What is Collagen & Can It Be Vegan?

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If you’ve been through any cosmetics store recently or have found yourself wandering the makeup aisles at Target, chances are you’ve heard about or seen makeup products with collagen. Today more than ever, collagen products are exploding in popularity, but what are vegan people supposed to do about this? Is vegan collagen even possible? 

We’re here today to help answer these questions for you. Firstly, we’ll define what collagen is precisely and then go on to discuss whether or not it can be vegan. By the time you finish reading, you’ll know everything there is to know about vegan collagen and be ready to say goodbye to non-vegan collagen products. To finally understand vegan collagen, keep on reading! 

What is Collagen?

Before we dive right in, we must answer the most obvious, blaring question: what is collagen exactly? Many people have heard of this exciting protein, but much fewer know what it is. 

Essentially, collagen is a protein in the body most commonly found in the bones, muscles, tendons, and skin. It is an essential element of the body’s connective tissue and helps make the skin more elastic. In general, collagen strengthens and provides structure to the body. 

Not all collagen is created equal, though. There are two main types of collagen. Firstly, you have endogenous collagen. This is the collagen that is naturally made within the body. The body creates endogenous collagen and sends it to where it’s needed, such as connective tissue or the skin. 

The second type of collagen is exogenous collagen. This type of collagen is synthetic and scientifically generated outside the body. Exogenous collagen is typically taken in supplement form or from any other outside source, such as food or beverages high in collagen. 

To clarify, when we are talking about collagen in makeup products, we are solely talking about exogenous collagen since endogenous collagen is created and stays within the body at all times. 

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What is Collagen Good For? 

Now that we have a basic understanding of collagen let’s move on to the uses and benefits of taking collagen in supplement form. In the beauty world especially, skin revitalization is one of the most popular uses for collagen. 

As mentioned, collagen helps keep the skin looking elastic, supple, and youthful. Hence, almost innumerable skin and makeup products boast of having collagen as one of their main ingredients. This seemingly magical ingredient is also known for its powerful capability of reducing scars, wrinkles, and pores. 

Collagen can benefit the skin in other ways besides skin cream; some possibilities include collagen skin fillers and oral collagen supplements. 

Can Collagen Be Vegan?

Collagen is an ingredient that has piqued the interest of society in recent years because of its effectiveness in making the skin look more youthful and healthy. Unfortunately, collagen is an animal-derived ingredient, which is a tragedy, considering how much collagen is gathered to make these collagen-based makeup products. 

Collagen is most commonly taken from cow or pig hide or fish scales. It’s also sometimes taken from collagen found in the sternum of chickens. A horrendous number of animals are harmed and killed each year just for collagen to be added to people’s makeup and skincare products, and this is not okay. 

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Since collagen is gathered from animals, vegans must look for alternatives to traditional collagen if they still want to receive the benefits of this ingredient. Thankfully, vegan alternatives to collagen are readily available to anyone who wants them. 

Essentially, collagen can be recreated without harming animals through chemical or enzymatic hydrolysis, so when you put on a makeup or skincare product with vegan collagen, you can rest assured that absolutely no animals were harmed in its making. 

Vegan collagen is just as effective as its non-vegan counterpart, and the best part is that it doesn’t harm animals at all. There’s no reason not to go vegan in your collagen makeup products. Not only will you be saving the earth, but you’ll also be making sure you don’t put anything like ground pig hide or chicken sternum on your face. 


We hope reading our piece has helped you better understand collagen, its benefits, and why you should go for vegan collagen. Even your individual decision to buy vegan collagen products over non-vegan ones makes an impact. Imagine how many lives we could save if we all made this small change! 

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