If You Take One Supplement To Make Your Skin Better, Make Sure It’s This One

It's so good, one dose is taken every two seconds.

Woman looking in mirror

by Jade Moscrop |
Updated on

Navigating the world of skincare supplements is no easy feat. With hundreds of brands vying for your attention, all with various ingredients, claims and studies, it can be difficult to know where to begin. If youthful, glowing skin is your goal, collagen is known as the primary building block of the skin, bones, muscles, joints and more, so it's the logical starting point on your skincare journey.

Loved by A-listers such as Jennifer Aniston and Kourtney Kardashian, the popularity of collagen supplements has grown exponentially in recent years. But what are the benefits of collagen? And how do you know if it's right for you?

We spoke with Dr Sophie Shotter, Absolute Collagen's resident skin expert, to answer all of our burning questions about the wonder supplement.

What exactly does collagen do?

Dr Shotter explained, 'Collagen is the key structural protein in the human body. There are 28 different types of collagen found in every tissue, from skin to bone to the eyes. Think of collagen as a scaffolding protein - it provides structure, strength and support throughout the body.'

When we're young, our body naturally produces collagen, but as we age, production declines, leaving our skin feeling lacklustre. It happens earlier than we might think, too, with collagen levels depleting from the age of around 25. By 40 years old, we've lost around a third of our collagen.

And collagen benefits more than just our skin. It boosts amino acid levels to help your body repair muscle and can aid aching joints—great news if your knees practically creak when you walk.

Does collagen help hair growth?

Your hair and nails need collagen, too. Dr Shotter notes, 'Hair grows from the scalp, which is essentially just skin. The skin of the scalp is rich in collagen, and we need a healthy scalp to grow healthy hair. So yes, collagen is a big contributor to healthy hair, and Absolute Collagen has some clinical study results showing that supplementing with its marine collagen product is beneficial to hair growth.'

Woman brushing hair
©Getty Images

What's the best form of collagen to take?

With creams, tablets, liquids, powders, gummies and more available, we asked Dr Shotter which is the most effective.

She told us, 'Both liquids and powders can be effective depending on the product, but the other forms are not worth investing in. Liquid collagens like Absolute Collagen can be digested and absorbed very easily by the body. Tablets are often full of bulking agents, and you’d have to take a lot of tablets to get a clinically effective dose. Gummies, again, often don’t contain high enough doses. And creams with collagen provide hydration, but no actual collagen boosting effect.'

Bovine, marine, vegan... where does collagen found in supplements come from?

So, if we don't produce collagen ourselves as we age, it has to be sourced from somewhere. Most collagen supplements come from animals, such as cows, pigs, chickens and fish, but is there one type that's superior?

Dr Shotter confirms, 'There is good data on both marine and bovine collagen for skin improvements. There is no such thing as vegan collagen - it is an animal protein. Vegan collagen substitutes work by mimicking the amino acid profile of collagen, but there is as yet no data on these and no data on effective doses.'

Absolute Collagen contains marine collagen, which is extracted from cold-water fish, Tilapia and Pangasius, but you'll be glad to know that it doesn't taste like fish. What's more, it's hydrolysed, meaning it's broken down into tiny pieces so it can be absorbed by the body when ingested. This then stimulates your own body to create more collagen where it's needed. Clever, huh?

Absolute collagen supplement
©Absolute Collagen

Are collagen supplements safe?

It's natural to be unsure when undertaking a new supplement routine, but Dr Shotter reassured us that collagen supplements are perfectly safe.

She said, 'Yes, absolutely. In principle, collagen supplements are very safe. However, the supplement space in the UK lacks the regulation I would like to see, so it can be difficult to tell what products are effective and, therefore, will actually give results. I would recommend looking for a product with proper independent clinical studies, like Absolute Collagen, as a benchmark of efficacy.'

If you're in doubt, always speak to your GP before you start taking a new supplement.

Is there anyone who shouldn't take collagen, or who collagen isn't suitable for?

Dr Shotter told us, 'Collagen is suitable for everyone, which is one of the great things about it. You can take it when you’re young to support your future collagen levels, you can take it when you’re older to help address skin and hair concerns (and with some formulations, even joint concerns), and you can even take it whilst pregnant and breastfeeding. One note of caution is to check the added ingredients - vitamin A is added to some products, and that is not safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Absolute Collagen is a great example, as it only contains marine collagen and vitamin C.'

Shop: Absolute Collagen Marine Liquid Collagen Supplements

Absolute Collagen Marine Liquid Collagen Drink For Women, 14x10ml SachetsAbsolute Collagen

The number one best-selling collagen supplement is a brilliant place to start on your collagen journey. Containing 8000mg of collagen (the most your body can absorb), subscribe today and receive a free gift worth £52, or purchase a one-off box of 14 sachets.

In sachet form for convenient, on-the-go use, you can take it on its own or add it to your morning drink.

Meet the expert

Dr Sophie Shotter is an award-winning aesthetic doctor, with over a decade of medical experience. She graduated from Leeds University with an MBChB and BSc Hons in Genetics in Relation to Medicine and has since become one of the UK’s ‘rising star’ aesthetic doctors. Dr Sophie was awarded Medical Practitioner of the Year 2023 at the prestigious Aesthetics Awards.

Working from her own multi-award-winning medical aesthetic clinic in Kent and 10 Harley Street, London, Dr Sophie is also a well-respected aesthetics trainer and a regular expert speaker and host at industry events and conferences. She is a key opinion leader for leading aesthetic brands and a regular media contributor on aesthetic treatments and industry developments.

Jade Moscrop is the Commercial Content Editor for Grazia, specialising in lifestyle topics. When she isn't writing about beauty products, gym leggings and chic homeware items, she can usually be found on a hot girl walk, buying houseplants or listening to female-fronted rock bands.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us