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VITAMIN C VS. COLLAGEN: How Are They Different?

Vitamin C vs. Collagen: How Are They Different?

There’s a lot of hype around collagen products as well as vitamin C, but the verbiage is typically very separate or compartmentalized. We believe it shouldn’t be.

First of all, collagen isn’t just about your face. It’s so much more than what makes you look plump, perky, and young, although that is a major part of it, and we do all lose collagen as we age. It’s a part of life. However, collagen is in our tendons, fat, ligaments, fascia, gut and intestines… It’s extremely important. It gives flexibility, texture, shape, and support to our entire being, and without this protein, we wouldn’t function at all let alone look fresh-faced.

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, and we shouldn’t be without it, topically and internally. Many of us might recall getting sour vitamin C tablets as kids when we are sick, and know that it’s great to fight colds and boost the immune system. But what it’s truly good for is the development and repair of every tissue in the body. And that includes collagen. In fact, it’s one of the major components of collagen production in the body, and should be considered a staple when it comes to supplements and products.

This is especially important to note for vegans—there is no such thing as naturally-occurring vegan collagen. There are some truly groundbreaking strides being made in the world of science to create a vegan compound that mimics collagen, and we can’t wait until that becomes readily available to all. But in the meantime, all natural collagen supplements come from animal tissue, namely bones and cartilage. 

The majority of collagen supplements on the market today are derived from bovine, but there is a good deal of marine collagen from fish bones as well. However, vegans can’t consume any of this. Their best bet? Vitamin C to protect and restore their own, naturally occurring collagen. And we should all get on board with this notion, not just vegans.

One of the main reasons is that consuming collagen powder, while effective in many crucial ways, is not selective. This means that if you are hoping to restore long, strong nails and hair, and wish your forehead wrinkles to vanish simply from adding a creamy collagen powder to your daily coffee, think again. If another part of your body needs that crucial protein, like joints or an inflamed gut, you’re not going to suddenly have taut, youthful skin. 

However, when taken consistently over a period of time, you will notice the beauty benefits. Studies show that orally ingested collagen enters the bloodstream and is distributed into areas such as skin and nails. Because vitamin C is found in high levels in both the dermis and epidermis, it holds this power of collagen synthesis near and dear to where we want to see those beauty results. The skin also very effectively absorbs vitamin C, so you can use it topically as well as ingest it for maximum benefits. 

While collagen powder is easy to ingest, vitamin C is not always as reliable. In many serums, vitamin C becomes immediately oxidized, rendering it useless or not very active. Find products that are the purest powder form for topical application (mix with a serum or oil) or contain encapsulated vitamin C so that the potency remains protected. We’ve shopped out a few of our favorites below.