Whether you’ve been using beauty products for years, or this is your first time researching beauty products in any capacity, you may have recently come across vegan beauty products. If you have, and you don’t know what that means, then you’re in the right place. A vegan lifestyle is a commitment to the life and comfort of animals in a variety of capacities, from diet, to beauty products, to fashion. The most popular context in which people know veganism is certainly dietary. On a dietary level, vegans restrict themselves from ingesting any animal products or byproducts, which is what separates them from vegetarians. Animal products are simple enough to identify, such as meat-products. Byproducts, though, can be anything from a milk or dairy-based product to a product that includes honey or beeswax.
Vegetarians, on the other hand, refrain from eating meat, but still allow dairy products and other animal byproducts in their diet. Both vegans and vegetarians, though, often see lower levels of natural collagen production because of these restricted diets.
In turn, the health and beauty industry has responded with a variety of options from which vegans can choose, like vegan collagen based beauty products, in order to boost their natural level of collagen production.
What Is Collagen?
Before jumping into the details of vegan collagen specifically, it’s important to have a base understanding of what collagen is in general. Collagen is a naturally occurring protein that the human body produces on a regular basis. We aren’t the only ones, either. Plenty of other animals naturally produce collagen as well.
The impact collagen has on skin-health has long been renowned. Yet, many still don’t realize that collagen is actually the most abundant protein in the human body, and it serves a wide spectrum of functions. From improving the health and resilience of skin, to acting as connective tissue for our muscles, tendons, and joints, collagen carries a lot of weight on its shoulders.
Additionally, our collagen production begins to decline as we age, and is therefore a highly targeted supplement in both health and beauty products. Yet, with the rising population of consumers who follow a plant-based diet, most traditional collagen supplements and beauty products aren’t viable options.
Can Collagen Be Vegan?
While there are a variety of animals that naturally produce collagen, humans included, there aren’t any plants that produce collagen. This means that there currently isn’t any real collagen that is also vegan. That being said though, doesn’t mean that there aren’t options or ways for vegans and vegetarians to boost their natural levels of collagen. It just won’t be through additional beef and fish based meals throughout the week.
The collagen used in traditional supplements and beauty products is far from vegan. Traditionally, collagen for these products would be sourced through the slaughterhouses and animal farms. Needless to say, vegan options were needed.
The Importance Of Nutrients
Experts suggest that the best way for those who are following a plant-based diet to boost collagen production is through a well-balanced diet that is highly nutritious. Specifically, it’s suggested that targeting foods high in amino acids like glycine, lysine, and proline can provide the body with the nutrients necessary for collagen production. Vitamin C is another worthwhile emphasis in the vegan diet to improve collagen production as well.
Foods that are high in these specific amino acids and are good for vegan collagen production include pumpkin and sunflower seeds, pistachios, peanuts, and cashews, as well as tofu, tempeh, kidney beans, and black beans.
The Reality Of Vegan Collagen Supplements
The vegan collagen health supplements that are currently on the market are typically a powder or capsule form of any combination of the foods listed above. These supplements operate under the same philosophy of just including these foods in your diet, which is that they provide the nutrients necessary for continual collagen production.
Vegan collagen beauty supplements, on the other hand, are generally aimed at skin moisturization and hydration, and these products are fairly effective, even without any real animal-collagen included. In fact, the one thing the research on collagen supplements has proven is that they are hydrating for the skin.
Synthetic Collagen And The Future
One of the most exciting movements in veganism right now is the future potential of synthetic collagen. Synthetic collagen would be lab grown and therefore 100% vegan. Most of the research in this field is currently focused on creating a yeast-variant that produces collagen when stressed.
If a major breakthrough is made, synthetic collagen could lead to an industry-changing innovation.
Final Thoughts On Vegan Collagen
Our body makes use of collagen in many different ways, and it’s one of the main ingredients that helps us stay youthful in our looks. However, vegans, vegetarians, and anyone else following a plant-based diet can’t indulge in traditional collagen products. That’s why vegan collagen supplements and beauty products that are trustworthy have gained so much traction among modern consumers in recent years.