In the past years, there has been a clear trend towards plant-based diets. Many people are now embracing the idea of eating less animal products and opting for more plant-based alternatives instead. For example, instead of having beef patties, people are trying out tofu and tempeh burgers or mushroom patties. Similarly, instead of traditional cow’s milk, people are exploring different plant-based milks like oat, almond, and macadamia milk. It’s all about incorporating more plant-based options into our meals!
So it only makes sense that there would also be an interest in plant based collagen supplements. We’ve spoken with Madeline Calfas, Nutritionist, Naturopath and Founder of The Wellness Group, to understand how plant-based collagen works and the difference between animal-based collagen.
You’ll also like this:
How Effective is Vegan Collagen in Comparison to Animal-based Collagen?
Collagen supplements are designed to help improve your skin’s ability to increase plumpness and skin elasticity. This helps to decrease fine lines and wrinkles (we definitely want as few of those as possible) and gives your skin that beautiful dewy appearance. But why do we need to supplement in the first place? It’s a sad fact that as we age, our skin matrix starts to deplete.
Collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid start to slow down their production, and this is what starts the downward spiral of our skin. Lines that used to only be there when you laughed or cried suddenly begin to be there all the time. Cellular turnover starts to slow down, and we may notice a build-up and thickening of the skin, which begins to make our skin look a little more dull and not quite as radiant as it was when we were younger. By adopting a great skincare regime, we can begin to slow this process down.
However, as we all know, what happens on the outside of our bodies must also be supported by what’s going on on the inside of our bodies. This is where a collagen supplement really gets its moment in the sun (wearing an SPF 50+, of course)
- Collagen is made up of 19 different amino acids and accounts for around 30% of all your body’s protein. That’s quite a hefty piece of us, so it stands to reason that it is something that we really want to support.
- Collagen is part of your skin, bones, tendons, muscles and intestines, and is essentially responsible for keeping everything in it’s place. So much for than just for beauty reasons, we want to maintain our collagen to also ensure our gut and joint health is optimal, and that we feel as good as we look!
- A good collagen supplement will also contain vitamin C and minerals as well to help your body produce collagen. Including whole foods such as kiwi fruit, lemon, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, guava and oranges into a collagen supplement will help ensure your body has what it needs to get the collagen-production ball rolling.
- Most animal-based collagens are exactly that – collagen powders that are literally made from animals. Marine collagens are similar – they are derived from marine animals, and are designed for you to take them to increase your own collagen levels.
Negative Aspects of Animal-based Collagen
The negatives to animal-based collagen are that it can often contain pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and industrial chemical remnants. How? Because whatever was used on the animal during its life is stored in the cells and then passed on to you. If the animal was given antibiotics just before it died, then it is entirely possible that the antibiotics used will still be present in the tissue when it is processed into collagen powder. It stands to reason, then, that you need to be very choosy about your source of animal-based collagen and opt for organic, hormone and pesticide-free varieties.
Vegan Collagen vs Animal-based Collagen
Plant-based or vegan collagens work in a different way from animal-based ones. They are actually not made from collagen. Rather, they are designed to provide all the ingredients to help your own body to make MORE collagen.
Think of them more like collagen peptide builders. Your body gets given the pieces and then has to put them all together. It would actually be more accurate to say plant-based collagen isn’t actually a collagen supplement, but rather a collagen- induction support supplement. By including plant-based ingredients that contain collagen-stimulating ingredients (think biotin, trace minerals, silica, vitamin C and rice peptides), you are actually making your body produce more collagen rather than just relying on taking a supplement to, well, supplement what is missing.
A lot of ingredients you will usually find in plant-based collagens include sea buckthorn (a plant that is known to actually contain ten times the amount of vitamin C when compared to oranges), spirulina, kale and spinach (dark green leafy vegetables that also have high vitamin c levels, as well as vitamin A and calcium), trace minerals such as silica and selenium, antioxidants (to help protect against free radical damage), hyaluronic acid derived from mushrooms and rice peptides (peptides are short- chain amino acids that are the building blocks of proteins such as collagen, elastin, keratin and hyaluronic acid).
How to Choose a Good Vegan Collagen
Similarly to animal-based collagen supplements, you want to be really particular with which brand you choose. Ensuring that you have a certified organic brand, and sources non-GMO, pesticide and chemical-free ingredients will make all the difference when it comes to minimising your body’s exposure to these unwanted additives.
Ultimately using a vegan collagen supplement will work better for someone who would like to maintain their collagen levels as it makes your body do its own work. An animal-based supplement is generally better when someone already has a lot of repair work to be done, and so it would generally be recommended to start with an animal-based collagen to fix and repair, and then move onto a plant-based collagen once you are in maintenance mode.
It is important to remember though, that NO supplement, animal or plant-based, can do anything to undo a sketchy lifestyle. Ensuring you sleep well, get regular exercise, eat well and keep well hydrated is just as essential (if not more so) than relying on a supplement.
Best Vegan Collagen Supplements
1. Edible Beauty Native Plant-based Collagen Powder
Edible Beauty Plant-based Collagen is a vegan collagen powder crafted with a blend of 100% plant-based Australian botanicals and fruits packed with antioxidants. This specially formulated powder aims to promote the production of healthy collagen and maintain a thriving gut. Moreover, it works wonders by shielding the skin from the harmful effects of free radicals, which can deplete its youthful appearance.
2. The Beauty Chef Collagen Inner Beauty Boost
A delicious organic probiotic concentrate carefully made to enhance your skin’s natural collagen production. It’s made in Australia and certified organic, guaranteeing that only the best ingredients are used. We love that the formula mix bio-fermented papaya and grapeseed extracts, along with the infusion of pomegranate peel extract, gotu kola, organic goji, acai, and maqui berries. It also contains vitamin C to stimulate collagen production and zinc to fortify skin structure.
3. Imbibe Vegan Collagen
Imbibe vegan collagen is designed to boost collagen production and support the health of your skin. With the power of Pro-Collagen TriHelix™ and the beauty mushroom Tremella, this healthy podwer works wonders by enhancing skin hydration, improving elasticity, and reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
The unique blend of plant-based nutrients in this creamy vanilla concentrate promotes skin plumping and collagen production. The essential amino acids L-Glycine, L-Lysine, and L-Proline, known as the Pro-Collagen Tri-Helix™, synergistically contribute to collagen synthesis. Organic Tremella, also called the Beauty Mushroom, brings powerful antioxidants to the table. It boosts cellular hydration and serves as a natural source of precursors for skin-loving Vitamin D.
4. Swisse Beauty Vegan Collagen Builder
An affordable vegan collagen that is not only vegan-friendly but also halal-certified. Designed to enhance collagen formation and promote overall skin health.
5. Dr LeWinn’s Vegan Collagen Hyaluronic Acid Tropical Flavour Powder
A plant-based collagen alternative that has been scientifically developed to mimic Type 1 human collagen. It also includes a vegan form of 50mg of Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C, two essential nutrients for skin health.
This 100% Vegan collagen can be easily blended into water or added to juice or smoothies. You can also mix it into your preferred food.
You’ll also like this: