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Q: How Can I Be Vegan and Still Build Collagen?

By Mercedes Taylor

With a love for cosmetics from a young age, my curiosity knew that there was much more to the goop inside the jar than meets the eye. I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Analytical Chemistry and moved to California to chase my dreams of becoming a cosmetic chemist, passionate in developing results-driven skincare. Now, I am the Product Innovation Manager for Youth to the People. My primary experience is in research and development, with a focus on both sustainability and the formulation of skincare, bringing natural ingredients to the forefront of the cosmetics market. I’m here to answer all your skincare questions. 

Question: How can I be vegan and still build collagen?

Answer: You don’t need to eat or apply collagen to build collagen, surprisingly. Though it’s found most abundantly in mammals, it’s not necessary to eat animals to build your own. Collagen is a protein in our skin that builds through many mechanisms, utilizing nutrients and minerals in our own body. As the main structural component in our body’s connective tissues, it helps keep things firm. Eating plenty of leafy green vegetables, berries, and citrus fruits will do wonders for your skin and for building collagen, but taking care of that topically is important as well. 

I prefer two key ingredients for collagen building, and both are vegan. The first is tripeptide-5, a signal peptide that sends a message to our skin cells to start the process of collagen-building. The second is vitamin C, which is a necessary component for building collagen. Our bodies don’t produce vitamin C naturally, and the vitamin C we consume tends to be completely used up in the mechanism for amino acid chain-building; it takes a lot of vitamin C, both taken orally and applied topically, to build up these proteins. I recommend applying a serum containing vitamin C and tripeptide-5 twice a day for maximum collagen-building, firming results.


Do you have questions for The Chemist? Send ‘em over on email to editorial@youthtothepeople.com, or shoot us a DM on Instagram.