First things first, if you guys want to read all about what collagen is, where it comes from, what benefits it provides & how I take it, click here: Collagen Here, Collagen There, Collagen Everywhere: The Basics & Why You Should Add It To Your Daily Routine!
If you’re vegan or simply choose not to consume collagen for whatever reason, do not despair! As you guys know, collagen is not vegan as its main sources are beef, chicken or fish. Unfortunately, there is no known source of vegan collagen! However, even with those restrictions, there are still ways for you to boost your body’s natural collagen production.
P.S. Vital Proteins does have two products (Spirulina & Beauty Boost), which are vegan. They are sending me their Beauty Boost & I will obvs give you guys an update on it once I try it! These two products aren’t made of collagen but offer other natural ingredients that help boost the body’s production of collagen!
But since I have yet to try those, let’s talk a bit more about some foods & natural supplements that you can take in order to boost your body’s natural collagen production! Our bodies naturally produce collagen, but collagen production declines as we age. There are ways you can help boost it.
Obviously, there’s no denying that collagen in its most natural form is the best way. But, if you eat foods rich in certain vitamins, minerals & nutrients that help boost collagen production, then you’re basically accomplishing a similar result!
- Zinc serves as a co-factor for collagen production by activating proteins essential for collagen synthesis.
- Zinc also activates a protein called collagenase, which allows the cells to remodel collagen during wound healing.
- Good food sources of zinc include: meat, shellfish, dairy, wheat germ, cashews, almonds, poultry, beans & oysters.
- I take it orally, on a daily basis.
- Lysine is an essential amino acid, that the body cannot manufacture. Essential amino acids are the building blocks for protein in the body.
- Lysine helps produce energy & build collagen. It literally builds the fibrils & fibres of collagen & acts to block enzymes which break down collagen.
- When combined with vitamin C (& the amino-acid proline, which is usually found in most protein powders, meats, egg whites, gelatine cheeses, soy products, peanuts, cabbage & chickpeas, to name a few!), form pro-collagen, which then gets converted into different types of collagen that are formed in the body, ergo, THE BUILDING BLOCK.
- Some food sources of lysine include: lean meats, fish, dairy & nuts!
- I take it orally, on a daily basis.
VITAMIN C, HYALURONIC ACID & AMINO ACIDS:
- Vitamin C-rich foods help boosts levels of hyaluronic acid & collagen in the body, both of which are crucial for healthy skin, hair & nails, as well as strong muscles & joints.
- Our bodies are continually manufacturing collagen naturally in order to repair & maintain the connective tissues lost to daily wear & tear & free radical damage. If you don’t get enough vitamin C, you cannot build new collagen as vitamin C is used (in combination with lysine & proline) in nearly ever step of the collagen formation process. This is why I always stress the importance of taking vitamin C in conjunction with collagen!
- Hyaluronic acid is also found in connective tissues as it is needed to bind collagen with elastin. If you’re lacking hyaluronic acid, you have less lubrication in your joints & less elasticity in your skin, which is what leads to cartilage destruction & wrinkles. Your body also produces less hyaluronic acid as you age (in the same way that collagen production declines with age). Some foods that help stimulate hyaluronic acid production include: magnesium-rich foods & seaweeds.
- Some vitamin-C & amino-acid rich foods include: oranges, red peppers, kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, strawberries, watermelon, papaya, cantaloupe, potatoes, kiwi, cabbage, turnip greens, cherries, cilantro, other dark leafy greens, tomatoes, sweet potato, salmon, lean turkey, eggs, sunflower seeds, blueberries, garlic, mango & carrots.
- Both vitamin C & hyaluronic acid can be taken in capsule form. I take Vitamin C daily, but I only take hyaluronic acid on days where my skin is feeling super dehydrated & dry, or if I find I’m getting headaches often (as dehydration is often one of the leading causes).
- I use many skincare ingredients that contain both vitamin C & hyaluronic acid. My faves are:
- VITAMIN C:
- Origins GinZing Refreshing Scrub Cleanser (Get it here: Sephora);
- Origins GinZing SPF40 Tinted Moisturizer (Get it here: Sephora);
- Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream To Brighten & De-Puff (Get it here: Sephora);
- Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Vitamin C Glow Moisturizer (Get it here: Sephora);
- Tatcha Violet-C Radiance Mask (Get it here: Sephora);
- Dr. Dennis Gross C+Collagen Perfect Skin Set & Refresh Mist (Get it here: Sephora);
- Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum (Get it here: Sephora);
- Ole Henriksen Truth Serum (Get it here: Sephora);
- Algenist Liquid Collagen – LEGIT, LIQUID COLLAGEN (Get it here: Sephora).
- HYALURONIC ACID:
- VITAMIN C:
- Ginseng contains tons of anti-inflammatory, anti-aging & antioxidant properties.
- It protects the cells & increases collagen in the blood stream.
- It can be taken in supplement form (capsules) or used as a main ingredient in certain cosmetic or skincare products.
- I don’t take this everyday, but I’ll take it every now & then to either switch up my adaptogens (it has similar benefits to other adaptogens that I use in relation to stress & anxiety management) or if I’m feeling my skin is reactive or breaking out a lot.
- I do use the GinZing Tinted Moisturizer, as well as the GinZing Morning Eye Cream & ginseng is one of the main ingredients in both of these products.
- Matcha contains catechins, which are the anti-inflammatory & antioxidant components of green tea that stimulate healthy maturing of collagen fibres & proper collagen fiber orientation, as well as help the body naturally build collagen.
- Matcha powder is a great add-in for smoothies, bulletproof coffee or to make matcha lattes! I use it in my smoothies all the time & have been loving the Vital Proteins Matcha Collagen (but it’s not vegan!).
- Vitamin E is essential for healthy collagen formation because it’s the most abundant antioxidant found in the skin. Antioxidants enhance the effectiveness of existing collagen.
- It works in synergy with vitamin C to stimulate collagen formation.
- You can also get it from foods, such as: nuts, seeds, avocados, green leafy veggies.
- Keep in mind that vitamin E can only be properly absorbed if there is adequate fat intake included in your diet (it’s a fat-soluble vitamin!).
- I take vitamin E orally, on a daily basis.
SEA BUCKTHORN OIL:
- Sea Buckthorn Oil contains omega-7 fatty acids, which are a rare & essential form of essential fatty acids, that are vital for collagen production.
- I take Sea Buckthorn oil capsules orally, on a daily basis!
- I also use it topically in skincare products:
- Living Libations Sea Buckthorn Oil Best Skin Ever Cleanser (Get it at Le Brow Bar or on the Living Libations website);
- New Roots Sea Buckthorn Oil (Get it at health food stores!);
- Sibu Beauty Sea Buckthorn Oil (Get it at health food stores);
- Krill oil helps preserve collagen & elastin in many ways, one of which is its anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation can have an effect on tissue growth with chronic inflammation, eventually leading to tissue damage. Continued exposure to inflammation can degrade the collagen & elastin in tissues, leading to decreased tissue elasticity & strength over time.
- Krill oil also contains vitamin A. The ability to produce new collagen within your skin helps to maintain healthy & elastic skin tissue & allows the body to generate new tissue to heal wounds. Vitamin A also promotes the formation of new collagen fibres within the skin, which is why consuming krill oil can help promote collagen production in the skin, helping it remain strong & elastic.
- The omega-3 fatty acids in krill can also have an effect on collagen function & production.
- Krill also helps preserve collagen & elastin in skin due to its antioxidant properties. The vitamin A in krill is an antioxidant & helps stop cellular damage caused by free radicals (which can gradually reduce the amount of functional collagen & elastin within the tissues, increasing eat risk of tissue damage).
- I take krill oil orally, on a daily basis.
- Rosehip oil contains tons of antioxidants & is super anti-aging due to the oil’s ability to penetrate into deeper layers of the skin.
- Antioxidants enhance the effectiveness of existing collagen.
- It also contains tons of vitamin C & A to stimulate collagen production. Since vitamin A has small molecules, it allows deeper penetration into the skin & improves the skin’s moisture levels, thus reducing wrinkle & fine lines. To read more about all the benefits of rosehip oil, click here: A Breakdown of All (Well, Most) of the Skincare Benefits of Organic Cold-Pressed Rosehip Oil a.k.a. A-Freaking-Miracle-&-a-Half-That-Will-Make-You-Glow-Sans-Making-a-Hole-in-Your-Wallet!
- I use this topically as part of my skincare routine for some of the reasons mentioned in the post linked above. I like to apply it before my serum, combined with my serum, or I add a few drops to my moisturizer or apply it as the last step in my skincare routine!).
- You can get this at health food stores!
- Research has shown that when taken orally, aloe vera nearly doubled hyaluronic acid & collagen production in study participants.
- It contains tons of vitamin A, C & E, as well as amino acids (the building blocks of protein & collagen), enzymes & minerals, which stimulate cell renewal.
- It can also be used topically.
- Aloe vera helps promote cellular growth, which, in turn, helps promote collagen production in the skin.
- I don’t use aloe vera, but I’ve recently been into the idea of buying some fresh aloe & adding it to smoothies! I will obvs. keep you guys posted if I do!
Hope this was helpful loves!
NOW, GET TO NATURALLY PROMOTING THAT COLLAGEN PRODUCTION BABY!