Why Experts Say Collagen Supplements Should Contain Vitamin C

A thoughtfully made collagen supplement should contain vitamin C, a classic antioxidant that is a vital part of the collagen production process.* “Vitamin C is a key cofactor in the synthesis of collagen and elastin, [which helps] give your skin that plump and youthful appearance,”* says Keira Barr, M.D., dual board-certified dermatologist. See, your body cannot effectively produce collagen without the antioxidant.* Vitamin C is actually able to promote fibroblast production, tend to collagen DNA, and regulate collagen synthesis, or the pathway in which collagen is made.* 

We’d also be remiss not to mention that the vitamin not only helps with collagen production but supports the protein after the fact, too: Vitamin C stabilizes the collagen you already have, thanks to its antioxidant properties that can help neutralize free radicals.* 

And unfortunately, many Americans aren’t getting the recommended amount of this essential water-soluble micronutrient for optimal skin health.* See, your body cannot make the nutrient on its own. Therefore, it must be ingested daily. While true deficiency is quite rare (as you can get vitamin C from a bunch of foods, including leafy greens and citrus), many people fall short of that gold standard. 

“The reality is that we have a nation walking around with widespread nutrient inadequacies. This is a fact rooted in data, and meanwhile, there’s a simple solution,” says mbg’s director of scientific affairs and in-house nutritionist, Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN, on the mindbodygreen podcast. “It turns out, 35% of U.S. adults are not eating the recommended amount of vitamin C. That’s over a hundred million Americans.” This is why many experts encourage you to find a collagen powder that contains vitamin C already in the blend, helping you reach the daily dosage and fill that common gap.