How vitamin C and collagen work together for skin health 

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Ask any skin care enthusiast to share their top must haves – and we bet it’ll be vitamin C and collagen. Whether you’re taking supplements or seeking out these nutrients in your diet- both vitamin C and collagen can help you bring the glam in different ways, but did you know they work better in tandem? Here’s how they work and why you should consider adding this dynamic duo to your beauty routine.     

Free radicals: the enemy 

You’ve probably heard it before: your skin is your first line of defense. It’s constantly exposed to stressors like pollution and UV rays which can lead to free radicals- substances that damage cells when their numbers get too high (…so remember to wear SPF every day!).  

Free radicals can prevent the synthesis of key proteins for your skin like collagen and elastin, triggering premature wrinkles and dull skin. But not only that, free radicals can also affect your production of melanin (a natural substance responsible for skin pigment), causing uneven skin tone or dark spots. Even though free radicals are unavoidable and a natural part of life, we’re not completely powerless against them.  

Vitamin C: the powerful antioxidant  

Often hailed as the holy grail to youthful, healthy skin – vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize some of these damaging free radicals before they’re able to build up. If your diet lacks vitamin C, you’re missing out on one of the key ways to ward off fine lines and dull skin. In fact, your skin contains a higher amount of vitamin C compared to some other tissues in your body and some studies have found that these stores might be lower in people with skin damage.1     

Vitamin C isn’t just hailed for its antioxidant properties though. It’s also essential for creating collagen.2  

Collagen: the abundant protein 

Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in your body (made of amino acids) and is the building block for skin, hair, bones, muscles and tendons. This might be surprising, but your skin has three main layers to it: the epidermis, the dermis and the lipid (fat) layer. And collagen makes up to 75% of your dermis layer – holding your cells together and giving it strength and elasticity.3  

Collagen helps maintain your skin’s structure and retains water while promoting smooth, firm and healthy skin.* But with age, collagen production naturally slows down, leading to more visible wrinkles, dry and even saggy skin.4  

Replenishing your collagen stores can help improve your skin’s texture and reduce signs of premature aging.* One study showed collagen with vitamin C helps your skin retain water, keeping it plump and smooth, but researchers are working on conducting larger more long-term study’s to confirm its effects.5  

You’ll find some collagen products available as collagen peptides. This has the same set of amino acids and benefits as collagen but has gone through hydrolysis to break them down into shorter chains, making them easier to for you to absorb.  

Takeaway 

Wrinkles, dark spots and loose skin are all natural parts of aging. And while there’s also beauty in the fine lines we’ve earned throughout the years, there’s also steps we can take to help prevent the effects of premature aging from everyday stressors. Vitamin C and collagen can both help promote a youthful glow and support your skin from the inside out.  

To learn more about collagen, read 5 benefits of collagen.

About Agnes  

Agnes is an accredited nutritionist by SNDA (Singapore Nutrition & Dietetics Association). Prior to Persona, she worked in community settings, providing training and managing events. She loves working with people and is passionate about changing people’s lives through nutrition.  

Do you have questions about supplements? Reach out to one of our experts, or take Persona’s free nutrition assessment, and learn exactly what you need to take your wellness to the next level.     

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.      

This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional, or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information from this article for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal, or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read in this article.        

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References:

  1. Pullar JM, Carr AC, Vissers MCM. The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health. Nutrients. 2017;9(8):866. Published 2017 Aug 12. doi:10.3390/nu9080866 
  2. Boyera N, Galey I, Bernard BA. Effect of vitamin C and its derivatives on collagen synthesis and cross-linking by normal human fibroblasts. Int J Cosmet Sci. 1998;20(3):151-158. doi:10.1046/j.1467-2494.1998.171747.x 
  3. de Miranda RB, Weimer P, Rossi RC. Effects of hydrolyzed collagen supplementation on skin aging: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Dermatol. 2021;60(12):1449-1461. doi:10.1111/ijd.15518 
  4. Bolke L, Schlippe G, Gerß J, Voss W. A Collagen Supplement Improves Skin Hydration, Elasticity, Roughness, and Density: Results of a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Blind Study. Nutrients. 2019; 11(10):2494.  
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