So… do collagen supplements actually work? Are all their hair skin and nail benefits for real and are all collagens created equal? If you’ve ever asked yourself these questions, then this is the perfect article for you. We’ll answer everything you ever wanted to know about collagen.
What is Collagen?
Before we even dive into supplementing collagen and why you can, let’s talk about collagen and what it does. Collagen is the most abundant protein found in the body. It is made up of amino acids, including glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline.
Here’s a quick science lesson: collagen synthesis occurs naturally in the body. In order to make collagen, the body needs amino acids, as well as things like vitamin C, zinc, and copper. The collagen synthesis process primarily occurs within and outside of fibroblasts, a network of collagen-producing cells. Fibroblasts are found in the skin, tendons, and other connective tissues in the body. Collagen is found throughout the body and works as a building block for the skin, hair, bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. There are 28 known types of collagen in the body, but around 80% to 90% of the collagen found in the body is type I, II, or III.
As far as the skin goes, collagen strengthens, hydrates, and helps maintain elasticity, keeping the complexion looking youthful and glowing. Collagen works in the dermis (the middle layer of skin), helping to form fibroblasts for new cells to grow. Collagen also supports stronger hair and nails, and helps maintain bone, tendon, and joint health (by way of maintaining the integrity of cartilage). A lot of reasons to want healthy collagen production, right?
What does this mean? It means that producing collagen is not just a beauty thing, but rather an overall needed part of our body! Over time, the natural synthesis of collagen in our body gradually decreases, and existing collagen in the body breaks down. It is believed that after the age of 20, the body produces about 1% less collagen in the skin every year.* For women, after menopause, that decline becomes even more drastic. With this gradual decline in collagen comes a variety of side effects. This can include wrinkles and less elastic skin, joint pain, weakening muscles, and stiffer tendons and ligaments.
Vegan Collagen vs Animal Collagen Supplements
Is collagen vegan? First things first, no collagen is a complete protein, so it cannot be vegan unless it’s coming from a synthetic lab source. Non-plant-based collagen supplements source collagen from the skin, bones, and connective tissues of animals (commonly bovine or fish), and therefore are not vegan or vegetarian. So you can either buy collagen supplements like peptides, marine collagen, or collagen support supplements that are made from plants! A plant-based option is made from a blend of ingredients that help support your own collagen production from within.*
So what does it mean when you see “vegan collagen” products? Well, vegan collagen doesn’t actually exist, BUT what plants can do is really really cool. They can help you make more of your own collagen holistically.* There are plant-based products like Copina Co. out there that can help support your body’s own natural collagen synthesis to increase your collagen levels holistically.* Think of it like “your collagen” vs. “animal collagen”. These products work to give the body more of what it needs for optimal collagen synthesis and protection.* When you see the term “vegan collagen” used on labels, think of it as a collagen-boosting and supporting product, rather than a direct source of collagen. This is why at Copina Co. we like to call all our blends plant-based collagen supports because we are supporting your collagen production naturally through our plant botanicals.*
Do Collagen Supplements Work?
There are some questions out there about your body’s ability to absorb an outside collagen source. That’s why Copina Co. took the holistic approach and found ways to help you naturally synthesize more of your own collagen from within.* If you want to read more about the results people are having using our vegan collagen supports, check out our recent consumer survey below.
Our Vegan Collagen Support Blends
Rather than giving the body an outside source of collagen, these types of products contain targeted ingredients that support the body’s natural collagen production process from within.* We will get more into what type of ingredients help aid this process. Our blends are aimed at supporting your natural collagen production in a holistic way.
Let’s look at Copina Co. Plant-Based Collagen Supports. These botanical blends were sourced and dosed by herbalists and come packed with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to boost the body’s ability to naturally make its own collagen from within.* Working with herbalists helped build a dosage for efficacy and so you can see real results.* All drink blend flavors contain bamboo leaf extract, organic tremella mushroom extract, organic amla berry, biotin, and gotu kola whole plant extract, as well as additional ingredients that promote collagen production and support the skin, hair, and nails.* Not every vegan or vegetarian collagen supplement is made similarly or is even containing effective dosages of the superfoods within it, so make sure to check how the blends in any product are made and how they’re dosed for efficacy with hair, skin, and nail support!*
The good news: Copina Co's Plant-Based Collagen-Supporting Blends help address both collagen degradation and support your body's natural collagen production through our unique botanical blends.*
But… do they actually work? We wanted to see how our blends were working with our customers in real-time. Check out the results from our first consumer survey!
Some of our findings included:
- 100% of respondents noticed increased skin hydration in 2 months
- 100% of respondents noticed a difference in overall skin glow in 2 months
- 92.9% of respondents noticed a difference in hair thickness in 2 months
- 92.9% of respondents noticed a difference in nail strength in 2 months
- 100% of respondents noticed a difference in overall skin vibrance and "glow"
Each participant took 2 doses of our Plant-Based Collagen Boost Blends in their diets each day for 8 weeks and reported on the results. Participants completed surveys at the 2, 4, 6, and 8-week marks, reporting if they saw any changes in their hair, skin, and nail health, as well as reporting any changes in how they feel or anything else they noticed as a result of adding the collagen support blends to their routine.
We keep talking plant botanicals, but what are they? Take a peek at our ingredients page to learn more about our blends or take our crash course on our collagen-boosting ingredients below!*
Organic Amla Berry
Amla Berry can benefit your skin by promoting collagen production, which helps your skin stay smooth and supple as you age.* It can also heal acne due to its antioxidant properties. Lastly, it may help even your skin tone and has vitamin C which can help treat any skin pigmentation. Vitamin C will brighten your complexion, fade hyperpigmentation, and protect your skin against the damaging effects of pollution.*
Organic Tremella Mushroom Fruiting Body Extract
The tremella mushroom, or tremella fuciformis or “snow mushroom”, is an edible species of fungus that has been used in Eastern medicine for over a thousand years. This superfood has historically been used to help boost skin hydration over time after being consumed.* The mushroom’s ability to hold water, as well as its nutrient properties, make it a skincare powerhouse. These ingredients within this superfood mushroom all can help boost collagen production and polysaccharides specifically are a carbohydrate chain that helps promote collagen synthesis in the skin.* This all leads to improved skin elasticity and reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.*
Bamboo Leaf Extract
Bamboo leaf extract is one of our favorite ways to boost our hair, skin, and nail health.* Bamboo extract is a rich source of silica, a naturally occurring mineral found in plants, which supports the body's collagen production as well as healthy hair, skin, and nails.* Silica-rich bamboo has been used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine and Chinese herbal medicine for centuries as a remedy to heal skin ailments, relieve congestion, promote bone health, and more.*
Read more about how Bamboo Leaf Extract and Silica helps with nail health!
Biotin is a member of the vitamin B complex family. Its primary functions include turning the nutrients we ingest (i.e. proteins, fats, and carbohydrates) into energy that our body can use. Each Copina Co. blend contains 3,000mcg Biotin per serving. That amounts to over 10,000% of your daily value.* Biotin is also critical for the daily use of fats, carbohydrates, amino acids (like in collagen), and energy (ATP).*
Gotu Kola Whole Plant Extract
Gotu Kola is an Ayurvedic herb with a history of healing the skin, which contains collagen-synthesis enhancing triterpenes such as asiaticoside.* It was selected by our herbalist partners because of its historical use in treating patients with skin ailments and surface wounds. Gotu Kola has been shown to enhance the cross-linking of collagen and support increased collagen production in the body.* Several studies have shown that skin thickness, elasticity, and collagen levels all increased with the addition of Gotu Kola to a patient’s regimen.*
Our cells produce hyaluronic acid to balance moisture levels in our bodies, but make less of it as we age.* Our food-grade hyaluronic acid helps to boost collagen production in our bodies and helps our skin attract and retain moisture, helping with aging* and can be found in all of our beauty blends. It’s also been shown to help smooth wrinkles, boost elasticity, help with skin firmness and boost skin radiance.*
If you want even more in-depth knowledge about each of our ingredients, check out our Ultimate Guide to our Vegan Collagen Boosters. We also have two other ingredients, like Matcha and Ashwaganda in our Cacao Calm blend, that have other skin-boosting benefits.
How to Add our Collagen Supplements into your Diet
They're available in 4 varieties: Matcha and Cacao Calm which can be used in lattes or smoothies and Vanilla and Original which make amazing creamers or blends in smoothies. We have a long list of recipes on our website!
Here are some of our favorite recipes that help us get our Vegan Collagen Boosters in daily!
- Vegan Collagen Creamer
- Berry Hydrated Smoothie
- Skin-Boosting Collagen Bites
- 5 Easy And Beauty-Boosting Vegan Smoothie Recipes
- Collagen Boost Chocolate Milk
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