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We’ve had a relationship with collagen for over a decade, so we know our way around a collagen supplement by now.
Although it all started with lackluster-tasting powders and drops, the collagen gummy revolution has been a game changer. Getting extra collagen has never been so effortless!
It feels like the collagen gummy cosmos has only just begun, and we are continually excited about all the new gummies cropping up all over! From old school collagen purveyors like Neocell to newcomers like Vitafive.
ICYMI: Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, so suffice it to say that your body needs it. But like most good things, your body produces less of it as you get older. Enter collagen supplements. You can take a deep dive with us on our Collagen 101 blog if you want to know more!
Our first foray into the land of Vitafive was with their Immunity + Elderberry Gummy, which enchanted us immediately. So we were super excited to try their collagen gummies next, along with their apple cider vinegar gummies (review coming soon!).
And these did not disappoint!
Except for one thing…
These contain 200 mg of Hydrolyzed Collagen, which is a common amount for collagen supplements, but a lot less than, say, Olly’s Collagen Gummy Rings or NeoCell’s Gummy Glow, which both clock in at 2,500 mg.
But while we were investigating the packaging, we noticed something: the word “vegetarian” is included in the print.
🚨 COLLAGEN IS NOT VEGETARIAN 🚨
Worse, their website says all of their vitamins are vegetarian, and the page for these collagen gummies specifically says they’re “vegan-friendly.”
But we assure you Hydrolyzed Collagen is NOT vegetarian or vegan friendly. It is animal protein from an actual animal, entirely animal-derived. We were confused how they came up with this label, since no other collagen brands (Neocell, Vital Proteins, etc) label their Hydrolyzed Collagen as vegetarian.
We reached out to Vitafive to clarify, and they wrote back:
Thanks so much for pointing out our mistake. Collagen is our only vitamin that is not vegetarian. We’ll work with our developers to get that corrected on our site. Thanks again and for considering to write a review on our vitamins!
We appreciate that Vitafive got back to us so quickly and acknowledged the error, but we really have no idea if and when they’ll correct their packaging or their website. A week after this exchange, their home page still says that ALL of their vitamins are vegetarian-friendly.
We are disappointed that Vitafive has potentially misleading information for vegetarians, but hopefully the messaging and branding is updated soon.
Ok, these are labeled as “Collagen+”. What’s in the plus? Today we’re on the guest list plus three, and our dates are Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Biotin.
Vitamin C is frequently used in vegan “collagen” supplements. We explore this more in our Vegan Collagen blog, in case you are indeed looking for non-animal collagen support, but in a nutshell, Vitamin C is crucial for your body’s natural collagen production.
It’s not a replacement for collagen in and of itself, but it’s one of the building blocks for making your own, plus it’s a potent antioxidant. These gummies have 50mg of vitamin C per serving.
Vitamin E is another great skin gem. Vitamin E is not just for ingesting, it’s also found in a variety of topicals. We love this free radical buster because it’s a total triple threat: helping to reduce UV damage, heal scars and strengthen your skin’s barrier.* These have 5mg of vitamin E per serving.
And of course, Biotin! Biotin is the renowned vegetarian beauty supplement, the mighty B-complex vitamin that fuels SugarBearHair and an entire litany of irrepressible Influencer-peddled goodies. We found our love for biotin with Hum Hair Sweet Hair, so we’re always happy to see it pop up in our beauty gummies!
We see biotin as the veggie beauty competitor to Collagen, but here they’ve come together like twin flames for your complexion.
The Vitafive Collagen+ gummies have 2.5 mg of biotin, which is a pretty solid amount. Most biotin-focused gummies (like Vitafive’s own Biotin Gummies) usually have double that, but this is a good compliment for a collagen gummy.
Do Vitafive’s Collagen Gummies Work?
We go to collagen for nails that can go the distance, firm glowing skin, and resilient hair.
We’ve noticed that biotin alone can’t do the trick, at least for us, and particularly when it comes to our nails. Biotin alone gives us breakage. As much as we’d personally love to keep our routine cruelty-free and vegetarian friendly, we’ve found that collagen is what it takes to keep our nails strong.
So our personal test for collagen gummies is: do our nails break while we’re taking them?
We’re happy to report that, despite the relatively low amount of collagen in these, they worked for us as well as any other collagen gummy we’ve tried, including the Ollys and the NeoCells, at least in terms of the nail test.
Again, these do have less collagen than our favorite collagen gummies, but if you’re not looking to max out on collagen, the additional ingredients in these might make these worth it for you.
As we mentioned at the top, we first entered the world of Vitafive with their Immunity + Elderberry gummy. And it was just so good. It was a bright and tart raspberry lemonade flavor that kind of had us gushing for this brand.
So we had high hopes for our second foray into Vitafive land… and it didn’t disappoint! They definitely understand flavor sorcery over there.
This may be just a personal preference, but we love gummies that are light and bright in flavor, with a twinge of sour gummy tartness. It’s like actual candy.
These are a completely delightful pink lemonade that’s got a fizzy citrus vibe, lush with flavor.
And most impressively, they don’t have the chewiness that we associate with some of the other collagen gummies on the block.
Both Olly’s Collagen Peach Rings and Neocell’s Glam Hair & Nails gave us a chewing experience that was a little strange and unappealing, and we chalk that chewiness up to the nature of animal proteins and the high amounts of collagen in them, plus the fact that they’re made with gelatin.
The Vitafives are made with pectin, which is a lot less rubbery, plus have less collagen, so the texture in these is pretty great.
So we’d say that Vitafive has managed to crack the code on a flawless collagen gummy.
Except for the misleading branding! We hope that’s updated soon, and we can shift our feelings about this mistake.
Cause here’s the thing: we are just regular people who bought these at Urban Outfitters. Vitafive didn’t send us these, and they didn’t ask us to review them.
We are very conscious of the labels on supplements and believe, probably like you do, that they matter. Vitafive’s labeling and website could easily confuse someone who would not consume collagen otherwise.
We put a lot of faith in supplement companies to be transparent and clear about what’s in their products, and unfortunately, mislabeling something, especially a supplement, is a critical error in gaining a customer’s trust.
It’s for this reason that we’ve given these an “Overall” rating of 2, even though we personally like these gummies.
It’s all especially disappointing because these are delicious and effective, and we want to believe in Vitafive as a trustworthy brand.