Collagen vs. Hyaluronic Acid: Which One for Skin?

When it comes to the game of skincare, collagen and hyaluronic acid (HA) are the star players. Whether your goal is to ward off wrinkles or give your skin a more youthful glow, chances are you’ve heard of one of the two. 

But what is the difference between them?

Collagen vs Hyaluronic Acid: What's the Difference

Both collagen and HA are naturally occurring compounds in your body. 

Collagen is a protein responsible for the structure of your skin, as well as your joints, tendons, bones, muscles, hair, and more. Although your body creates its own collagen, you produce less as you age [1].

HA is found in your body's connective tissue. Like collagen, it’s also an important component in providing structure for your skin but is well-known for its hydrating and plumping properties. 

HA can bind to nearly 1000 times its weight in water, keeping your skin well-hydrated and youthful looking. Like collagen, HA also decreases as we age which can make us more susceptible to developing unwanted wrinkles. 

You can get both collagen and HA from foods such as bone broth [2].

What Does Collagen Do For Skin?


Collagen helps to improve skin elasticity which aids in reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It does this by helping to promote new skin growth while supporting our skin’s structure [3].

A systematic review of 19 different studies showed 1,125 participants between the ages of 20 and 70 years old noted improvement in skin hydration, elasticity and visibility of wrinkles when taking a collagen supplement compared to those who did not [4].

How Does Hyaluronic Acid Benefit Skin?

HA can be used topically or orally. Both provide numerous benefits for the appearance and health of our skin. Because HA binds with water, it provides our skin with a plump, smooth appearance and gives a youthful glow.

A 12-week double-blind placebo-controlled study revealed that taking supplemental HA may help to improve the look of wrinkles and the overall condition of the skin [5].

Collagen vs Hyaluronic Acid: How to Choose Between the Two

When it comes to supplements, quality is key. To get the most bang for your buck, you want to get the best product without any additional fluff. Always choose your supplements from a reputable source and look for products that offer third-party testing for quality. 

When choosing collagen supplements, look for products that contain type 1 collagen to support your skin health. This can be from a bovine or marine source. 

You also want collagen that is hydrolyzed and comes in peptide form so that it is easily absorbed. 

To put it simply, look for supplement products that contain hydrolyzed bovine or marine collagen peptides in their ingredients list.

Research suggests taking hydrolyzed collagen peptides in doses of 2.5-15g daily will provide the maximum benefit. Be sure to check the supplement label to make sure it contains a good amount of collagen, especially if other ingredients are included [6].

When choosing HA acid oral supplements, look for products that have HA in the form of sodium hyaluronate. Sodium hyaluronate is extracted from HA but is smaller in molecular weight. This allows it to penetrate the deeper tissues of the skin and hydrate from the inside out [7].

While HA does not currently have a recommended dosage, some studies have found that taking 120-240 mg per day could improve skin moisture and reduce the appearance of wrinkles [8].

Can I Take Collagen and Hyaluronic Acid Together?

If you don’t want to have to choose between the two, then don’t!

Choose a product that contains both collagen and HA, like the vanilla collagen peptides from Ella, our women’s wellness line. 

This product contains daily dose of hydrolyzed bovine collagen peptides and 100mg of sodium hyaluronate in a tasty, easy-to-dissolve powder that comes in chocolate and vanilla.

There is no reason you cannot take these two supplements together. In fact, they work well complimenting each other. These two supplements are a power pair that will bring out the best in your skin.

Taking these supplements together may also provide additional benefits aside from skin health such as improvement in joint pain. 

Bottom Line 

Choosing to take a collagen supplement, a HA acid supplement, or both, can have positive impacts on the look and feel of your skin. Although many get these two confused because they both provide similar benefits to the skin, they act in very different ways. 

Choosing a high-quality supplement that contains both collagen and HA can complement your skincare routine and provide radiant, long-term results from the inside out.