Animal or plant-based collagen?
There has been a lot of marketing around collagen skincare and supplements but what constitutes animal sources of collagen and is it good for you and the planet?
Most animal collagen is a by-product of factory farming, where pesticides and herbicides like glyphosate are stored in the bones. Many other contaminants are often found too including antibiotics, prescription drug metabolites, steroids, insecticides, and parabens.
Most skincare animal based collagen is sourced from fish. Again, if it’s farmed fish then the same issue of antibiotic use is found.
Aside from personal health concerns the other enormous issue with animal sources of collagen is the environmental impact.
+ Of all the threats facing the oceans today, overfishing takes the greatest toll on sea life — and people. In many of our oceans our fish species are being pushed to the brink of collapse. This endangers entire food webs and ocean ecosystems by disrupting the balance of all sea life. It further impacts smaller communities who rely on fishing to survive.
What will it be like to live in a planet that is covered by an empty ocean? It’s estimated by scientists that we are less than 30 years off this being a reality. Currently the global fishing extraction is 2.5 times larger than what the oceans can sustainably support.
+ Farming livestock – cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and chickens – contributes around 6 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide) to the atmosphere each year. While estimates vary, this could represent up to 18% of global emissions. Not to mention land usage. The main course of deforestation is due to animal farming, either cleared for animal grazing or to grow the crops that feed factory farmed animals.
Beef production occupies nearly 60 percent of the world’s arable land alone with 45 percent used for grazing and an additional 10 percent dedicated to growing feed crops. The equivalent of over 10,000 football fields are destroyed each day in the Amazon Basin alone.
These overwhelming facts obviously don’t take into account animal welfare arguments which is another huge factor to consider with your purchases.
Surely such extreme measures to source ingredients must result in better health and skin outcomes than their plant based counterparts?
Well the short answer is, no.
The main problem for your skin with animal-based collagen is it doesn’t confront the root cause of collagen loss.
With animal collagen the idea is that you’re replacing collagen that is lost while plant based collagen you are increasing your body’s own natural collagen production.
Think of it as one is filling a bucket with a hole while the other is fixing the hole in the bucket.
As we age the loss of collage is inevitable
However there are a number of other factors which speed this process along such as uv damage, sugar, alcohol and smoking. So the best way to protect your collagen is to take steps toward a healthier lifestyle. It’s always best to protect what you have.
Ways to increase your collagen production is to consume healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C which is the corner stone of collagen production.
For your skin the most effective way to increase collagen production is by the topical application of high doses of natural vitamin C (find the difference between natural vitamin c and chemical vitamin c here) which is found in abundance in Clean Collagen and scientifically proven to affect your skin at the cellular level.
Whatever marketing might tell you science shows that natural vitamin c is the magic ingredient for collagen production.
This combined with Bakuchiol work in unison to up-regulate your collagen production and protect the collagen you have.
Better for our oceans and better for your skin.
Choose plants not fish.