Collagen is all the rave in the beauty industry, popping up in everything from your morning coffee to your evening moisturisers! But with so many different forms of collagen available, how do you know which one is right for you? Collagen can work miracles for your body, IF you choose the right kind of supplement.

I’m here to break down the collagen jargon and explain the potential benefits and pitfalls of one of the most prominent forms of the miracle protein: hydrolysed collagen.

different  hydrolysed collagen powders

What is Hydrolysed Collagen?

Yes, the long scientific word sitting before collagen takes me back to the oh so dreadful days of sitting in a chem lab trying to wrap my head around covalent bonds (yeah, remember those?). But in pursuit of gorgeous skin, I’ve taken one for the team to explain what it all means and I promise to keep the science to a minimum.

Hydrolysed collagen simply means collagen that has been broken down. The process of hydrolysis involves breaking down larger molecules into smaller ones in the presence of water (told you it wasn’t too bad).

However, hydrolysed collagen has been published in the beauty industry (mainly in the labels behind your serums and supplements) under all sorts of names making a relatively simple concept difficult to understand. In other words: collagen hydrolysate, hydrolysed collagen, hydrolysate collagen, collagen peptides and pure collagen hydrolysate powder all mean the same thing! So the next time you’re having a battle royale in your head between: hydrolysed collagen vs collagen peptides, you now know that they are the same thing!

You should also note that when comparing the many (many) options for collagen out there, animal forms of collagen such as bovine and marine collagen can come as standard collagen or hydrolysed collagen. So, (again, to save yourself the time researching for hours online) if you are contemplating choosing between hydrolysed collagen vs marine collagen, you should understand that marine collagen is from fish and can be hydrolysed and broken down, (thus hydrolysed collagen - usually the better choice) or not.

Or, you can save yourself the effort and go with a plant based collagen supplement that doesn't need to by hydrolysed and works just as well (if not better) at building collagen and keeping your skin youthful.

woman looking in the mirror at her wrinkles and fine lines

Benefits of Hydrolysed Collagen Peptides

So now you know the several names our miracle protein masquerades under - but why bother breaking it down at all? The original collagen molecule (what the industry refers to as soluble collagen) is a huge, huge molecule that, (whether ingested or applied on your skin) would never be able to penetrate deep enough into your dermis to actually be useful. Fortunately, not all collagen has to be broken down. Keep reading to find out which form of collagen can work miracles on your skin without needing to be broken down.

Breaking down soluble collagen into smaller collagen peptides can help them penetrate more easily through your body, providing your skin, hair, nails and joints with all the building blocks needed to build collagen. Collagen hydrolysate can help with weight loss as well. If you want a breakdown of the numerous benefits this single protein can have on your skin and body, you can read more about it here!

So, if you’re having difficulty choosing between soluble collagen vs hydrolysed collagen, hydrolysed collagen absorption is much better, making it the more efficient choice if you want to get results fast (and I mean who doesn’t?).

I should note here that even if animal collagen is broken down by hydrolysis, the collagen you ingest as part of your supplement will still have to be broken down completely. So the hydrolysed beef collagen or hydrolysed marine collagen peptides that usually form the basis of most animal collagen supplements are more effective than the standard larger molecules, but they still need to be broken down before your body can build more useful human collagen. Fortunately, not all collagen supplements need to go through this arduous process. Non animal collagen supplements (like vegan collagen) don't need to be broken down. They help your skin start building collagen immediately, but more on that later. 

woman with clear skin using hydrolysed collagen

Pitfalls of Hydrolysed Collagen

While hydrolysed collagen is definitely better and usually faster than standard collagen molecules in helping your skin, it is also heavily processed. Collagen is a structural protein found in skin and connective tissue in animals. So the extraction and purification of collagen from fish skins and bovine cartilage requires a lot of chemical and physical processing.

You’d then need to further break down collagen into hydrolysed collagen and then convert that into a convenient powder or gel. This would then be mixed with a cocktail of sugars, sweeteners and flavours before it becomes the creamer, gel sachet or powder you add to your morning coffee.

All this processing essentially strips any other valuable nutrients from animal tissues. As a result, animal collagen supplement manufacturers replace them with synthetic alternatives that have been conclusively proven to be less effective than obtaining vitamins from wholefoods.

Additionally, the sugars, sweeteners and flavours added to make the fish skins and cattle hives even remotely palatable can actually do more harm to your skin than good. Sugar has actually been studied to attach itself to collagen molecules and signal to the body to break it down instead, essentially making the collagen supplement counter productive in helping your skin.

Alternatives to Hydrolysed Collagen

The good news is, hydrolysed collagen while effective is not the only option to help your skin and body build collagen. Plant based collagen builders such as Raw Beauty Lab’s Vegan Collagen Supplement is full of superfoods that provide the full repertoire of nutrients required to build collagen. Each ingredient has been studied and has proven to help build collagen and reduce wrinkle depth in their own right.

The superfoods are also minimally processed, helping to preserve the naturally occurring nutrients present in them (which as we established earlier are much better than the synthetic stuff), helping you build collagen and smoothen your skin faster.

Not to mention superfoods like raspberries and strawberries (found in spades in our vegan collagen supplement) taste naturally great and therefore don’t require any flavours or collagen destroying sugars or sweeteners added to them!

Additionally, plant based builders already have the ingredients in their raw form so your body doesn’t need to break anything down and can immediately start working on your skin!

Lastly (and most importantly), plant based collagen builders are full of powerful plant based antioxidants that can help protect your existing collagen from dietary (sugars and alcohol) and environmental (UV and pollution) stressors. So, not only can plant based builders help you build collagen, they also help protect your existing collagen which significantly boosts your total collagen quota!

In summary, plant based collagen builders have:

  • Minimally processed ingredients  

  • Whole food sourced vitamins and minerals 

  • No added sugars, sweeteners or flavours

  • Helps build AND protect your collagen

Check out Raw Beauty Lab’s award winning Vegan Collagen supplement below. It boasts all the attributes we established above and with over 20,000 women raving about their results and over 900 5 star reviews, you can’t really go wrong can you? 

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