Collagen. It’s become a bit of a buzzword over the past few years. But supplementing with this important protein can offer a huge range of benefits, especially as we age.

The primary building block of skin, muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissues, collagen accounts for around 30 per cent of all protein in your body. However, due to the natural process of ageing, your collagen levels start to deplete from your mid-twenties, by about 1-2 per cent every year. This rate can be sped up by certain lifestyle factors, including smoking, alcohol consumption, sugar, lack of sleep and exercise plus environmental factors such as sun exposure.

Because collagen plays such a vital role throughout the body, the effects of collagen depletion can be seen and felt in many ways – perhaps most commonly in the loss of skin elasticity and reduction of joint mobility. But what can we do to restore our collagen levels?

How to boost your collagen levels

If you’re looking to counteract the depletion of collagen as you age – whether you’re hoping to restore skin elasticity or improve joint health – start by taking a closer look at your diet. To support your body’s natural collagen production, focus on eating plenty of nutrient-dense foods, including healthy fats, high-protein sources, and fruits and vegetables.

Alongside boosting your body’s natural production of collagen, you can also take supplements to instantly top up your levels. The supplement market is filled with a variety of collagen products. If you’re not sure where to start, here’s a quick run-down on the different sources, types, and formats available.

woman struggling with joint pain in her ankle
Collagen depletion can lead to reduced mobility and increased discomfort in the joints.

What type of collagen should I take?

Firstly, there are 3 main sources of collagen: bovine, porcine, and marine. Out of these, marine collagen is regarded as the superior source, as it is 1.5 times more bioavailable than the others. When choosing your supplement, it’s also best to opt for one containing collagen peptides (aka hydrolyzed collagen) – this has been broken down into smaller chains of amino acids to make it more bioavailable and easier for your body to absorb.

Alongside the different sources of this powerhouse protein, it’s also worth noting that there are a staggering 28 different types of collagen. The three main types are Type I (which accounts for 90 per cent of all collagen in the body and provides structure to skin, bones, tendons and ligaments), Type II (found in elastic cartilage), and Type III (found in muscles, arteries and organs). Depending on your ‘why’ for taking collagen supplements, be sure to check which types are included before making your choice.

At this point, you might be wondering: what about vegan collagen? It might surprise you to know that we cannot get collagen from plants, and – spoiler – vegan collagen products do not actually contain or provide collagen. Instead, they simply provide the nutrients needed to support and enhance your body’s own natural production of collagen – much like eating a diet rich in healthy fats, protein, and fruits and vegetables.

Improve your skin, hair, and nails with collagen

As we age, collagen depletion causes skin to lose elasticity, nails to become brittle, and hair to become dry. It’s unsurprising, therefore, that collagen has become big in the beauty world, with many people looking for natural ways to support their appearance as they age.

If you are searching for a beauty-boosting collagen supplement, we recommend the Revive Active Beauty Complex (£49.95 for a 30 day supply). Winner of the Best Collagen Supplement in the Marie Claire Skin Awards, this beautifying blend includes Type 1 marine collagen peptides, alongside hyaluronic acid, phytoceramides, and biotin to help you achieve glowing skin, strong nails, nourished hair, and healthy gums and teeth.

Supplementing with collagen for joint health

Collagen plays a vital role in forming the cushioning tissue between bones at joints, which enables them to move freely next to one another. It makes sense, therefore, that collagen depletion can lead to reduced mobility and increased discomfort in the joints.

If you’re after a joint-focused collagen supplement, Revive Active Joint Complex (£29.95 for 30 day supply of Joint Complex) features a powerhouse combination of 10 active ingredients which work together to repair cartilage and connective tissues, including marine collagen, MSM, glucosamine and hyaluronic acid.

revive active joint complex

Find out more about the collagen supplements from Revive Active at