Tried & tested: Collagen supplements

We review and rate three skin-enhancing collagen supplement products to complement our beauty routines from the inside out.

Hair & Beauty

Collagen supplements are a big industry right now - you don't have to be a beauty writer to know that! However, much like charcoal teeth whitening products and skinny teas, you might be wondering whether they actually work, or if it's all a gimmick.

I've seen many different supplements on social media platforms, toting their unbelievable benefits and drawing me in like a moth to a flame. Wrinkle prevention? More elasticity? Higher moisture retention? It all sounded to good to be true. So I decide to try some collagen supplements out for myself, to discover whether the results really were something to brag about.

As collagen production slows each year from the age of 25, I'm around three years past due for some supplementation. I take good care of my skin (for me, there's nothing more important than a good SPF, a quality moisturiser, and plenty of sleep and water), but lately I've noticed a few fine lines here and there, as well as a loss of plumpness in areas where there was previously plenty. You could say I'm the perfect candidate for these beauty enhancing supplements. So let's find out how I got on with three popular products.

Raw Beauty Lab

Raw Beauty Lab vegan collage
Raw Beauty Lab Vegan Collagen, £34.95 for 30 servings

The great thing about this product is that it's vegan, so it's safe for lots of different dietary requirements. Many collagen supplements are made with animal products from pigs, cows or fish, but this is made with 100% plants. This also means that you get the many other antioxidant benefits that come from pytonutrients, including protection of the collagen produced in the body, the support of others areas of your body like your nails and joints, and increasing your vitamin intake (particular vitamins C, A and E).

Raw Beauty Lab's Vegan Collagen comes in powder form, which means that you can mix it into your drinks, meals and snacks in order to get your collagen hit. Upon opening the packet, I got a delicious bery scent from the pink powder, which is most likely from the blend of camu camu, raspberry and pink dragon fruit powders included in the product. I've taken a various nutritional supplements over the years, and none have been as inviting as this one upon first smell!

I mixed half a tablespoon of the prodct with 200ml of oat milk (my nut milk of choice), and sipped it to find that the delicious berry theme continued with the taste. It reminded me of frozen strawberries - a nice zing in the morning to wake me up. I found that I needed to employ the help of my mini whisk to disperse the clumps of powder, as a teaspoon didn't work well enough. I tried using the powder in a morning snack, such as granola with yoghurt, and this seemed a good alternative to using the supplement in a drink - no clumps, great taste.

After 30 days, I found a noticeable improvement in my skin - mainly in the way it glowed. I think this was down to a better absorption of my skincare products, as collagen supplements have been said to decrease skin dryness, which leads to improved moisture retention. I'd happily continue using this product, not only for the visible benefits, but also the great taste!

Dose & Co

Dose & Co
Dose & Co Collagen Protein Powder, £29.99 for 12 servings

A New Zealand-based brand, Dose & Co is available across the world, including Holland & Barrett in the UK. Their packaging really caught my eye with its high end aesthetic - however, you're also paying high end prices, with only 12 servings per £29.99 pack.

On the other hand, this product does provide two uses in one, with it also being a protein supplement. This is ideal for fitness enthusiasts who are searching for a product that will help them look and feel their best. It has energy boosting, muscle building and muscle recovery benefits, as well as the ingredients needed to support hair, skin, nails and joints. Not one for vegans or vegetarians, this product is made with bovine collagen and whey protein.

I tried the vanilla-flavoured option (it's also available in chocolate), and was pleasantly suprised to find that it didn't have strange aftertaste, which is sometimes the case with vanilla-flavoured supplements. It's delicious when stirred into porridge, however I found that it didn't dissolve as well in hot drinks - cold drinks were slightly better!

I've found that this has marginally improved the benefits of my workouts, but it hasn't performed as well with my skin. I haven't seen a noticeable improvement in its elasticity or appearance, but I appreciate that I have only used 12 servings (one tub's worth) as oppsed to other brands that provide on average a month's worth of servings. For the cost of the product, I expected a little more.

KIKI Health

Kiki Health Marine Collage Beauty Blend
Kiki Health Marine Collage Beauty Blend, £39.95 for 20 servings

I don't know about you, but my senses play a very important part in anything I ingest. It has to look good, smell good and, of course, taste good (it makes taking alcoholic shots very difficult!). Unfortunately, this product really failed in ticking these boxes. The creamy white powder itself appears unassuming at first sight. However, upon smelling the powder, I almost couldn't get past that distinct fishy smell - I've surmised that this comes from the marine collagen, which is derived from fish. I tried a serving with some nut milk (holding my nose while I gulped) and found that the taste was just as unpleasant. One swig was all I could take.

The next day, I tried the powder diguised in some porridge; however, it needed a topping in order to hide the smell and taste. I poured some honey on top, and found that this covered it up. But I did wonder whether it would be more detrimental to include a sugary topping on my porridge every morning, than to stop using the supplement altogether.

As the smell and taste of the product left much to be desired, I couldn't comment on how it performed in regards to my skin! It's also available in capsule form, so I'm looking forward to trying these instead, once I've got my hands on them.

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