Our body contains a number of different types of protein. These nutrients act as building blocks for our body, providing the structure for parts of the body such as muscles, skin, hair and ligaments
One of the most abundant forms of protein in the human body is collagen. Collagen makes up about one third of all the protein in our body, and three quarters of the total weight of our skin .
We produce collagen naturally, which is used to regenerate and replace old body tissue. As time goes on, we rely on collagen to maintain healthy and youthful skin, hair and joints, among other things. Yet our natural collagen production also decreases as we get older. Collagen production begins to fall slowly between the age of 18 and 29, and by the time we get to 80, we usually have lost approximately 75% of our peak collagen levels .
For this reason, collagen supplements are extremely popular right now. Supplementing with collagen is believed to provide a number of health benefits, such as supporting joint health , skin hydration , bone density  and muscle mass .
The issue is that almost all collagen supplements are not suitable for vegans. These supplements are made up of collagen proteins, usually small pieces called collagen peptides, which come from animal tissue. Therefore, they are clearly not vegan.
For vegans who want to enjoy the benefits of collagen supplementation, but still want to keep away from animal products, new vegan collagen supplements are beginning to appear on the market. These supplements are made a little differently to regular, animal-based collagen, but are intended to support collagen production in much the same way, offering the same health benefits.
Read on to learn all you need to know about vegan collagen, as well as our picks for the best vegan collagen supplements out there today.
What is Vegan Collagen?
Vegan collagen is collagen that doesn’t come from any animal-based sources. That means the common sources used for collagen supplements – animal bones, skin, and connective tissue – are all out if you’re looking for a vegan option.
True, naturally-occurring vegan collagen doesn’t exist. Collagen is not produced from plants, only from animals and humans.
Scientists can create a vegan form of collagen through genetic engineering, however. While it is a relatively new field of research, it is said that by modifying yeast and a certain type of bacteria, these scientists are able to create a synthetic form of collagen, using zero animal products.
As the production of true vegan collagen is still a new development, actual vegan collagen is extremely hard to find, and expensive if you do happen to come across it. So while it may become widely available in the future, for now, true vegan collagen supplements don’t exist.
What does exist are “vegan collagen boosters”. These are marketed as vegan collagen supplements, although they actually work a little bit differently to more common animal-derived collagen. Yet they may offer similar health benefits to real collagen, while fitting into a vegan diet.
Try new Vegan Collagen Booster supplement for FREE: uVitals has developed & clinically tested a new Vegan Collagen Formula containing several all-natural collagen boosting ingredients and absolutely zero animal products! Collagen is key to maintaining healthy youthful skin, hair and joints & we produce less & less of it as we age.
How Vegan Collagen Supplements are Different From Animal Collagen
Vegan collagen supplements are, almost always, not actual collagen. Since we’re in a very early stage of being able to artificially create collagen, without taking it from animals, the popular vegan alternative is to increase our own collagen production instead.
As we touched on earlier, our body creates collagen naturally. As we age, collagen production slows down. Hence why aging is related with things like wrinkling or sagging skin, joint pain, and brittle hair and nails. We rely on collagen to repair and regenerate all these parts of the body.
Collagen boosters contain nutrients that support the natural production of collagen. These nutrients include vitamins A, C and E, zinc, copper, biotin and silica . Collagen boosting supplements may also include amino acids, such as glycine, lysine, and proline, which act as building blocks for the collagen proteins themselves .
So while collagen boosters may be quite different in structure to actual collagen supplements, they may both achieve the desired outcome of higher collagen levels, and do so with zero animal products used.
Health Benefits of Vegan Collagen and Collagen Boosters
Whether you take a true collagen supplement or a vegan collagen booster, higher collagen production is linked with a number of health benefits. These benefits are largely focused on reversing or slowing the physical signs of aging, as these are often caused by decreased levels of collagen.
Collagen benefits for skin
Perhaps the most popular use of collagen is for your skin. As collagen makes up approximately three quarters of our skin, declining collagen production has a direct impact on skin health and appearance .
Collagen for joint health
Collagen may help lower inflammation and reduce pain in the joints. A lot of our cartilage – the tissue that protects our joints – is made up of collagen. So when this tissue degrades, and we don’t have the collagen production to keep up, degenerative joint problems like osteoarthritis occur.
It stands to reason that supplementing our collagen production would help keep joints and joint cartilage healthy, and the studies back that up. Collagen has been shown to help treat and prevent osteoarthritis, by supporting the growth of new cartilage . It has also been shown to help reduce activity-related joint pain in athletes, as well as the risk of joint deterioration .
Healthy hair and nails
Our hair and nails break down over time, and we rely on certain minerals to be able to replenish and repair these parts.
One of the main proteins that makes up hair and nails is keratin. To produce more keratin, and thus rebuild damaged hair and nails, we need to get several types of amino acids, many of which are found in collagen and collagen supplements.
That means supplementing collagen may produce more of the building blocks needed for keratin, which will aid in the regrowth of hair and nails.
One placebo-controlled, double-blind study found that collagen supplements were beneficial in stimulating hair growth in women with thinning hair . While in another study, daily supplementation with oral collagen peptides increased nail growth and reduced symptoms in women with brittle nail syndrome .
Benefits of collagen for heart health
Collagen also supports the structure of arteries, which can have an effect on cardiovascular health.
When collagen production slows, we may not have the necessary levels of collagen to support and rebuild arteries, leading to them becoming weak and brittle. As a result, there is a risk of atherosclerosis, a condition where arteries become narrow or blocked, often causing serious conditions such as blood clots, heart attacks or strokes.
A study, performed on healthy adults over a period of 6 months, found that twice-daily collagen supplementation had a positive effect on low-density to high-density cholesterol ratio, and resulted in the reduction of several markers that are linked with a higher risk of atherosclerosis .
How to Take Collagen Supplements: Topical or Ingested?
There are a number of different types of collagen supplements you may come across, in different forms. Topical collagen, as in creams and moisturizers, is one form which is increasingly popular today. Yet it may not be the best option to get the health benefits of collagen supplements.
It’s quite easy to see why people believe topical collagen would be beneficial. One of the biggest reasons people take collagen is to treat wrinkled, aging or damaged skin. So it’s easy to market a collagen skin cream or moisturizer for this use.
But collagen is actually quite hard to absorb through the skin. Collagen molecules are too large to penetrate the skin, so it won’t actually provide structural benefits to your skin. You may feel a short-term moisturizing effect, but it won’t last.
Oral collagen supplements, however, can be absorbed by the body much easier. They’re much more likely to actually benefit you at a molecular level, by providing the body with the collagen it needs to maintain healthy hair, skin and nails.
It’s worth noting that true vegan collagen may work better in topical form than animal-derived collagen. As this form of collagen is made synthetically, the molecules can be smaller, and more likely to penetrate the skin and be properly absorbed into the body. Yet at this time, topical vegan collagen remains in an early stage of development, and thus too expensive for the average person.
The 7 Best Vegan Collagen Supplements
Let’s look at some of the best vegan collagen supplements on the market today. Remember that almost all vegan collagen supplements are actually collagen boosters, and feature a mix of ingredients that naturally boost collagen production. So if you see any affordable options claiming to actually be true, vegan collagen, be very skeptical.
Ideally you’ll want to look for a vegan collagen booster with a range of collagen-boosting minerals, as well as amino acids (such as glycine or proline). Additionally, many boosters contain antioxidants, which can be doubly beneficial by protecting against the processes that lead to breakdown or slowing of collagen production.
Here’s a list of the best vegan collagen boosters available today:
- Moon Juice Collagen Protect Vegan Creamer
- Future Kind Vegan Collagen Booster
- Ora Organic Aloe Gorgeous Vegan Collagen-Boosting Powder
- Rae Wellness Vegan Collagen Boost Powder
- Amazing Grass GLOW Vegan Collagen Support
- Your Super Plant Collagen Powder
- Sunwarrior Beauty Greens Collagen Booster
Read on to see a breakdown of all the vegan collagen supplements listed above…
Moon Juice is an interesting brand. The founder, Amanda Chantal Bacon, was able to put an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s disease into remission after being told it wasn’t possible. During this process, she began to research and test out various natural remedies to “deepen” her healing process. She realized that others could benefit from her newfound knowledge & experience and so opened a small health store in Venice, California. This small LA-based store has grown and received a lot of attention and a big fanbase, including celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, and Moon Juice launched their own line of vegan supplements.
Moon Juice Collagen Protect is, in the words of Moon Juice themselves, “a vegan collagen alternative that provides essential nutrition to your cells to help preserve your body’s natural collagen while hydrating your skin from the inside out. It has 3 plumping and nourishing ingredients: Silver Ear Mushroom, Hyaluronic Acid, & Tocos and doesn’t contain animal collagen.”
The ingredients list for Moon Juice Collagen protect is small (Tremella in the form of Silver Ear Mushroom, Rice Bran Solubles or Tocotrienols and Hyaluronic Acid) but apparently very potent. It comes in powder form as a ‘creamer’, and Moon Juice recommend adding 2 tbsp to coffee, matcha or smoothies daily. Many reviews say that the powder clumps up easily, so we suggest blending into smoothies more than using as a coffee creamer if you think you might be bothered by a clumpy texture.
Moon Juice Collagen Protect Ingredients
- Silver Ear Mushroom grown organically in China: supports a healthy skin barrier and is one of the only vegan sources of Vitamin D.
- Tocos (or Tocotrienols) from organic thai jasmine rice. Helps protect collagen and prevent the visible signs of aging and is Bioactive form of vitamin E.
- Hyaluronic Acid; increases skin moisture and helps reduce the appearance of lines
Moon Juice Collagen Protect Pros
- Tastes nice and blends well into iced beverages
- Contains vegan magnesium and vitamin D content, an added bonus
- All ingredients are naturally derived and are vegan with no soy, gluten or fillers
Moon Juice Collagen Protect Vegan Creamer Cons
- Contains arsenic as the process of extracting rice bran solubles, like Tocos in Collagen Protect, concentrates the arsenic already found in the rice. Unfortunately, the soluble portion (Tocos) lacks the insoluble fiber in brown rice to help pass it through the colon. Moon Juice contains 7.56 micrograms (µg) of arsenic per serving
- One of the most expensive vegan collagen boosters on the market today
This supplement features a huge ingredient list, including collagen-boosting vitamins, minerals, amino acids and beneficial antioxidants, from a brand focused on creating top-quality, sustainable products.
This collagen booster is 100% vegan and cruelty-free, tested in an FDA and GMP-certified facility. There are zero unwanted additives such as GMOs, sugar, gluten, nuts, soy, or artificial preservatives. It also comes in a recycled, eco-friendly glass bottle, in line with the company’s commitment to sustainability.
Future Kind Collagen Booster Ingredients
16 natural ingredients, including:
- Vitamins A, C and E
- Minerals biotin, folate, zinc and silica
- Amino acids L-glycine, L-lysine and L-proline
- Antioxidants from amla extract, grape seed extract and resveratrol
Future Kind Collagen Booster Pros
- Huge list of ingredients
- No artificial additives
- Easy to swallow pill form
- Environmentally-conscious company
Future Kind Collagen Booster Cons
- A little expensive for single purchases
Ora Organic’s vegan collagen booster comes in powder form, with vanilla, peanut butter and chocolate flavor options. It can be a great option for people who don’t like supplements in pill form – you can add it to a smoothie, or mix it with water or your plant-based milk of choice.
This product offers a superior taste to a lot of other collagen-boosting powders, and while it doesn’t have quite so many ingredients, it does feature several potent minerals, as well as organic pea protein.
Ora Organic Collagen-Boosting Powder Ingredients
- Vitamins C and E
- Bamboo silica
- Antioxidants from aloe vera and acerola cherry
- Organic pea protein, coconut milk and coconut sugar
Ora Organic Collagen-Boosting Powder Pros
- Great taste
- No GMOs, artificial ingredients, dairy, gluten, soy
- Ora Organic’s products are manufactured and sourced with a focus on quality and ethics
Ora Organic Collagen-Boosting Powder Cons
- Price – a little costly for the number of servings
- Slightly smaller ingredient list than other products on this list
While a lot of the products mentioned here market themselves as a premium choice with a premium price tag, the is a budget option that doesn’t give up much (if anything) on quality.
Available in both capsules and powder, this supplement features several key collagen-boosting ingredients, including potent bamboo stem extract, which contains a range of vitamins and amino acids. The product is tested to ensure it’s 100% vegan, and free from GMO ingredients, artificial preservatives and harmful fillers.
What’s more, Rae Wellness is a women-led, socially conscious brand, who commit 5% of all their revenue towards the non-profit organization Girls Inc.
Rae Wellness Vegan Collagen Boost Powder Ingredients
- Vitamin C
- Bamboo stem extract (source of vitamins A, B and E)
- Amino acids glycine, L-lysine and L-proline
Rae Wellness Vegan Collagen Boost Powder Pros
- Strong amino acid profile
- Convenient choice of powder or capsule form
Rae Wellness Vegan Collagen Boost Powder Cons
- Fewer antioxidant ingredients than other products
Amazing Grass have put together a potent mixture of ingredients with their GLOW collagen support powder, to deliver a huge amount of antioxidants to protect against processes that slow collagen production. All ingredients are organic and plant-based, and it provides a great source of vitamin C, as well as B-vitamins like biotin, which is vital for healthy hair and nails.
This supplement comes in powder form, with the added benefit of 15g of pea protein in each serving. There are three flavors to choose from, though be aware that the stevia used in flavoring may turn some people off.
Amazing Grass GLOW Ingredients
- Antioxidants from acacia gum, acerola cherry, rose petal
- B-complex blend from guava, holy basil and lemon peel extracts
- Organic greens blend of wheatgrass and kale
- Organic biotin sourced from sesbania leaf
- Organic pea and brown rice proteins
- Stevia for taste
Amazing Grass GLOW Pros
- Huge range of antioxidant and mineral-dense ingredients
- USDA Organic, Vegan and Gluten Free
- 15g protein per serving
Amazing Grass GLOW Cons
- Low amino acid profile
- Some may not like the stevia used for flavor
Your Super is a supplement company that prides itself on sustainability and transparency. Their products don’t contain a huge list of ingredients, and they let you know just where each ingredient came from.
Their plant collagen powder (actually a collagen booster – don’t let the name fool you to thinking this contains actual plant-based collagen) is made up of organic ingredients sourced from Thailand, Belgium, China Peru and Madagascar.
The ingredient mix of 6 superfoods delivers quite a potent mix of antioxidants and amino acids, all certified organic.
Your Super Plant Collagen Powder Ingredients
- Pea protein
- Aloe vera
Your Super Plant Collagen Powder Pros
- Organic ingredients
- Transparency in sourcing
- Wide range of amino acids and antioxidants
- Subtle flavor that mixes well in smoothies
Your Super Plant Collagen Powder Cons
- A little expensive
This organic superfood mix is made to benefit the user in a number of ways. Collagen-boosting properties of bamboo stem, silica, tremella mushroom extract and various antioxidants are there, along with probiotics, which promote gut health and have a huge range of related health benefits.
While some supplements make it a point to include only a few ingredients, to make it easy to trace everything that’s going into your body, Sunwarrior Beauty Greens is loaded with everything from green vegetable extracts, to organic coconut water and antioxidants such as amla fruit extract.
Sunwarrior Beauty Greens Collagen Booster Ingredients
- Hyaluronic acid
- Tremella mushrooms
- Probiotic blend
- Vegetable blend including broccoli sprout, spinach and kale
Sunwarrior Beauty Greens Collagen Booster Pros
- Features probiotics for gut health
- Fits low-carb, keto, paleo and vegan diets
- Tub made from 100% recycled materials
Sunwarrior Beauty Greens Collagen Booster Cons
- Portion size is quite small for the price
- Ingredient list makes it a little difficult to tell just what you’re getting
Get uVitals Vegan Collagen Booster supplement for FREE: we have developed a new Vegan Collagen Formula containing several all-natural collagen boosting ingredients and absolutely zero animal products. This means you can conveniently get the benefits of increased collagen like healthy, hydrated and youthful skin, hair & joints without having to consume animal products.
Summing Up: The Best Vegan Collagen Supplement
Out of all the options available today, our pick for the best plant-based collagen supplement is the Vegan Collagen Booster from Future Kind. It offers 16 clean, potent ingredients, which cover all the bases when it comes to boosting natural collagen production.
It’s got vitamins A, C and E, vital minerals such as zinc, folate and biotin, the three key amino acids glycine, lysine and proline, and a mix of powerful antioxidants. It’s also clear exactly what you get in each capsule, unlike some supplements which feature confusing ingredient lists or proprietary blends.
You can’t go too far wrong with any of the other products recommended here, however, as all of them offer varying degrees of benefit for natural collagen production.
Until true vegan collagen is widely available and affordable, go with a natural vegan collagen booster if you want to enjoy healthier hair, nails, skin and more, without taking anything derived from animals.
Vegan Collagen Frequently Asked Questions
uVitals recently received a (digital) sack full of questions about vegan collagen. Rather then keep our responses solely in emails, we figured it’s a good idea to share the questions and their answers here so that we can refer anyone with questions to this section in future:
- Q: Is there a vegan form of collagen?
A: True, naturally-occurring vegan collagen does not exist. Collagen is not produced from plants, only from animals and humans.
Scientists have been able to create a vegan form of collagen through genetic engineering, however. By modifying yeast and a certain type of bacteria, they are able to create a synthetic form of collagen, using zero animal products.
As this is still a new development, actual vegan collagen is extremely hard to find, and very expensive if you can. So while it may become widely available in the future, for now, Vegans looking to get the advantages of collagen from non animal-derived sources commonly use “vegan collagen boosters”. These are marketed as vegan collagen supplements, although they actually work a little bit differently to more common animal-derived collagen. Vegan collagen boosters can offer similar health benefits to real collagen, while fitting into a vegan diet.
- Q: Do Vegan collagen boosters work?
A: The popular vegan alternative to animal-derived collagen is to increase the bodies collagen production abilities instead.
Our body creates collagen naturally. As we age, collagen production slows down. This is why aging is related to things like wrinkling or sagging skin, joint pain, and brittle hair and nails. We rely on collagen to repair and regenerate all these parts of the body.
Vegan collagen boosters contain nutrients that support the natural production of collagen. These nutrients include vitamins A, C and E, zinc, copper, biotin and silica. Collagen boosting supplements may also include amino acids, such as glycine, lysine, and proline, which act as building blocks for the collagen proteins themselves.
While vegan collagen boosters may be quite different in structure to actual collagen supplements, they can both achieve the desired outcome of higher collagen levels, and do so with zero animal products used.
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