But here’s the ticket: Vitamin C is a vital part of the collagen production process. According to Julia T. Hunter, M.D., founder of Wholistic Dermatology in Beverly Hills, “If you don’t have vitamin C, your collagen can’t cross-link to lift and tighten skin.” 

That’s because vitamin C can actually promote fibroblast production1 and regulate collagen synthesis2 (aka, the pathway in which collagen is made). “Vitamin C is a key cofactor in the synthesis of collagen and elastin, [which helps] give your skin that plump and youthful appearance,” Keira Barr, M.D., dual board-certified dermatologist, told us about vitamin C in collagen supplements.

Additionally, the vitamin stabilizes the collagen you already have: Due to its antioxidant properties (which we’ll dive into in a mere moment), it helps neutralize free radical damage—which is a major culprit behind collagen degradation and DNA damage.

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