Hannah Frye

mbg Assistant Beauty Editor

By Hannah Frye

mbg Assistant Beauty Editor

Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more.

coffee and collagen powder

Image by Lauren Lee / Stocksy

May 5, 2023

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If you’re going to spend money on supplements, you want to make sure you’re investing in high quality products. Otherwise, you could end up with loads of filler ingredients and hardly any actives—this is especially true with collagen, which is arguably one of the most popular complexion-focused supplements (and for good reasons).

However, you’ll also want to incorporate other lifestyle practices to ensure your collagen can perform at its best (even if the product itself is top-notch). To come, three steps to consider. 


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Be mindful of inflammatory foods

In case you aren’t aware, “Inflammation is one of the main enemies of any tissue,” board-certified dermatologist Gary Goldenberg, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York previously told mbg. Those connective tissues fueled by collagen are no exception.

Inflammatory diets, which often include eating plans that are high in sugar, simple carbohydrates, and processed meats, activate the immune system and promote inflammation throughout the body, board-certified dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, M.D., once shared with mbg. “This may interfere with healing, including healing of environmentally damaged skin cells,” he says. Sugar1, in particular, can be tough on collagen.

 “High sugar levels can lead to hardening and fragmentation of collagen, weakening the skin foundation, and promoting premature skin aging,” Zeichner adds. So try to incorporate some anti-inflammatory principles into your diet when you can.


Take a vitamin C supplement (or find a combination)


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Never underestimate the power of daily relaxation

This may sound dramatic, but relaxation is your skin’s best friend. Even if you’re not prone to stress breakouts, anyone with a highly stressful environment can suffer the consequences of physical skin aging. 

See, the onset of stress triggers the fight-or-flight response. As more circulation is diverted to other organs, such as the heart, brain, and lungs, blood flow is taken away from your skin4. When this happens, your skin cannot produce collagen as effectively—resulting in less plump, bright-looking skin. 

So do your best to prioritize your mental health and incorporate daily stress-relieving rituals, such as yoga, meditation, and journaling, or simply give yourself a few minutes to just chill in silence (an underrated mindfulness ritual, in my opinion). 

The takeaway

Once you have a high-quality collagen supplement in your daily practice, it’s time to pair it with other skin-supporting choices. Do your best to decrease inflammation in the body via anti-inflammatory foods and stress-relieving activities, and always make sure your vitamin C levels are up to par. Not sure if you actually consume enough vitamin C daily? This guide will help you out