Collagen Powder vs. Pills: What's the Difference?

On This Page

    Collagen may support your skin and joint health. It comes in different types, like pill or powder form.

    Collagen has been receiving a lot of attention in the health world for many different reasons, specifically for its skin and joint benefits. At Care/of, we’re finding there is a lot of good information to suggest that this supplement can be a helpful part of your routine. With the addition of any new supplement, it’s important to know how to incorporate it into your life.

    Collagen can be found pretty much everywhere right now, and it also comes in a variety of forms. You may see it made in a powder that’s dissolved in someone’s morning coffee, or in pill form and added to their daily supplement regimen. It can be confusing knowing which is going to be best for your body.

    So which should you opt for – powder or pill? In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know before purchasing collagen.

    What are Collagen Supplements?

    Collagen is the most abundant form of protein in the body, found within the skin, bone, muscle, tendons, and ligaments. It is what gives our skin and joints structure, while keeping them flexible and strong. The naturally-occurring collagen in our body is embedded in the middle layer of skin (the dermis), which keeps it looking and feeling hydrated, bright, and refreshed.

    Collagen has been gaining much interest for sustaining and boosting good skin health as aging occurs. While supporting healthy skin may be the main rage of this supplement for right now, collagen already plays such a vital role in our body. Collagen boasts other potential benefits, including post-workout recovery support.

    The collagen production in our body declines as we age, usually beginning around the age of 25. However, there are steps you can take to support collagen production Taking collagen peptides as a supplement has been shown to maintain our skin’s natural moisture barrier, support elasticity, and reduce the occurrence of wrinkles.

    Now that we know what collagen is all about, let’s take a look at the different forms of collagen and consider which form might be best for you.

    Types of Collagen Supplements

    Collagen can be purchased in a variety of ways, but pills and powders are the most common forms on the market. It may be difficult to know which is going to be best for your body, so we’ve broken down the two. Let’s see how these two types compare to one another.

    Powders vs. Pills

    Similarities and Differences

    Most collagen supplements are more or less the same, ingredient-wise, regardless of whether they come in powder form or pill form. The differences have to do with the forms that the supplements come in. Furthermore, as with any supplement, the source, dosage and other added ingredients in different collagen supplements may vary greatly. The main difference between pill and powder collagen is simply a matter of form. While many people consider the pill form to be the most convenient, powder collagen can be more versatile.

    While the pill form is convenient, it can also limit the dosage of collagen. The powder form can be easily dissolved into any hot beverage and even blended into smoothies, oatmeal, or a healthy dessert recipe. Both the pill and the powder can contain additives, artificial sweeteners, or fillers, so it’s important to be reviewing the food label before purchasing. Quality is an important component here, but we’ll get to that later.

    Vitamin C is an essential part of collagen production. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that provides many benefits to your overall health – one being the stimulation and protection of collagen production in your body. When purchasing collagen, check to see if vitamin C is an added ingredient, since that can make it superior to an alternative lacking vitamin C. You may also see the word “hydrolyzed” on your collagen supplements’ labeling, which means that the supplement is broken into smaller pieces. Hydrolyzed collagen is also known as collagen peptides; collagen peptides are popular because they help make the amino acids (our building blocks of protein) more easily absorbed into the body.

    Besides supplements, collagen can be consumed through foods like bone broth or sardines. Protein is the most effective macronutrient (of carbohydrates, proteins and fats) in providing satiating properties. This means that these food sources can make you feel more fulfilled after a meal. Although, supplementation may make it easier and more efficient to fit into a daily nutrition regimen.

    Benefits of Collagen Supplements


    As mentioned above, collagen is a naturally-occurring protein already found in the body. That said, collagen production declines as we age. Collagen supplementation can promote the maintenance of our skin’s hydration, keeping your skin looking healthy, bright, and elastic – and with fewer fine lines!

    This study showed improvements in wrinkle appearance and skin elasticity in 8 weeks after taking anywhere from 2.5-5 grams of collagen daily. This study from 2020 published in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment also reported skin improvements, particularly elasticity, after 5 grams of collagen hydrolysate oral supplementation over 4 weeks.


    Since collagen is such a crucial component of bone, muscle, tendons, and ligaments, it makes sense that supplementation can also have a positive effect on protecting our joints. As our collagen production declines with age, these areas in our body may need additional support.

    A 24-week study found that athletes supplementing with 10 grams of collagen hydrolysate significantly improved exercise-related joint discomfort. This suggests that athletes who consume collagen can reduce problems that affect their performance abilities, such as discomfort.

    Potential Side Effects

    Due to the manufacturing of this type of supplement, it is important to prioritize quality. Brands that are third-party tested ensure you are getting what is advertised in this product. This means that an unbiased outside organization evaluates the product to confirm that it meets industry standards. Care/of is third-party tested and C.L.E.A.N certified, developing minimally processed, non-GMO, gluten and dairy free supplements. We avoid any unnecessary fillers and additives.

    The Bottom Line

    The collagen supplement that is best for your body comes down to your personal preference. Now that you know what the different types are you, it’s up to you to figure which one will be the best fit for you. The time of day you take the supplement has no effect on absorption. Take it in the morning with your coffee, or take a pill at a time that works for you. You’ve got options!

    Don’t forget to keep your standards high. When selecting a collagen supplement, get one from a s a reputable, third-party tested brand like Care/of, so you are able to reap the full benefits of your supplement. Diet and other lifestyle factors have an effect on your body’s collagen production. Consuming a diet rich in antioxidants through fruits and vegetables along with healthy fats and adequate hydration are on your side. Wearing sunscreen, managing stress, moving daily, prioritizing sleep and quitting smoking are all other strategies to consider when trying to lead a healthier lifestyle.

    If you’re excited to jump on this movement, check out our collagen pill for skin and joint, or our collagen powder.

    You're unique. Your supplements should be too.

    Take the quiz
    Dr. Carla Montrond Correia ND, CNS
    Medical Content Manager
    Dr. Montrond-Correia is a licensed naturopathic physician and a certified nutrition specialist (CNS). She holds degrees from University of Bridgeport, Georgetown University, and University of Saint Joseph, and supplemented her education with internships in the health and wellness space. She's focused on research, herbal medicine, nutrigenomics, and integrative and functional medicine. She makes time for exercise, artistic activities, and enjoying delicious food.
    Annie Zappulla, RD
    Freelance Contributor
    Annie Zappulla is a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified integrative health coach. She guides her clients to achieve their health goals through a non-diet approach. Annie helps her clients align their values, interests, and goals to develop a long-term, sustainable lifestyle change. She is the owner of her private practice, A to Z Wellness Solutions, LLC, and conducts in-person and virtual consultations.