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Last modified on November 12th, 2022
Collagen supplements are one of the most popular natural health products on the market right now, but many people wonder if there are vegan collagen supplements available.
Collagen is technically from animal sources.
However, there are supplements that are marketed as vegan. While they don’t have actual animal collagen or marine collagen, vegan supplements include plant-based ingredients that will help your body naturally produce more of its own collagen.
We put together our selections for the best supplements to help you make a decision.
These are our picks for the best collagen supplements that are vegan. You can click the links to see the products on Amazon. You can also continue reading to learn more details about each.
- Plant-based support for your body’s natural collagen production
- May help with skin elasticity and the growth of hair and nails and joint health
- Includes collagen building blocks like pea protein, aloe vera, and vitamins C and E
- USDA Organic Certified Ingredients
- Ingredients are sourced from whole foods
- Powder form that mixes easily with drinks and smoothies
This is one of our top picks for the best collagen. While other collagen supplements come from animal collagen, Aloe Gorgeous is an alternative. This product includes a thoughtfully selected combination of vitamins and amino acids so that your body can increase its own production of collagen.
For example, Ora’s Aloe Gorgeous includes aloe vera. Aloe vera is a polysaccharide that unites your body’s amino acids to produce collagen.
Amino acids are integral to your body’s natural collagen production. This supplement includes three grams of organic pea protein in each serving because it naturally contains lysine. Lysine is an amino acid needed for your body to produce collagen.
According to reviews, many people moved from bovine collagen and other animal-based collagen to this vegan supplement and found that it provided them with similar results.
- Easy-to-use tablet form
- Plant-based supplement that helps strengthen joints, hair, nails, and skin
- Each tablet has 1000% of your daily biotin
- Includes grape seed, cranberry, and organic broccoli extracts
- Made in the U.S.
One of the most compelling features of the Windsor Botanicals Collagen Builder is that it’s in tablet form, and you only take it once a day. That means you can use it on-the-go and you don’t have to worry about mixing it with anything else.
The Windsor Botanicals Vegan Collagen Builder helps your body naturally create more collagen through supplementation with organic, plant-based foods. Users of this vegan collagen supplement from Windsor Botanicals say that in just a few weeks, they’ve seen benefits in terms of their hair, skin and nails.
This supplement also has plant-based hyaluronic acid to further improve your skin health and appearance.
Mary Ruth’s Vegan Collagen-Boosting Gummies
- Easy to take with a watermelon flavor
- Includes Vitamins A and C
- L-lysine is included in this vegan collagen formulation to promote collagen formation
- No gelatin
- Gluten and wheat-free
We’re big fans of many of Mary Ruth’s products, and their vegan gummies are no exception. These organic gummies, along with tasting great, have L-lysine and other extracts that help fuel your body’s own collagen production.
According to reviews of this supplement, they help with growing long and strong hair and nails. They also, according to reviews, help joint pain and improve the health and appearance of skin.
- Tablet form
- Help support your body’s natural production of collagen with co-nutrients
- Includes polyphenols and key nutrients sourced from ingredients like pomegranate and plant foods to help with skin health and protect against UV damage
- Rich in antioxidants like turmeric and green tea
- Non-GMO project-certified
- USDA organic
- Can help promote health, youthful levels of keratin and elastin as well as collagen
The Garden of Life Vegan Collagen Builder has so many wonderful whole-food-based ingredients that it’s really like a multivitamin in addition to being a collagen builder. According to reviews, this supplement is one of the best collagen builders for vegans. It helps with hair and nail strength, and since it’s in tablet form, it’s easy to use.
Reviews say taking this supplement helps slow or stop hair loss and thinning.
Some users also report that taking this collagen builder helps reduce their appetite, perhaps because of ingredients like chromium and green tea.
Overall, Garden of Life is also a top-rated supplement brand with a strong industry reputation.
- Top-rated vegan collagen supplement on Amazon
- Available in different flavors like vanilla honeysuckle and wild berry hibiscus
- Supports collagen synthesis with ingredients like vitamin C from organic acerola cherry
- Includes 100% of your daily value of plant-based biotin
- 15 grams of vegan protein per serving
- No added sugar
This plant-based protein and collagen supplement from Amazing Grass comes in interesting flavors. It’s a great way for vegans to get enough protein and to support their body’s collagen production. This supplement includes ingredients like pea protein, organic beetroot, and organic greens blend with kale and wheatgrass, so it provides full-spectrum nutritional support.
According to reviews, vegans find that their diet can sometimes lead to them having problems with their hair and nails, and this supplement makes up for nutritional gaps they experience. It can help strengthen your hair and nails and provide you with energy.
Many users feel this supplement helps their skin glow, and it reduces the outward signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines.
- Plant-based protein and protein-peptide supplement
- Includes amino acids like proline and glycine
- Soy-free and gluten-free
- No added sugars
- High in vitamin C
- Formula includes hyaluronic acid and biotin
- Keto and paleo-friendly
Sunwarrior’s supplement is another one of our picks because it’s a top-rated product that delivers results, according to user reviews. It’s rich in amino acids and it contains a proprietary “beauty” blend including ingredients like organic pea protein and organic whole sea buckthorn. This supplement also includes spirulina, coconut oil, and more.
Users say that if you were previously using bovine collagen and you want a vegan option, you’re likely going to see similar results with this. Some users feel in addition to helping things like joint paint and skin and hair health, this supplement also helps their digestive issues.
Users say it helps them feel better and look younger.
What to Know About Collagen Supplements
As was touched on, collagen supplements are incredibly popular right now.
Collagen is our body’s most abundant protein. It makes up around one-third of our total protein composition. Collagen is a foundational building block of so many parts of our bodies, including our skin, muscles, ligaments and more.
There are four primary types of collagen in our body, each of which has its own role. For example, Type I collagen makes up 90% of total collagen, and it structures our skin, bones, teeth, and connective tissue.
As we get older, our body produces less collagen. The collagen we continue to produce is also lower quality than we were younger. The decline in quality collagen production is one reason that you may notice signs of aging like wrinkles and less firm skin.
Certain lifestyle factors can speed-up collagen destruction, such as eating too much sugar and carbs, smoking and getting too much sun.
When you’re in your early 20s, you start producing around 1.5% less collagen each year. By the time you are 40, you produce 25% less collagen than you once did.
Technically, collagen as a supplement can only be sourced from animals. Food sources of collagen include bone broth and gelatin. When you eat protein, it may lead to higher collagen levels in your body, although sometimes this is debated.
The natural declines and the challenges in getting collagen from food are among the reasons a lot of people take a collagen supplement.
Benefits of collagen supplements can include:
- Improved muscle mass
- Slowing of arthritis progression
- Relieves joint pain
- Improvements in skin appearance and elasticity
- Less inflammation
- Could prevent bone loss
- May help heart health
- Reduces brittleness of hair and nails
- May stimulate hair and nail growth
- Improves gut health
- Some people feel collagen supplements improve their mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety
- May help speed up weight loss
There are very few known risks or side effects of collagen supplements. If you have an allergy to anything used to make collagen supplements, you might avoid them. Some people experience digestive side effects that are mild, such as feeling full after taking it.
What is Vegan Collagen?
So, as was mentioned above, collagen comes from animals. Is collagen vegan? Technically no.
There aren’t true vegan peptides available.
Instead, what you’ll find are supplements that are plant-based and include ingredients intended to help facilitate your body’s own collagen production.
Collagen production in your body starts from procollagen.
Procollagen is made from protein and vitamin C. In this sense, protein means amino acids such as lysine, arginine, and proline. When procollagen molecules are produced, they start to create fibrils. The fibrils will then form into structured collagen fibers.
Some of the things that your body needs to produce collagen include:
- Amino acids: Again, amino acids are a building block of protein, and they are necessary for collagen formation and synthesis in your body. In vegan supplements, you’ll often see complete protein sources like pea protein. A complete protein has all nine essential amino acids that your body can’t produce on its own. Along with having a complete protein that’s a source of essential amino acids, collagen production can also be encouraged with the consumption of other nutrients.
- Polysaccharides: Some ingredients in the above best vegan supplements have what are called polysaccharides. Polysaccharides are found in ingredients like aloe vera, and they can help create stronger and longer collagen strands.
- Vitamin C: Nearly all vegan supplements contain vitamin C. If you don’t have enough vitamin C your body can’t make nor store enough collagen. Vitamin C is needed to turn proline into something called hydroxyproline. Hydroxyproline stabilizes the structure of your collagen. If your collagen doesn’t have a proper structure, you may notice brittle hair and nails, and skin issues. Vitamin C also protects against free radical damage.
- Vitamin E: A lot of collagen vegan supplements will include vitamin E alongside vitamin C. The two work synergistically together. Vitamin E can improve the antioxidant effects of vitamin C.
- Copper: Some vegan supplements will include copper. Copper can help your skin’s health by binding with peptides that build collagen.
- Silica: In some vegan collagen boosters, you’ll see silica. Silica is often sourced from bamboo, and it’s known to help improve the strength of your hair, skin and nails in particular. It may also reduce hair loss.
- Lysine: Lysine is an amino acid that’s worth discussing on its own. Lysine is one of the most important amino acids for collagen production. You should make sure that any vegan supplement you use contains lysine.
If you don’t want to buy a specific vegan supplement, you can get many of the same benefits from eating a well-rounded diet that meets all of your needs in terms of amino acids in particular. The amino acids most abundant in collagen are lysine, glycine, and proline.
Vegan-friendly foods that are high in these include soy, beans and legumes, seeds, and nuts.
You can also take an individual amino acid supplement, but this can start to get more expensive than taking a collagen supplement with an array of collagen-boosting ingredients.
What Are the Benefits of Vegan Collagen?
Overall vegan supplements do have some benefits.
They tend to be fairly inexpensive, and there’s a lower risk of an allergic reaction with a lot of these supplements. A lot of vegans find that these supplements conveniently fill in nutritional gaps, and they’re more environmentally friendly.
Vegan collagen products are not what we think of when we think about traditional collagen supplements. They do not come from animals. Instead, a vegan supplement is one that will give your body the ingredients it needs to ramp up its own human collagen production.
Many of these supplements will include pea protein, which is a plant-based protein with all of your essential amino acids.
If you aren’t vegan but are a pescatarian, you might also consider using marine collagen. Marine collagen comes from fish scales, and it’s actually very eco-friendly because the scales would otherwise be thrown away in the process of producing the fish and getting them ready for their other uses.
Marine collagen is very bioavailable, so some people find that it’s more effective than even bovine collagen. The collagen peptides in marine collagen are ready to start working right away.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following are brief answers to some of the most common questions.
How Does a Vegan Get Collagen?
Most collagen supplements are from animal-derived sources. All do in fact, but there are still products that are aimed at vegans that can help increase collagen. These are supplements with ingredients such as amino acids and protein that your body can use to produce more of its own collagen.
Some experts feel this is actually more beneficial than an animal-based collagen supplement because we don’t know how much of these supplements can be absorbed and used by your body.
There are also certain foods that may help your body form collagen, such as beans and legumes and some nuts and seeds.
How Could Collagen Be Vegan?
Is collagen vegan? The answer is no, so technically, collagen can’t be vegan. That’s why the oral collagen supplements that are geared toward vegans to increase collagen don’t actually contain the collagen itself. They include ingredients in these dietary supplements to facilitate collagen growth and strength using your body’s own mechanisms.
What is Vegan Collagen Made Of?
Vegan collagen supplements can contain different ingredients. Ingredients you’ll commonly see in vegan supplements include soy, pea protein, vitamin C, vitamin E, and aloe vera versus any animal products. Many collagen supplements will also include minerals like copper. Essentially you’ll need a varied diet with nutrient-rich foods to make collagen, and that’s where collagen supplements can be helpful. They can fill in nutritional gaps.
Other ingredients you might see in a vegan supplement include sea buckthorn, hyaluronic acid for youthful skin, and silica from bamboo. Spirulina, biotin, and leafy greens are also popular ingredients in these alternative collage products. Digestive enzyme addictions might be included too in plant-based collagen and ingestible collagen.
What is the Best Vegan Collagen Powder?
Above, we ranked our picks for the best vegan collagen, including Ora Organic’s Aloe Gorgeous product and Windsor Botanicals Vegan Collagen Builder. We selected our picks for the best vegan products based on reputation and customer reviews, as well as the ingredients and their proven effectiveness at increasing the body’s production of collagen.