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Should I choose bovine collagen or marine collagen for my skin?

by Olivia Coleman

Should I choose bovine collagen or marine collagen for my skin?

Description: The choice between bovine collagen and marine collagen is important when trying to reap the benefits for your skin. Here we break down what you need to know.

Whether bovine collagen or marine collagen – or, indeed, collagen from any other source – the collagen in your supplements comes from an animal. It is a by-product of the meat industry, extracted from parts of the animals that are not usually used as food. Think bones, hides, tendons, skin and scales. There are many types of collagen, each of which is more abundant in certain parts of our bodies. When your main objective with collagen supplementation is to experience the benefits for your skin, you might question which type of collagen is best for that goal. This question may start as a comparison of collagen from different animals, but it will eventually lead to considering the collagen type you need.

So, without further ado, let’s explore the question: should I choose bovine collagen or marine collagen for my skin?

What are the different collagen types?

For the uninitiated, collagen is generally considered to be a single entity. But there are actually 28 known collagen types, and there may yet be more to be discovered. This is a lot to consider, but there are three main collagen types that are particularly important for our bodies. These are the ones you need to be concerned with when exploring the specific benefits they will be best at delivering.

The amino acids you need to produce these collagen types can come from various healthy proteins. They can be added to your diet by eating things like organ meats, cartilage and boned fish, but these things are not part of a typical diet for the majority of people. As such, collagen supplements are a popular alternative – in fact, the amino acids are uniquely abundant in supplements, and they have been manipulated to make it very easy for your body to absorb and use them to create new collagen.

The three main types of collagen are as follows:

• Type I (found in skin, tendons, ligaments, bones, teeth, arteries and organs)
• Type II (primarily found in cartilage)
• Type III (found in the skin, blood vessels and muscles)

Let’s look at these in a little more detail.

Type I collagen

Type I makes up the majority of the body’s collagen. In fact, as much as 90% of the collagen in your body is type I, and it is composed of fibres that are packed very densely. This collagen gives structure to many parts of the body, and your skin is a particularly important one. With collagen so prevalent in the skin, its decline can lead to things like loose, sagging skin, the formation of fine lines and wrinkles, thinning of hair and brittle nails.

Type II collagen

Type II collagen is composed of more loosely packed fibres, giving it the elasticity required in cartilage. This provides cushioning for your joints, promoting comfortable movement and healthy function to support the skeletal system. Your cartilage needs to bear mechanical stress and absorb shock, and this is particularly important for people who like to engage in exercise and sport. So type II collagen should be the main focus for people who want to improve their joint health through collagen supplementation.

Type III collagen

This is the second most abundant type of collagen in the body, supporting the structure of arteries, muscles and organs throughout your body. You will find it in reticular fibres like bone marrow, and it is helpful in maintaining strength and good health in the gut, vascular system and bones.

Bovine collagen or marine collagen for the skin

As you can see from the analysis of collagen types above, the most important collagen for improving the health and appearance of your skin is type I. As you get older, the natural levels of this collagen in your skin decrease, and this decline can be exacerbated by things like:

• Exposure to sunlight
• Smoking
• Stress
• Poor diet
• Excessive alcohol consumption

If you are approaching or in midlife and any of the above applies to you, chances are you are experiencing the early signs of ageing. In your skin, this amounts to fine lines and wrinkles, skin losing its elasticity, poor skin hydration and a general lack of vibrancy. It may feel like you simply have to accept these things now, but by making changes to the lifestyle choices listed above and engaging in a good skincare routine – including taking the right collagen supplement – you could restore some of the youthful appearance to your skin.

One of the key considerations in choosing the right collagen supplement for your skin is to know where that collagen comes from.

Bovine collagen

This is extracted from the connective tissues, cartilage, bones and hides of cows. Bovine collagen usually consists of a mixture of type I and type III collagen. This gives it quite a broad focus in terms of the benefits it can bring to your body, but it means the type I collagen that is so important for your skin is not available in such high concentrations in a supplement.

With bovine collagen, there is a chance you will experience some of the benefits to your skin, but it may not be the best choice. Generally, speaking, the benefits of bovine collagen are thought to primarily relate to bones, joints and organ health. You can also experience these results from marine collagen, as well as the many benefits for your skin which we will outline in the next section.

Marine collagen

Marine collagen comes from the skin and scales of fish and is almost exclusively type I collagen. It is also known to be the collagen that bears the strongest molecular similarity to human collagen, and studies have shown it to be more bioavailable than other forms of animal collagen. What this amounts to is that it will deliver maximum benefit to your skin and it will also be very easy for your body to absorb and use the amino acids it receives from a marine collagen supplement.

By supplying collagen peptides that are almost entirely derived from type I collagen, marine collagen supplements are a potent source of skin-boosting, rejuvenating nutrients. They will equip your body with the fuel it needs to stimulate and support the creation of new collagen to restore optimal health to your skin, so the benefits you could experience include:

• Better skin hydration
• Improved firmness and elasticity of skin
• Restoration of that youthful glow
• A reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
• Better health in your hair and nails

Other considerations for the question of bovine collagen or marine collagen

When searching for the right collagen supplement for you, there are some other things you should know about this particular comparison.


As a by-product of the meat industry, collagen is impacted by the way the animals are farmed. In many cases, cattle farming involves the use of hormones, antibiotics and GMO crops to keep costs down while promoting growth in the animals. Unfortunately, studies have shown that the use of these things can contaminate the meat with unwanted things including toxins like heavy metals. These things can then be present in the collagen peptides that go into your supplement.

Fish farming generally uses far less of these chemicals, particularly in aquaculture farms. This means the purity and integrity of the meat and the collagen is higher, with far fewer contaminants that might do harm to your body over the long term.

Type of supplement

When choosing between bovine collagen or marine collagen, you should look at the types of supplement. Generally speaking, you are choosing between a powder, a liquid or a tablet. Bovine collagen is usually offered in a powder or a tablet, though some liquids are available. Marine collagen, on the other hand, is widely available in all three forms.

It is our strong belief that liquid collagen supplements are the most effective. Powders need to be mixed with other drinks or food, which can be time consuming, and you are not guaranteed a consistent daily dosage due to the uneven distribution of the powder within the tub. Tablets, on the other hand, are only able to contain a limited dosage because of their size, and they put more strain on your digestive system to break them down. Liquids are easy to drink and have maximum bioavailability because they require no digestion and supply the collagen in a high, consistent dosage in every serving.

Complementary ingredients

You should always check what other ingredients are in your collagen supplement. A good one will contain nutrients known to assist the processes by which your body creates new collagen using the amino acids from the collagen peptides. These include B vitamins, vitamin C and l-lysine.

You should also look out for ingredients like sugar or artificial flavourings. These may not be good for your health, and can even interfere with the effectiveness of the collagen once it enters your body.

Kollo: answering the question of bovine collagen or marine collagen

Kollo is a premium-grade marine collagen supplement that has won numerous awards and received thousands of 5-star reviews. The Naticol marine collagen has high purity and superb bioavailability while the liquid suspension ensures maximum convenience and easy absorption into your bloodstream. The formula contains 10 grams of collagen peptides and is fortified with B vitamins, vitamin C and l-lysine, and it is sugar-free with delicious natural flavourings for a tasty tropical drink each day.

If you would like to learn more about why Kollo is a fantastic option for your skin, please explore our blog and read some of the articles about collagen and its benefits for anti-ageing. There is a lot to learn, so we have supplied a wealth of information on our website. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we will answer them

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