Collagen vs Biotin: Which One Should You Pick?

When it comes to beauty supplements, collagen and biotin are at the top of the list. 

Although these supplements are associated with many different benefits for health, many people often wonder what the difference is between the two and which ones work best.

Continue reading to find out.

Key Takeaways: Collagen vs Biotin

  • Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in the human body and is found mainly in our connective tissues, tendons, bones, and cartilage.

  • Biotin is a B-complex vitamin known for its role in energy production but is also a very popular beauty supplement for radiant hair, skin, and nails.

  • Your body can produce collagen on its own while you must obtain biotin from your diet. 

  • One supplement is not better than the other. They both provide their own set of benefits. 

What is Collagen?

Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in the human body. It is made from the amino acids glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline and can be found in our connective tissues, tendons, bones, and cartilage. 

Additionally, collagen plays an essential role in a variety of body processes including immunity, tissue repair, and maintenance. When it comes to skin health, collagen boosts skin elasticity, skin hydration, and can reduce sagging skin as we age.

Although collagen is naturally produced in the body, we can also get it from foods such as bone broth, chicken and fish skin, and supplements. 

As we age, we produce less collage and what we have begins to break down. Although this is unavoidable, certain lifestyle factors can increase collagen breakdown, such as smoking, excessive alcohol intake, excessive sun exposure, and poor diet.

Collagen supplements are found in the form of specific collagen peptides, and it's often hydrolyzed collagen, meaning it's easier for the body to absorb and utilize. Supplements are popular to support hair, skin, and nails. Specifically, they help target and treat signs of aging by boosting hydration and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Supplementing with collagen also supports connective tissue and can treat joint pain, improve bone health, and boost muscle mass when combined with resistance training.

Collagen Health Benefits

  • One of the most popular uses for collagen is for skin health. Studies have found that collagen supplementation can help to improve skin appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by increasing the skin hydration and skin elasticity. Taking collagen as part of your skin care routine may also boost collagen production along with the production of other important compounds for skin structure, such as elastin and fibrillin [811].

  • Collagen supplementation may help to keep the cartilage that protects your joints healthy and lubricated. It's also believed it may help stimulate collagen production in the joints which can reduce inflammation, stiffness, and pain in those with conditions such as osteoarthritis [].

  • Collagen may also help to boost the strength of our bones. One study conducted on post-menopausal women with decreased bone mineral density found that collagen supplementation helped to increase this when taken consistently over the course of a year [9].

  • Collagen has beauty benefits too, as it can support the health of our nail health and hair health. If you have brittle nails, taking oral collagen supplements can help strengthen them. Collagen is also known for supporting healthy hair and collagen is an abundant protein in hair follicles.

  • Because collagen is a protein, taking collagen along with regular resistance training can help to boost lean body mass. Although effective, collagen supplementation isn't any different than supplementing with whey protein supplements [10].

What is Biotin?

Biotin is a B vitamin, also known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H. This vitamin is known for its role in energy production but is also a very popular beauty supplement for radiant hair, skin and nails. Additionally, biotin is one of the essential nutrients during pregnancy to help with fetal development.

It is recommended that adults get between 30-100 micrograms of biotin daily. You can get this from biotin-rich foods such as meat, fish, organ meats, eggs, nuts, seeds, and sweet potatoes. 

Symptoms of biotin deficiency include hair loss and dry skin which is why many companies might recommend taking a supplement. However, deficiencies in this nutrient are rare [1617]. 

Biotin Health Benefits

  • Biotin deficiencies can result in hair loss and dry, scaly skin. Supplementation during this time may help to improve these symptoms however, there is currently no strong evidence to suggest any benefit to taking biotin supplements for improving hair, skin, and nail health in healthy individuals without a deficiency [18].

  • Biotin is an essential vitamin for fetal development during pregnancy. Although it's rare, some pregnant women may become deficient in biotin therefore during this time it is encouraged that women take prenatal vitamins that contain biotin during pregnancy [19].

  • Some research suggests biotin supplementation may help in regulating blood sugar in those with type 2 diabetes however, further research on this is warranted [20].

Which is Better for Skin: Collagen or Biotin?

Both biotin and collagen play an important role in skin health. However, your body can produce collagen on its own, while you must obtain biotin from your diet. 

When it comes to healthy skin, taking a collagen supplement will likely provide greater benefits than a biotin supplement for healthy adults as biotin deficiency is rare. Additionally, older adults may notice a greater impact from collagen supplements as collagen production begins to decrease after the age of 30.

If you're looking for a supplement to support healthy skin, taking biotin will likely not yield significant results. Oral collagen supplementation on the other hand is more likely to specifically target skin cells and support skin elasticity.

vanilla collagen shake

Is Collagen or Biotin Better for Hair?

Biotin and collagen can help to improve the health and appearance of hair. However, biotin supplementation may provide the most benefit if a biotin deficiency is present. 

One study found that biotin may help to boost hair growth in those who suffered hair loss as a result of rapid weight loss or biotin deficiency. This study suggests that biotin supplementation can help improve hair growth in those with and without a deficiency in this nutrient. However, the study was small and more research is needed [21].

Collagen may help promote strong, healthy hair by helping by acting as an antioxidant. Because it helps strengthen skin cells, it may help to prevent thinning hair by supporting scalp health [2223].

For overall hair health, taking a biotin or collagen supplement can both provide their own set of benefits.

Collagen or Biotin for Nails?

As mentioned above, both biotin and collagen come with their own set of benefits. When it comes to nails, collagen contains amino acids that are essential for nail growth, while biotin may help with nail strength.

If you have brittle nails, taking biotin can be important to strengthen the nail beds. Consuming collagen can help nails grow and prevent breakage.

Because collagen and biotin function differently, it's not a matter of which is better but instead ensuring you have adequate amounts of both [24]. 

Collagen or Biotin for Joint and Bone Health?

Biotin and collagen play a supportive role in keeping joints and bones strong. However, collagen peptides are definitely more crucial to support joint health, as collagen is a vital structural protein in bones and connective tissue.

However, it's important to ensure adequate intake of biotin as well since biotin actually supports collagen production. So, it's not a matter of biotin vs collagen, but rather the complementing effect of both of these supplements that provides significant benefit.

What Foods are Rich in Collagen?

There are only a few collagen rich foods such as bone broth, organ meats like beef liver, as well as chicken and fish skin. However, there are many foods that can help promote the production of collagen, specifically those that are rich in vitamin C, zinc, and copper. Some of these foods include:

  • Berries

  • Citrus fruits

  • Egg whites

  • Garlic

  • Leafy greens

  • Beans

  • Bell peppers

  • Tomatoes 

What Foods are Rich in Biotin?

Biotin deficiency is rare however, if you aren't sure if you are getting enough biotin in your diet, consider incorporating more of the following foods into your diet [16]: 

  • Liver

  • Legumes

  • Nuts 

  • Seeds

  • Egg

  • Bananas

  • Spinach 

  • Milk

  • Oatmeal 

How Much Collagen Should I Take Per Day?

Collagen supplements are very popular and studies show that supplemental collagen is more effective at boosting collagen production in the body than consuming dietary sources alone. However, there are no current recommendations for collagen dosing.

If you are considering adding a collagen supplement to your routine, most research studies and health professionals support taking 2.5-15 grams consistently for at least a few months to see results [25].

How Much Biotin Per Day?

It is recommended that adults get between 30-100 micrograms of biotin daily. To avoid deficiency, most biotin supplements contain the daily recommended intake. Biotin is a b vitamin, and like all b vitamins, biotin is water-soluble. This means that any extra biotin that your body cannot use is excreted through the urine and toxicity risk is low []. Although there is likely no benefit from taking biotin in high doses, there is also likely no risk.

Can I Take Collagen Every Day?

Collagen supplements are considered safe and can be taken daily. In fact, for best results it's recommended to take collagen supplements consistently over a long period. Even if your body is not low in collagen, taking a supplement will not cause harm as collagen is a protein that can be used by your body.

Although the body naturally makes collagen, taking a daily collagen peptide supplement can support overall collagen production.

Supplements With Collagen and Biotin

If you are interested in adding biotin and collagen supplements to your routine, consider a supplement that contains both to get the most bang for your buck, such as our vanilla collagen peptides. One serving contains 30 micrograms of biotin (100% of the recommended daily intake) and 20 grams of protein from grass-fed collagen and organic seeds.

When choosing a supplement, be sure to choose one from a trusted brand that provides third-party testing for quality and purity. Avoid products that contain high amounts of added sugars or artificial ingredients. 

Always speak to your doctor or healthcare provider before adding a supplement to your routine, especially if you are taking any medications for a chronic condition.