According to Google Trends, searches for collagen supplements have steadily been increasing over the past decade, with 2018 and 2021 seeing major spikes. Coincidentally, veganism has seen an increase in subscribers in the same years; a report in 2017 showed that Americans who identified themselves as vegans increased by 600% from the previous year (via Plant Based News). Considering that the main ingredients in collagen supplements often come from animal tissue, vegans have opted for plant-based alternatives.
However, most experts will warn you not to. “Anything that is marketing itself as a ‘vegan collagen’ does not have collagen inside of it…That would be like saying, ‘Go drink some vegan bone broth’—it is not ever going to be vegan. Collagen comes from cows, chickens, and fish,” mindbodygreen’s registered nutritionist Ashley Jordan Ferira said. “Let’s go ahead and bust the mythical unicorn that is ‘vegan collagen.’ It doesn’t exist.” These supplements are usually made with ingredients that can boost natural collagen production in your body, like vitamin C and zinc. But do they work? “No one knows, honestly, but based on the ingredients involved, it would indicate they have overall benefits,” says dermatologist Ava Shamban told Coveteur. “The tricky part is, ingesting these boosters and quantifying direct dermal benefits is not easy.”