Skip to content

A strange effect of “vegetable collagen”: it increases my blood pressure.

Vegetable collagen doesn’t exist outside the labels of some skincare products. So, what on earth are they adding to this product? It’s likely a hydrolyzate (broken down) mix of proteins from corn, wheat, and soy. This is catering to the vegetarians that don’t know what collagen is, a protein that only exists in some animals.

The INCI nomenclature perpetuates this anti-scientific myth, and I am very annoyed (but not surprised). After all, the INCI is made by an organism dependent on the cosmetics industry and not by the Royal Society of London. Knowing this doesn’t make it easier to accept the fact that advertising wins over science. Are people so gullible?

On top of everything else, which is bad enough, the preservative used in this “vegetable collagen” is another pseudoscientific fraud. It’s being sold as a plant preservative that doesn’t actually exist. It’s likely a mix of synthetic preservatives, like didecyldimethylammonium salts and salicylic acid. Why? Because the antimicrobial peptides in kimchi don’t have enough activity to stop bacteria and fungi from flourishing in a solution full of goodies like most skincare products (see Li et al., 2015).

“Daikon radish (Raphanus sativus) fermented with lactic acid bacteria, especially Leuconostoc or Lactobacillus spp., can be used to make kimchi, a traditional Korean fermented vegetable. Commercial Leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrates are claimed to have broad spectrum antimicrobial activity. Leuconostoc kimchii fermentation products are patented as preservatives for cosmetics, and certain strains of this organism are reported to produce antimicrobial peptides (bacteriocins).”

Can you get a collagen serum that is vegan?

Yes. What is Skin Actives vegan alternative to collagen? It’s more expensive than using the leftovers of oil extraction from seeds. We use a mix of amino acids obtained by fermentation in a proportion that mimics the composition of animal collagen. Our skin will use these amino acids to make our own collagen.


Jing Li, Chaytor JL, Findlay B, McMullen LM, Smith, DC, Vederas JC (2015) Identification of Didecyldimethylammonium salts and salicylic acid as antimicrobial compounds in commercial fermented radish kimchi . J. Agric. Food Chem., 63:3053–3058.