Collagen is one of the hottest beauty and health products on the market today. If you keep up with notable beauty and makeup influencers, you’ll hear most of them mention collagen and collagen-related products repeatedly.
Collagen is often referred to as “the fountain of youth” due to its proposed anti-aging properties. Some claim it can reduce wrinkles and make their skin look ten years younger; others say it helps reduce inflammation and joint pain.
There’s only one small problem: collagen isn’t vegan. It’s directly extracted from animals and is a form of refined animal protein.
Thankfully, there’s another alternative: vegan collagen builders. In today’s post, I’ll explain what collagen is, why you need it, and how vegans get their collagen.
Then, I’ll show you the best vegan collagen builders that you can use to increase your body’s own collagen naturally!
- All-natural, unflavored powder supplement.
- Combination of vegan protein powder & collagen booster.
- Affordable everyday vegan collagen booster gummy.
What Is Collagen & Why Do You Need It?
Collagen is an essential protein that’s found within our skin, and the skin of most animals. The outer layer of the skin you see in the mirror is called your cuticle.
Under that, you have a layer of fresh skin called the epidermis. Supporting that skin is an even thicker layer that consists of two key proteins:
Collagen provides strength to your cuticle and the epidermis, holding it together, keeping it tight and firm, and giving us a youthful appearance. Elastin is the protein responsible for allowing our skin cells to stretch and relax back into place.
Although collagen is more sought after for its anti-aging effects, elastin is equally as important. Often you’ll find the two paired together in the same supplement.
As I mentioned earlier, though, collagen isn’t vegan in the slightest. To create collagen supplements, factories extract collagen from the bones, connective tissues, and hair of slaughtered animals.
Not exactly what you want to be drinking in your smoothie, right?
Thankfully, our body produces its own collagen.
How Do Vegans Get Their Collagen?
Vegans don’t take collagen supplements. Instead, we rely on our own bodies to produce collagen (with a little bit of help from nature, of course).
You see, our body produces plenty of its own collagen when we’re younger. As we start to progress into our late twenties, thirties, and forties, though, our body’s collagen and elastin production slow down.
By the time we’re in our sixties and seventies, our collagen levels are far lower than they were in our teens.
That is for most people…
Have you ever wondered about those “lucky” people who are seventy years old and look half their age? What about the so-called people with “bad genes” who look like they’re older than they really are?
Just look at this guy:
It all comes down to one thing: diet and supplements.
As a vegan, you’re already consuming healthy plants that are loaded with trace minerals, vitamins, and other key amino acids. Most vegans, by their diet alone, will look far younger than their carnivorous counterparts when compared side-by-side after twenty years.
Healthy eating is a great place to start. But if you want to drastically improve your body’s collagen and elastin production, you may want to take a vegan collagen booster.
Does Vegan Collagen Exist?
There’s a lot of clever marketing out there and many animal-derived collagen supplements are marketed as “organic” or have logos that would lead you to believe that the product is plant-based.
One logo that I saw had a farm full of fruits and veggies with the title “Organic Plant-Fed Collagen.” At first glance, you’d think it was vegan until you realize that plant-fed just means that the cows were fed a better-than-average diet before being led to slaughter.
The point is: watch out for marketing ploys.
Pure collagen is never vegan.
As a vegan, you should instead be shopping for all-natural vegan collagen boosters.
What Are Vegan Collagen Boosters?
Vegan collagen boosters are supplements that contain essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids designed to stimulate collagen production within the body.
Many of them contain similar trace minerals that are found in some of the superfood supplements I mentioned in last week’s post on trace minerals.
By consuming a collagen booster, you’re helping your body reverse (or at least, slow down) some of the aging processes. Remember, collagen is the building block of all skin, bone, and ligaments in the body.
It’s not just about preserving your beautiful skin; it’s also responsible for maintaining healthy joints and ligaments.
Vegan Collagen Boosters vs. Animal Collagen
So, now that you know a little bit more about the difference between vegan collagen boosters and animal-derived collagen supplements, here’s a quick visual breaking down the differences between animal collagen and vegan collagen boosters:
|Animal Collagen (Non-Vegan)||Vegan Collagen Boosters|
|Contains real collagen.||Contains no collagen whatsoever.|
|Derived from the bones, tissues, joints, and hair of animals.||100% plant-based. Contains naturally-derived vitamins, minerals, and plant-based peptides.|
|Helps to make up for your body’s lack of collagen production by “refilling” collagen levels (which is debatable science, by the way)||Gives your body the essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that your body needs to produce its own collagen.|
|More likely to be contaminated with dangerous bacteria like salmonella.||Since the ingredients are plant-based, the possibility of bacterial contamination is significantly lower.|
The Best Vegan Collagen Boosters For 2022
After I started to see the first hints of little “crow’s feet” wrinkles in the corner of my eye two years ago, I almost immediately started taking vegan collagen boosters.
So far, I haven’t seen any more wrinkles develop and my hair and nails are growing faster (and stronger) than they did when I was a teenager. So, I’d say they work pretty well.
You guys know me – I love to experiment. I’ve tried around twenty different collagen booster supplements over the past two years. While most of them were alright, the following were the best and are the ones I recommend to my friends and followers.
I present to you… the best vegan collagen boosters of 2022!
1) Rae Vegan Collagen Boost Powder (link)
Key Features: All-natural, unflavored powder supplement.
If you’re looking for a no-frills, unflavored collagen powder, then Rae’s Vegan Collagen Boost Powder is a great choice. It’s a simple, pure, high-quality collagen booster, with no artificial flavors, dyes, or additives.
Okay, I admit, maybe that sounded a little boring.
What I was really getting at was that it’s great for smoothies or blending into your favorite juice. Since it’s relatively flavorless, its taste is easily masked by whatever mixing it down with.
I don’t know about you guys, but the idea of mixing chocolate-flavored collagen booster with my orange juice just doesn’t sound right.
Rae’s Vegan Collagen Boost Powder is loaded with vitamin C, one of the main vitamins responsible for stimulating collagen production. It also contains natural bamboo extract, a supplement that’s high in vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin B as well as several natural minerals.
Lastly, it includes a healthy serving of all-natural, plant-based herbal extracts and amino acids that work alongside vitamin C to ramp up collagen production.
If you’re looking for something to mix in your smoothie every day, then this would be my suggestion.
What I Like About It:
- Unflavored, so it’s perfect for mixing with juice or smoothies.
- High in vitamin C.
- Contains bamboo extract, a plant that’s high in vitamins and minerals.
- Contains a proprietary blend of herbs and amino acids.
- Water soluble and blends perfectly.
- It’s unflavored, so it doesn’t taste so great by itself or with plain water.
2) PlantFusion Collagen Builder & Protein Powder (link)
Key Features: Combination of vegan protein powder & collagen booster.
If you’re looking for the perfect post-workout shake that will help you build muscle and keep your skin and hair looking great, then PlantFusion’s Collagen Builder & Protein Powder is amazing. Overall, this is one of my favorite supplements that I always keep in my cabinet.
I’m fairly active and try to get in the gym at least four days a week. Since taking this collagen booster and protein combination, I’ve noticed that my muscles recover from workouts faster, my nails are harder, and my hair has a healthier glow.
Other than vitamins and minerals, your body’s collagen production depends on its protein intake. Since collagen itself is a protein, it’s synthesized from other proteins. So the added protein serves a dual purpose: muscle recovery and boosting collagen production.
Each serving has 21 grams of high-quality vegan protein derived from pea protein, artichoke protein, amaranth powder, algae protein, and several essential amino acids.
Additionally, you’ll get 50 mg of hyaluronic acid, 100 mg of plant enzymes, 100 mg of white tea extract, 50 mg of saberry extract, and 30 mg of phytoceramides, which aid with deep skin moisturization.
This protein-and-collagen powder is available in vanilla and chocolate flavors.
Of the two, vanilla is my favorite and it tastes almost as good as the Ghost Vegan Protein I’ve been supplementing with lately. They also offer an unflavored version, but I haven’t tried it yet.
What I Like About It:
- It’s a great-tasting powder that mixes perfectly with almond or oat milk.
- It’s a multi-functional protein powder and vegan collagen booster.
- Contains phytoceramides, which are essential for skin moisture levels.
- Contains hyaluronic acid.
- It’s a little bit expensive.
3) Vegan Collagen Booster Vitamin Gummies (link)
Key Features: Affordable everyday vegan collagen booster gummy.
I get it – not everybody likes mixing up a potion made of mysterious, funny-tasting powder. Some people prefer the ease of taking a once-daily, great-tasting gummy.
There’s something about gummy vitamins that brings back those nostalgic feelings of taking Flintstone Gummies when I was a kid.
Although I usually prefer to mix the powder down in a shake or smoothie, Femometer’s Vegan Collagen Booster Vitamin Gummies are perfect for when I’m traveling or in a rush. Plus, they taste great! So, what’s not to love?
For those of you who recognize the brand, it’s the same Femometer company that manufactures high-quality ovulation and pregnancy test kits. They recently launched an entire line of women’s supplements to aid in overall health, and this is one of their best-selling vitamins.
Each vitamin includes a well-balanced blend of vitamins and minerals, including:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B5
The collagen-boosting formula consists of glycine, l-lysine, l-proline, silica, grape seed extract, amla seed extract, and Japanese knotweed extract.
All of these are high-potency roots that contain minerals and essential amino acids for improving and maintaining skin, hair, nail, and joint health.
What I Like About It:
- The gummies taste great.
- Gummies are easy to take and don’t require as much time to prepare as the powder.
- Made by Femometer, a leader in women’s nutrition.
- Contains essential vitamins plus plant-based collagen boosters.
- Your body absorbs supplements best in liquid form, so the gummies don’t have the same bioavailability.
4) Living Silica Collagen Booster Liquid (link)
Key Features: Pure liquid silica stabilized in water.
Pure Living Silica is one of the only pure-liquid silicon supplements on the market.
Not to be confused with silicone (which is a plastic compound used to make computer chips and implants), silicon is an all-natural trace mineral that also happens to be one of the most abundant minerals on the planet.
In fact, most beach sand and 27% of the earth’s crust are made from silicon.
At this point, you might be asking yourself, “How is this different from eating a handful of sand?”
The answer lies in creator Dr. Le Ribault’s process. His extraction process turns silicon into a water-soluble substance that is easily absorbed by the body. Eating a handful of sand would probably land you in the emergency room.
What’s so healthy about silicon?
Although few intensive tests have been performed on how silicon is absorbed by the body, several preliminary test results (and lots of satisfied customers) have shown that consuming pure silica can strengthen nails, bones, joints, and even make the skin look younger.
This is a well-known property of natural collagen boosters.
Unlike other silicon supplements, Living Silica is bioengineered with a patent-pending process that increases absorption by up to 375% compared to traditional silicone supplements.
I took it for about a month in place of another everyday supplement I was taking, and I noticed that the effect was equally as good.
It’s sold in liquid form and is relatively tasteless. It contains just two ingredients: pure water and pure silicon. The recommended dosage is 1 tablespoon, which contains 22.5 mg of silicone.
What I Like About It:
- 100% natural.
- Contains pure silicon, an essential trace mineral.
- Silicon helps build healthy bones, skin cells, nails, and hair.
- Made with a revolutionary process that increases absorption up to 375%.
- It doesn’t contain any protein or additional vitamins that also aid in collagen production.
- You’ll probably want to take this alongside another collagen-boosting multi-vitamin.
5) SiPower Silica Vegan Collagen + Fulvic Acid (link)
Key Features: Concentrated silicon & fulvic acid liquid drops.
If you like the idea of supplementing with silicon and want the added benefit of fulvic acid, then SiPower Silica Vegan Collagen + Fulvic Acid is a great alternative to Living Silica.
Although this brand doesn’t boast the ultra-high absorption rate as its competitor, it does contain fulvic acid, which is an incredibly healthy organic compound.
Fulvic acid is extracted from the rich soil and comes from decayed broken-down plant and animal matter. Don’t worry, it’s been completely purified and refined, though! Benefits of fulvic acid include:
- Better gut health.
- Improved immune system.
- Reducing inflammation.
- Protecting brain cells.
- Aiding in detoxification.
- Increased nutrient absorption.
In fact, one of my favorite vegan water brands is blk. water, so-called due to its black color that comes from added fulvic acid!
While the silicon helps your hair, skin, nails, and hair remain strong and youthful, the fulvic acid works behind the scenes to keep your body pure, healthy, and toxin-free.
A single recommended serving is three dropper-fulls, which are best absorbed sublingually (under the tongue) to increase absorption and bioavailability.
What I Like About It:
- Contain fulvic acid, which is great for bodily health and detoxification.
- Contains silicon, which acts as an all-natural, mineral-based collagen booster.
- Highly concentrated solution, so you don’t need to use a lot.
- When taken sublingually, it’s absorbed better than capsules.
- It doesn’t contain additional vitamins or minerals.
In Conclusion – Do Collagen Boosters Work?
In my opinion, collagen boosters are even more effective than pure collagen supplements. By working with your body and helping it to produce more of its own natural collagen, you create an environment for lasting success.
Collagen supplements, while effective, are quickly processed by your body and don’t have any lasting effects past a limited time frame.
If you keep up with a collagen booster, you’ll likely see better long-term results. When combined with healthy protein intake and your healthy plant-based diet, a vegan collagen booster can drastically improve the health of your hair, skin, and nails.
Plus, it may even relieve joint pain!
One of the best sources of all-natural vegan protein is tempeh. These bars of fermented soy are loaded with healthy plant protein, vitamins, and minerals, and can be prepared in a number of delicious ways. To learn more about tempeh, keep reading here!