Is vegan collagen a thing? Is it possible to get collagen in a cruelty-free plant-based option? Let’s dive in… ????
At some point, you’ve probably heard of collagen and asked yourself what the heck it is. You’ve also probably seen it in grocery stores, in nutrition supplements- or even in skincare products. It’s safe to say it’s received a lot of hype over the past few years.
So what is collagen?
Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins that is found in our bodies- it’s in our tendons, ligaments, skin, and bones. It’s basically a substance that helps to hold our bodies together. And because it provides structure- it also plays a role in the health of our skin.
Why do we lose collagen?
As we age, both internal and external factors can contribute to a drop in collagen production. Things like oxidative stress– when there’s an imbalance of free radicals in the body- can accelerate collagen loss. Free radicals start to build up from different lifestyle choices. Drinking alcohol, smoking, and eating fried foods are all pretty rough on our bodies.
Eating a diet with lots of refined sugar and carbs can also be a factor. They cause inflammation which can lead to accelerated aging with a loss of collagen.
External factors like pollution, exposure to toxic chemicals, and ultraviolet rays also contribute to collagen loss.
All of the above sounds heavy, but we can make choices to support and preserve our collagen! There are nutrients we can target in plant-based sources that can help, as well as yummy plant-based options like Moon Juice’s Collagen Protect that can support our skin health.
Nutrients that support our body’s natural collagen
Vitamin C may slow the breakdown of our skin’s collagen. It’s found in lots of yummy fruits and vegetables like kiwi, red pepper, broccoli, strawberries, cantaloupe, and oranges.
Copper, which can be found in leafy greens, dark chocolate, almonds, cashews, and sesame seeds, can activate collagen-boosting enzymes in our bodies.
Proline is an awesome little amino acid that plays a role in collagen production. You can find it in asparagus, mushrooms, and cabbage.
Are collagen products made from animals?
You’ve probably seen collagen products before- whether they were in supplement form, powders, or as a coffee add-in. Unfortunately, these products are all coming from animal/marine sources and are not cruelty-free. You might see “bovine” on the ingredient list- this means cows were used to make the product. If you see “marine”- the collagen is most likely made out of fish. Chicken is another one you’ll see on collagen labels.
Because collagen originates from the connective tissues of animals, you cannot get a vegan source of collagen. BUT- you can find incredible cruelty-free plant-based options that do brilliant things for our skin and help to preserve our body’s natural collagen. And that sounds pretty incredible, right?
Moon Juice Collagen Protect
The last time I was in LA, my boyfriend and I stopped by Moon Juice’s West Hollywood location. I’ve always been attracted to this company- ever since I visited their store in Venice a few years ago. It seems like they are very dedicated to the quality of their ingredients- raw, free of chemicals, and made of superstar plant ingredients. So that, partnered with their spiritual-hippie-zen vibes got me.
So, when we stopped by in February, I immediately started nerding out over all of the health potions that they have.
And I stumbled into their Collagen Protect. I was curious because I’ve heard so much about collagen, but didn’t think a plant-based source was an option.
It turns out- it’s not. But what Moon Juice has created is even better- a plant-based (cruelty-free) mix of 3 active ingredients that all contribute to our skin’s health:
Silver Ear Mushroom
This gelatinous, almost-translucent mushroom (sometimes called the Tremella or Snow mushroom) not only looks crazy beautiful- it can help our skin look crazy beautiful too!
I went deep into research on this mushroom and it turns out, it’s been used in Asia for a very long time (and used for skincare purposes for a long time too). It contains long-chain polysaccharides that allow it to hold up to 500 times its’ weight in water. This leads to a mix of really incredible benefits for our skin:
- deeply hydrates our skin
- helps to minimize fine lines and wrinkles
- contributes to boosting our skin’s suppleness and elasticity
I also mentioned in the YouTube video above that I found this incredible recipe from a creator on YouTube for Silver Ear Mushroom serum. If you’re interested in making it, peep the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqOWuP4IB0o
Moon Juice added ingestible hyaluronic acid to this Collagen Protect mix, for its’ skin-healthy properties. Hyaluronic Acid is actually found naturally in our body, including in our skin, eyes and joints. By binding to water, it helps us to retain moisture and:
- reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- boost skin’s plumpness
Coming from the soluble portion of the hull of rice, Tocos is a bioactive source of essential fatty and amino acids and has antioxidant properties. It helps:
- hydrate the skin and connective tissues
- combat oxidative stress (which breaks down our collagen)
Why this Collagen Protect is fire:
Because of the trio of active compounds, the Collagen Protect helps to protect and preserve our natural collagen, which is pretty freaking awesome. Each of the ingredients in this mix contribute to hydrated, healthy skin. Plus, it’s vegan and cruelty-free!!! ????It’s also gluten-free, non-GMO, soy-free, and free of any fillers or gums.
How to use it:
I love this creamy powder in my coffee. I froth it directly with my plant-based milk in a stand frother and it works like a champ. You can also mix it directly into smoothies. It also works so well in this Neapolitan Ice Cream. (Just add a tablespoon and you don’t event taste it!)
For more details on the product, check out the YouTube video. Also, if you’re on YouTube- I’d love to be YT buddies with you! You can subscribe to my channels here – I’m creating new plant-based health and wellness videos every Wednesday.
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