails. However now that it’s cooler I’m not drinking smoothies fo breakfast everyday- can you suggest other ways to take it?

  21. Fantastic article with some informative comments from your readers. I’m a new follower and look forward to more of your suggestions.

  22. Several people have asked how much of the gelatin should be taken daily but you didn’t say.

  23. I wish taking hydrolyzed collagen worked for me! At 41 I could use a little wrinkle reduction. I tried pills from holland and Barrett, and got major constation. Now I am trying the powder form once a day and from day 1 is just gums up the pipes. I am taking flax seed, kefir, chia seeds, dried apricots to counter act the effects. But with little relief. Anyone has a suggestion? Organic bones are hard to come by where I live.

  24. SO important for gut health. I do use the powdered stuff in smoothies and sometimes soups but my number one source of collagen/gelatin is bone broth. I make it myself and have also used the one from Bone Broths Co. Bone broth (and the collagen/gelatin it contains) literally changed my life. I had acne for years — like 20 — and after healing my gut with bone broth, my acne disappeared. It feels like a miracle, but the truth is that none of the doctors I ever worked with addressed my underlying problem — a leaky gut! It’s amazing.

  25. I was told that it’s better to take silica as a supplement for connective tissues than collagen product which gets digested as a protein like a food. What are your thoughts on that? Thx!

    • I completely agree with that statement. I read a lot about silica and all state that silica is one of the biggest components of collagen. Have you read about it yourself? If you haven’t, you really should because what silica does for our bodies is nothing short of miraculous.

      I get silica from diatomaceous earth, which is really good for you. I so rad that you can get high concentration of silica from bamboo extract.

  26. What is the difference between gelatin and collagen? I have both. They seem similar.

    • Gelatin gels and collagen powder does not. For this reason, gelatin is better for recipes in most cases and collagen is easier to mix into drinks to consume

  27. I use Reserveage products for collagen…
    Ultra Collagen Booster with Biocell Collagen and Dermaval (a natural blend of antioxidants) and Collagen Replenish Powder w/hyaluronic acid and vitamin C.
    Any comments in regards to these products?
    Thanks in advance!

  28. Hi! I’ve been a casual reader of Wellness Mama for awhile now but I’m definitely starting to put more of your health tips into practice. You have a wonderful wealth of information here! Sorry to post this as a random blog comment but I couldn’t figure out any other way to send you a message . . .
    I was wondering if you’ve ever posted anything about your daily/weekly/monthly schedule and how you fit in ALL these things you do. I can’t seem to figure out how to have time for everything . . . like how often do you make bone broth and what time of the day do you do your oil pulling, and what days of the week do you fit in your castor oil hair treatments? LOL It sounds funny to ask those things but I’m a very concrete thinker and I love to have things laid out step-by-step. I only have one child so far (my amazing, gorgeous almost-3-yr-old daughter) but between her, my husband and working outside the home 32 hours a week (I’m the primary breadwinner in my house, out of necessity), I can barely fit in time to make homecooked meals a few times a week. I’d love to see how you organize your life! I aspire to be a natural, healthy mom too, despite not being able to be home with her all the time. We’re planning for the next munchkin next year and it’d be nice to get a better health/life routine in place before that happens!
    On a different subject, I’m curious if you have ever or would ever consider a homebirth with your next child. I was a midwife when I lived in Florida (I’m in CA now and not licensed here) and based on your blog and everything you write about, it seems like homebirth would be the next logical step! 🙂 I’m just curious!

    Anyway, thanks for reading this comment and I’d love it if you had an opportunity to respond!

    Marci

  29. Do you have a book for sale with you recipes?

    Love your site|blog – Misty

  30. What about your beauty – hair – clay type recipes?

  31. Do you take the COLLAGEN on empty stomach?
    Isn’t it a “must”?

  32. I am a vegan, so animal products don’t work for me. Is there vegan collagen? Is that at all possible.

    • No, it’s not possible, as the specific amino acids from collagen are only found in animal products.

      • Hello. Thank you for the article. I am curious about marine collagen vs the cow collagen. Any articles or have you investigated both?

  33. Is there a suggested age when to start taking collagen? I’m 24 years old and I’m wondering if I should wait until I am a little older or if now would be a good time to start. Please let me know! Thank you for being a wonderful source of insight! 🙂

  34. My adult son is severely autistic and we are using a collagen supplement to treat the HS (Hidrandenitis Suppurativa) he is also suffering from, as if autism isn’t enough. Anyway. I am seeing great results so far , his skin does seem to be healing, will know more in a few more months. He is also taking CLA and neem in addition to collagen. He is on a gluten free and only grass fed meat or dairy diet as well. After during extensive research on collagen I was surprised to learn that it can not be absorbed through the skin…making those expensive collagen wrinkle creams null and void. Have you found that to be true also? Love all you posts and have put many to good use!! ??

  35. Question for Wellness Mama, have you ever read “The China Study” book? If you did, what did you think of it?

    I recently heard about it and just started reading it. I know you like to live a healthy lifestyle and I STRONGLY recommend you read it. It will make you think twice before consuming animal based proteins as well as other animal and animal based products in general.

  36. I apologize, my question above was for Wellness Mama, too, if you have time. I was wondering what you thought about marine collagen vs bovine collagen?

  37. CAN ANYONE TELL ME HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU CONSUME DAILY?

    • Hahaha! Karen, this question has only been ignored like 30 times in the comments! Love the ALL CAPS!

    • The directions on the container suggest 1 scoop per day.

  38. being a person that respects life and will not have anything to do with gelatin or bone broth (which also may contain chemicals the animal ingested through it’s short life) – I find that the best thing for skin and overall health is plenty of fresh foods and water. Most people don’t drink enough water (sipping on a glass a day isn’t enough). I am almost 60 and look at least ten years younger but I have been on a healthy vegetarian diet as well as staying away from putting chemicals on my skin in the form of cosmetics etc.

  39. Hi Katie – I am on my second tub of Vital Proteins (blue lid) and wanted to share this with you & your readers.
    I am 60 years old & post menopausal. People are surprised when I tell t hem my age and tell me I look like I am in my forties.
    However, one of the side effects I have experienced due of this state in life is a drying, thinning of my vaginal walls – which can make intercourse painful.

    However – 6-8 weeks of taking this product I am happy to say that the painful issues for me are gone! It has to be this stuff! I love it and it is easy to take. I put 1 scoop in my morning coffee, it dissolves completely and doesn’t have any taste or change the texture of my beloved morning brew!

    Thank you for all the work you do. I appreciate all the research you perform for all the products you recommend. I have tried several of your homemade lotion and soap recipes and have had great success!!

  40. I am considering making Gold Paste (Tumeric with coconut oil and pepper) and wondered about adding gelatin for a gummy. How do you know how much gelatin to add?

  41. Which one would I use if I’m trying to tighten loose tummy skin after pregnancy?

  42. Also interested in your thought on bovine vs marine collagen.

    • Marine collagen is a great alternative for those who can’t consume beef proteins and has many of the same benefits, though it is also higher in calcium and has slightly less protein than the beef version.

  43. I have been taking Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides for 7 days and I am experiencing extreme bloating. I use one scoop per day in my morning tea. Anyone else having this experience, and any suggestions???

    • I’ve never had that experience but if it is causing problems for you, I’d definitely reduce dose or stop taking until you can figure out why.

    • Carla, I had the same problem and had to stop using it after 8 days. Don’t know if there is anything I can take as a replacement. I don’t want to take a chance now as it was very uncomfortable, and also the weight gain did not make me happy.

      • Thank you for your comment, Susan. I agree, the bloating is so uncomfortable. I am wondering if the marine collagen would be a good alternate source. Have you considered taking it?

        • Hi Carla,
          No, I was a bit worried that it would happen with another type of collagen. I am also allergic to Crab and Grouper, so I never know what type of things they use with it. Are you going to try the marine collagen? If you do, let me know how that goes. Thanks, Susan

    • I have been on collagen peptides for 15 days and experiences extreme bloating for the first 7-10 days. I looked 6 months pregnant. However, I now have a flatter stomach and have even lost 2 lbs. (which is a lot on my small frame)

      • Teri,
        Maybe I gave up too soon, but I was afraid to keep on going with it. After 8 days I could not fit into half of my pants I was so bloated and I was worried that it might get worse, so I stopped. I wish I could have kept on going and the bloating would go away. Maybe some others will post about the bloating. Thanks

        • I also found my way to this website by trying to research collagen supplements and bloating. I have been taking a neocell collagen powder since the end of March, and during that 3 week time, I have put on 7lbs! But it feels like extreme bloating and water weight in the manner it just started piling on. I had been trying to lose about 15lbs so I was watching carbs and taking classes at the gym and the weight had slowly been coming off. As part of my self-improvement kick, I started taking the collagen powder thinking it would help with my skin and cellulite. But now I’m thinking this weight gain on the scale may actually be bloating, and the collagen powder is the only thing I have changed in my diet. I’m going to stop taking it and pray the scale starts moving in the right direction again. It’s so upsetting after all my progress.

          • I slowly lost the weight or whatever it was. I can’t see how it would take a week or more to lose water weight, but that is what happened for me. But, I also cut back to help the process. Tried to do more low carb. I know how you feel after doing all that work to lose weight and then have a supplement add it back on. Give it a week or two and hopefully it will be gone.

  44. Do you know of an effective vegan form of collagen?

    • No, it’s not possible to get the same benefits from non-meat sources.

  45. Thank you for this information. I am going to try the collagen peptide for my next macha tea latte, which I drink daily to get my collagen fix. This recipe is modified from Thrive Market’s cookbook, which I highly recommend. Blend in vitamix: I cup boiling water, 1 tsp matcha powder, splash of almond or other non-dairy milk, 1 tablespoon collagen powder, 1-2 tsp coconut oil, 1-2 pitted dates (optional). This is delicious when you want something other than bone broth!

  46. If you’re really interested in keeping a youthful appearance and not lose so much collagen you already have, but diminishes as you age, wear sunscreen. 80% of skin aging and wrinkles is from skin damage,mostly due to UVA (AND those ones go through windows!). To avoid chemicals you can buy mineral facial sunscreens that go well under makeup!

  47. Sooo…I have started taking collagen protein powder and am experiencing bloating as well. I have a very physical job which amps up in the spring (flower farmer) and while I feel my body starting to tone, I wake up and my rings are tight on my fingers. I actually read that collagen protein relieved inflammation! I am 45 and pescatarian for 31 years so I thought that it was just my body adjusting to consumption of a bovine product.
    It seems that every supplement I take to alleviate issues in my body just exacerbates them! So strange. I took konjac root too alleviate constipation and help with weight loss but instead I am more constipated then ever! I also started taking a women’s probiotic which caused cytolitic vaginosis…too much GOOD bacteria in my lady parts.
    Seriously. Every single thing I take has an OPPOSITE effect. I feel as though I’m living in an alternate universe over here!
    Thanks for listening…just wanted to share my story.

    • You are not alone. I was really hopeful that collagen would help me….and the bloating was so bad after 8 days I had to stop. I wondered if it was just the one brand, but now I am afraid to try any others. I take magnesium every evening and it has pretty much eliminated my constipation problems. I would love to try another collagen product if it would not cause the bloating.

      • Susan, I returned the Vital Proteins collagen because I was also experiencing the bloating. I ordered the Vital Proteins Marine Collagen and have not experienced any bloating. I put it in my morning tea. I contacted Vital Proteins to ask why the large price difference (more cost for less amount) and they replied because it was a new product.

        • Carla, I will have to look into the Marine Collagen. I have an allergy to Crab and Grouper, so I am always cautious about anything with seafood/shell fish in it. Thanks for letting me know about that Collagen.

  48. Not sure about the cytolitic vaginosis without more info, but I’ve read that douching with sodium bicarbonate twice a day for 2 weeks will restore the vaginal pH. Konjac root, or glucomannan, is a soluble fibre which holds more than 200 times its own weight in water, so you’ll have to drink a lot of water with this (it’s in the supplement PGX) or you’ll end up constipated. Perhaps going off all supplements for the moment and try a few full body detoxes for a while might be better for the stasis that’s happening? Just an idea 🙂

  49. Goodness, I’m so glad I read through all the comments on these posts. I’m *just* finishing up my GL collagen protein and had already purchased their green container of collagen because I remembered it was a good brand! Lesson learned, always recheck. I’ve been putting it in my smoothies in the mornings, so the gel kind never bothered me, it just helped make my smoothies thicker.
    Its interesting to note the problems some women have faced when using collagen. I’ve been having an increase in cystic acne and hormonal issues too and I would have never contributed it to the collagen! Just when I think I’m finally on track and doing something good for my body….This being healthy stuff is exhausting. I can’t go back to being unhealthy and eating/using junk, so what else is there to do but keep plugging along? Maybe I’ll see if I can return the GL collagen, or get my husband to use it.

  50. I have been taking the collagen as well- I watch my weight religiously and my diet. Nothing changed except for the addition of collagen powder and I have gained 3 lbs in a week. While my skin looks good, it is not worth the weight gain to me. But for those of you who think your weight gain is from the collagen powder- YOU are NOT crazy! I just hope this goes away as quickly as it came

  51. Hi – I wonder if anyone else has experienced pain, fatigue or other adverse symptoms from collagen? I have just switched brands (from Bulletproof to Vital Proteins) to see if this makes a difference. I’ve also tried reducing the dosage (from 1.5T/day to 1T) and the frequency (every other day instead of every day). This seems to have reduced the pain, but I have found that I’m tired for no apparent reason and have experienced some other unexplained symptoms. There have been no other significant changes in my diet, supplements or routine. Any advice would be appreciated. I am 48 and I started taking it as a preventative measure due to early onset of arthritis. Although it’s not bad, my mother suffered greatly from it for most the late part of her life.

  52. I am really interested in trying this, do you give it to your kids as well?

  53. I just read many comments about collagen supplement powder GL and VP. I have taken both and still put VP 2 scoops per day in my smoothie. I used to eat a bowl of plain store bought gelatin (homemade, coconut milk instead of water) and noticed after a month that my nails and hair wore growing very fast and strong. I since then have added to my diet a couple of table spoons of DE (diatomaceous earth) also and had even more amazing results which makes me think that Silica has alot to do with the great benefit. I will stop taking the collagen powder since I assumed the bloating was do to Autoimmune Disease. I will continue with the DE and add a little more for deducting the amount in the collagen. I will let you know how it goes for me.

    • Collagen causes bloating?

  54. Victoria, I am looking forward to hearing how it works for you. I am also taking the collagen powder and DE, and would love to be able to stop with powder. I am using the marine collagen and it is very expensive, $49.00 for a 24 day supply!

  55. Hi all!! I’ve just been diagnosed with ‘hypermobility syndrome’. Which means I’m tooooo bendy! (Apparently a cologen problem??) Does anyone know which product from this post would best for me? has anyone else faced something similar? Xx

  56. Hi all!! I am interested in trying Vital Proteins for myself and my 4 year old daughter, who suffers from eczema on the folds of her elbows and knees. Is this safe for children and helpful for eczema?
    Any other tips to “cure” eczema would be appreciated!!
    Thank you!!! XOXOX

  57. I use the Creighton model for NFP methods. Does supplementing with collagen have any effect on the quality or type of CM?

    • Not that I have noticed, but I don’t use strictly creighton and rely mostly on a fertility monitor, so I can’t say for sure.

  58. It is definitely safe for her. Collagen is very good for skin, hair, and nails; but very beneficial for gut health (which can play a roll in eczema) and for joints and getting good fats and amino acids. If she eats alot of sugars especially refined non-organic ones cut those out of her diet as well as food coloring. Also trying a homemade natural body butter (Katie Wells has great recipes) is good for the skin with the antibacterial and antimicrobial properties in organic unrefined cold pressed coconut oil as a large part of the butter base and tea tree and lavender essential oils. You will definitely want to research or find out how much tea tree oil to use, I believe. A smaller portion is recommended for younger children. But lavender is great! Alot of times eczema is not just a topical problem, it usually stems from internally first. Do diet is a major cure 🙂