how long does it take for collagen to work

How Long Does It Take For Collagen To Work?

How long does it take for collagen to work when you start taking it? There is not just one answer for all but recent studies give us some hints. Let’s dig into this topic a bit deeper and investigate what research and studies say.

How Long Does It Take For Collagen To Work

Collagen supplements may reduce wrinkles and increase hydration. Even though it’s individual for every person to see signs of improvement, there were two studies performed with women aged 35-65 and their results were quite surprising for me.

Of course, various factors contribute to better or worse results, such as smoking, healthy or unhealthy eating habits, alcohol consumption, and regular exercise. That’s why the improvements differ from person to person. But the results of recent studies show enough data to convince me (and hopefully you as well) that collagen does work quite fast.

In a study with 72 women aged 35 years or older who were taking 2.5 grams of hydrolyzed collagen types I and II per day for 12 weeks the wrinkle depth was reduced by 27% and skin hydration increased by 28%.

In another study with 114 women aged 45-65 who were submitted 2.5 grams of hydrolyzed collagen type I per day for 8 weeks the wrinkle volume was reduced by 20%.

So the studies suggest that

  • collagen supplements may reduce wrinkles and increase hydration
  • the results were observed after 8 to 12 weeks already!

I think it’s really impressive when you compare it with other supplements or tools. Eight weeks is not a long time and it passes before you know. If you continue consuming your collagen drink, it will only get better. Imagine the results in a year.


Why We Need Collagen Supplements

Collagen supplements can do wonders for you as the collagen production in your body decreases with age. After reaching 20 years of age, your collagen depletes more and more every year. So it really makes sense to supplement your body with it.

Consuming collagen supplements can help you stop the deterioration, or make up for the damage that is already there. Wrinkles, sagging skin, lack of glow, that all is down to lower collagen production. Evidence that collagen really does work is on the rise.

But the question is when you start taking a collagen supplement such as a hydrolyzed collaged in form of collagen peptides, how long will it take for collagen to start working on your skin and hair? When will you see visible results?

Does Collagen Work On Hair?

The effects of collagen supplements on the skin are proven. But what about hair, do we have some proof that collagen promotes hair growth or improves hair quality?

Studies that would evidence that collagen supports hair growth are missing.

However, we know that hair is made up of the protein keratin and lipids. Your body needs several types of amino acids to build keratin and many of these amino acids are part of collagen peptides. The main amino acid in keratin is proline, which is also found in collagen peptides. So if you ingest the amino acids (in collagen peptides supplements), they can help support your natural levels of amino acids.

Many individual cases show that hydrolyzed collagen i.e. collagen peptides promote faster hair growth. It is my personal experience as well. I have always wanted super long hair and it was growing so slow, in my opinion.

It is hard to say exactly how long does it take collagen to work on your hair and let you see improvements but you will definitely see some results in two months. I have seen results on my hair after a month or two.

An interesting fact is that collagen may slow graying.

How is that possible?

Here is a statement on Healthline:

“Free radical damage to cells that produce hair color may accelerate graying to some extent. Since collagen can act as an antioxidant, it may be able to fight this damage and slow graying.”

Well, I don’t know if it is a result of collagen intake but I do not have more gray hair now when I am 52 than when I was ten years younger. I do have a few on the top of my head, near the forehead, but no gray hair above my ears or on the back of my head. I think that my daily consumption of collagen peptides has helped that.

How To Choose Your Collagen Supplement

It is necessary to choose a product of a well-established company that has been on the market for some time and has not had any issues related to their products.

Considering the fact collagen supplements are derived from animals (cows, pigs, chicken, or fish), it is essential to look for a high-quality supplement that is as clean and pure as possible.

I would suggest you read some reviews of concrete collagen supplements and then try one that seems best for you. You may try a few products before finding the one that will become your all-times-favorite.

There are so many collagen products on the market that it is hard to choose. However, I do not support taking collagen pills. Collagen peptides powder being hydrolyzed collagen has proven to have the best results.

But even among the powdered collagen supplements, there is a huge variety of products. To make the choosing process easier for you, I have set up a list of the top 10 collagen peptides for beautiful skin.

What is hydrolyzed collagen?

Nour Zibdeh, registered nutritionist and dietician, explains on mbghealth:

“Collagen is a complex protein made of three chains of amino acids, whereas hydrolyzed collagen is collagen that is broken down into small protein chains, called collagen peptides, that are made of a few amino acids.”

In other words, hydrolyzed collagen is a broken-down form of collagen protein that is easier for your body to absorb.

All collagen supplement powders are hydrolyzed to be easily digestible for us.

Another name you may come across when looking for your collagen supplement is collagen hydrolysate. It is the same as hydrolyzed collagen.

In the video below, my favorite nutrition expert, Dr. Berg speaks about  collagen peptides but also about other nutrients for healthy skin:

What all is collagen good for

You know about the proven benefits for skin and supposed benefits for hair. But there is much more.

Joints – there is growing evidence that the ingestion of collagen hydrolysate (hydrolyzed collagen) improves osteoarthritis and chronic joint disorders. Joint pain is very common and I also experienced it myself, my hip joints were hurting especially in the evening. When I started taking collagen, I felt the pain was not so strong.

Muscles – collagen can support muscle strength and body composition, it is a protein after all. Same as with the consumption of other proteins, consumption of collagen protein supports your muscles, without any unhealthy fats.

Gut – people with leaky gut might benefit from hydrolyzed collagen intake. Nevertheless, collagen is good for gut health in general. It is a source for rebuilding the cells in the gut.

Collagen, or more?

While collagen is essential if you want to have supple, soft, and smooth skin, it’s not the only thing you need. Antioxidants and superfoods that are considered beauty boosters (like coconut, chia seeds, or avocado) are essential when it comes to your skin.

But it is not only about skin and hair. It is about overall health.

Your body needs the right fuel just like a car. The better you supply your body with nutrients, the more energy you will have. It’s quite logical, isn’t it?

That’s why it makes sense to add a scoop of collagen into your smoothie, coffee, or oatmeal. You can also add it to your shake made with protein powder. Collagen is tasteless so you won’t even notice any difference but your body will.

So what is the answer to the question of how long does it take for collagen to work? No one can answer it exactly but you should start getting visible results in 8 to 12 weeks. Your skin will be more plump and glowing and you will see a lessening of fine lines. You may even see a reduction in the depth of eye wrinkles and experience more moisture in your facial skin.

Stronger and thicker hair and nails might be a result of collagen consumption as well.

You may also be interested in another article I wrote about a skin issue called toasted skin syndrome. It occurs more and more often nowadays with the use of laptops. But not only laptops, so be careful.

You’ll find the article here: How to treat toasted skin syndrome at home.

39 thoughts on “How Long Does It Take For Collagen To Work?

  1. I had no idea what the collagen effects are. I buy collagen for my wife, but I had no idea how long the collagen worked, and I never understood why is she taking it. After reading your article, I got an idea of ​​how long does it take for collagen to work and learned about proper use. After reading your explanations, everyone will know how collagen works and can share new experiences with you.

    1. I am glad I could help you understand the properties of collagen and its benefits for the body. Now you know why your wife takes collagen 🙂 Thank you for your feedback!

  2. Thank you Lenka, for this awesome review of collagen and how it does affect the health of the body.

    Your specific points that collagen helps in the general wellbeing of the hair and skin are what appealed to me most. I like growing long hair but I never thought collagen was one element that could promote that. Perhaps that is because, like you said, there is no research that explains that yet.

    But I think with the information contained in this review, collagen is not only good for the skin and hair, but also for the entire health of a person since it provides the body with the energy that it needs.

    I again appreciate the effort invested into putting this post together. 

    1. Thank you for your feedback, John! Collagen is very popular among women but I still think that many people believe it is more of an ingredient in skincare products than a nutrient needed for our body. Even though my blog is focused most on anti-aging, I believe that less people would suffer from joint pain, if they were aware of the awesome benefits of collagen supplements. 

  3. This is an interesting read of collagen. For myself I would be looking to take it for joint and muscle pain, which I develop during exercise. Every morning I ride the bike for 13 to 17 kilometers and I am 65 years old in April. During the day, when sitting still and working the computer, I have these pains when I get up. Do you think that collagen can help here and if so, what should I take specifically? Before using it, should I consult a doctor first or is this a natural product with little or no side effects?Thanks for your time.

    1. Jerry, this is a great question! Seeing the results on my joints, I would strongly recommend you to buy a collagen supplement. The products I recommend in my article Best Collagen Peptides are all certified and safe. There are almost no side effects but just like with everything we ingest, there could be an allergy. I haven’t found any cases while doing research about it. 

      I used to have increasing hip joint pain as I’m 52 and my joints are probably worn off 🙂 Since I started taking collagen, it has improved a lot. But my right hip joint still hurts now and then. I believe it will get better in time when I continue taking collagen peptides.

      The collagen peptides products are safe and natural but you can always ask your doctor for advice. As many doctors already recommend taking collagen to support joint recovery, I think you will get a positive response.

      All the best and let me know how it goes with your joints!

  4. I knew that collagen production decreases with age and that’s why I started taking collagen supplements. It has worked wonders for me and gave me great results in about 10 weeks- At present all the dark spots and signs of aging on my skin are gone and the health of my hair has improved without any side effects. I will keep using collagen powder in future. 

    Lastly, I hope that through your articles, everyone will get an accurate understanding of how long does it take for collagen to work and of the effectiveness of collagen supplements.

    1. I am very happy that you have such great results with collagen supplements too, Shanta! It does take about 8 to 10 weeks to start seeing first results. Then it only gets better in time. 
      Thanks for sharing your experience!

  5. Hallo there Sophie, 

    My wife has been slowly getting depressing because the collagen supplements she has been using have not been working for her. She has used them for about 4 weeks now and she hasn’t any positive effects. 

    The studies you have mentioned have really helped put things into perspective for me. It means it may take a longer time for some and shorter for others.

    So it pretty much depends on the individual.

    I am going to let my wife know about this and tell her to give it more time, like 16 weeks, and see what happens.

    Thanks a lot. This will go a long way in encouraging my wife.

    Have a good day!

    1. I’m happy I could help, Dave! We live in a quick-solution time and often don’t have patience, wanting everything immediately. But good things take time 🙂 

      Your wife can’t go wrong with taking collagen supplements. As I mentioned in the article, it does not only affect our hair and skin but also the joints, muscles and gut. It is seriously one of the best things you can put into your body and it is something the body knows. Babies and children have much more collagen in their bodies than older adults, that’s why their skin is so beautiful and plump 🙂

  6. I understand from your article collagen should be taken daily if one wants to lead a healthy life. Most people now suffer from various types of diseases due to malnutrition. If you take regular calcium, vitamin, iron calcium, the disease is very low. You have discussed these things in great detail in your article. I think everyone should read this article for a healthy and beautiful life.

    1. Thank you very much for your nice words! I’m happy you found my article useful. Yes, you are absolutely right, people suffer from malnutrition as most of the foods they consume is processed and low in nutrients. If we want to have a healthy a young-looking body, we need to be very aware of what we eat and take the necessary supplements. Collagen is awesome with its effects on the body as it is something naturally present there, only decreasing with age. 
      Thank you for the insights!

  7. Hello!

    First of all, I would like to thank you for such a wonderful article about collagen. Reading your article I found a lot of information and I enjoyed it very much.

    I’m glad I know that I can improve my hair and skin quality by taking collagen.

    Thanks again for all the information. I will share this with friends.

    1. I am happy I could help! Thank you for your nice words and I hope your friends will find this information useful, too.

  8. Collagen supplements are really everywhere. I am sure that it works but I really wonder how long until I’ll see the result. Oh wow, it takes quite some time to see visible effects, hey at least it is working so I am not complaining. This is the first that I heard of hydrolyzed collagen. It all comes down to absorption and I think hydrolyzed collagen will be better for us to take. I am going to try the collagen and see if my body likes it or not. Will be on the look out for hydrolyzed collagen as well. Do you have any brand that you recommend ? 

  9. I have never used collagen before but recently a friend told me about it and how good it is but I felt like the best thing to do is to make some more enquiry about it online and then decide from there if I really want to take a dig at it and now that you have shown the benefits, I’ll definitely go for it.

    1. They results shown by the studies are even hard to believe, aren’t they? Collagen really works but it works best combined with other anti aging initiatives like walking/jogging, antioxidants and good skincare. Then you can reap the best benefits from taking collagen.

  10. It is not the first time I read your content and I am always really happy to do that! The topic of this article is collagen – something I am always a little confused about, so I always try to get as more good info as I can because I would like to work since now on preventing aging signs! And your content provides very good info, especially because you provide data and study cases! Thank you so much for your work!

  11. I take collagen daily and have been for the past 6-7 months and I’ve definitely seen the improvement in my skin. I don’t have wrinkles yet, so I can’t say much about that, but my skin definitely has more glow. 

    I also notice my hair sheds a lot less in the summer now since I’ve been taking this, though I’m not sure if it’s just in my head.

    The first thing I noticed within the first two weeks, however, was the increased strength of my nails since they’re normally very brittle and break easily.

    I work with metal and hard plastic cages at my job and I’m constantly banging my hands on things and having my nails snag, but lately I’ve been able to keep more nail length. The only downside to this is that, now that my nails are stronger, it hurts a lot more than when they broke more easily.

  12. From my finding and experience as well as feedback from customers on daily collagen intake, changes can be seen and felt from around 4-6 weeks and onwards, so I agree with you on the information in this article. People shouldn’t stop taking a collagen supplement when they aren’t seeing results immediately. Collagen supplements need time to start working to make up for the damage that is already there.
    Thank you.

  13. This article offers a ton of reason why collagen is good for the body.  I think as we mature and grow older, our body produces less and less collagen which in turn leads to wrinkly skin, thinning hair, and less radiance. You did a great job in pointing out that it can take time to build the body’s collagen back up, but by adding it consistently to your diet you will see great results!  

  14. This is a very good article. I have used a collagen supplement before, like several years ago, it was so nice and very good for my skin. Glowing skin was a check. I’m glad to read about it now and for getting information about its features. I’m already thinking of going back a collagen powder again. Thank you for bringing this information o the table

  15. Your article was really nice and enlightening also, I never knew collagen was that good and was also good for the hair and also effective in preventing wrinkles and blemishes on the skin, it is a lot of information you are sharing here. Do you think men can use collagen supplements, too, or is it just for women? 

    1. Both men and women lose collagen as they age so I can’t see any reason why men couldn’t take collagen supplements if they are concerned about their look, want to stop to prevent wrinkles, and have better hair, skin, and joints.

  16. Reading through this article has been very helpful and very educative, many people out there are very fond of using supplements without caring to know more about its effectiveness and facts like this about how long it’ll take to work. Collagen supplements are nice and it’s good that research has made it visible that it can take up to 12 weeks to see the first results. I’ll share this around.

  17. Hello Lenka! Thanks for clarifying the question of how long it takes for collagen to work. I knew that collagen production decreases with age and that’s why I started taking collagen supplements. I was battling with wrinkles and dark spots and since I started using collagen supplements, all the dark spots and signs of aging on my skin are gone and the health of my hair has improved without any side effects. I’ll definitely continue using collagen supplements. Thank you for sharing this. 

  18. Fantastic! Knowing how to make one’s skin and hair look younger is very great. And knowing that there is a supplement, collagen can do the work for making one’s skin and hair better, and improving one’s health is even greater! Thanks for this tip and recommendation. My question is, does taking collagen have side effect(s)?

    1. Some peoples’ body has problems to absorb it, mainly in elderly people. Then it may cause bloating and heartburn. But there are not serious side effects. Of course, you can be allergic to it, just like to anything else. 
      It’s just about trying it out and see if it works for you or not.

  19. I did not know that collagen helps with joint pain. My son has knee pain so I might encourage him to start taking it. Is it safe for young adults/ teenagers? A lot of people need these tips because some people waste money on useless things or scams that sell them anti-aging creams or anti-wrinkle creams that do not even work. Thank you very much.

    1. Collagen should be safe for anyone, if the person doesn’t have problems with absorption of it (which can happen, but rather in older people).
      Not knowing what’s the joint pain of your son caused by, it’s hard to advise. But if it was me, I’d give the collagen a try. 

  20. I consumed some healthy foods regularly back when I was struggling with acne, and they do work. I can’t remember whether they contain collagen, I think some of them do, and I am now completely free of acne. So I know that such products do work, unlike weight loss products which I don’t have much confidence in.

    I saw that you have provided quite a few collagen supplement suggestions and I shall keep them in mind if I ever need to purchase one for myself or other people. 

  21. Hi Lenka,

    Thanks for a very interesting and important article!

    I remember when the first collagen products came on the market over two decades ago – it was so exciting! It’s interesting that there are now so many different brands, it is difficult to choose between them! Thanks for making your recommendations available to make the decision easier for your readers.

    The recent scientific findings regarding the causation of hair graying at the microscopic and molecular levels have been very helpful. I must say though that, some of them confirm long-held observations by the “lay public”, of the deleterious effects of the unhealthy, stressful modern life that is also lacking in good nutrition and exercise. It was surprising and shocking about a decade ago when other scientists wanted to suggest that grey hair has nothing to do with stress! 😮

    May I ask for your readers’ sake: do you recommend collagen supplementation for

    1. both men and women?

    2. people of all ethnicities?

    Warmest regards!

    1. Hello Teboho,
      these are very good questions and I’m glad you’ve asked. Due to the fact the natural collagen production in our body decreases with age, I would recommend everyone either take collagen supplements or try to increase the natural production of collagen by consuming certain foods that boost the production, like certain vegetables, fruits, herbs, etc. The best, in my opinion, is to combine both.  
      I wouldn’t limit the consumption to any gender or ethnicity.
      However, some individuals may have problems with the digestion of collagen. That can only be found out individually by trying it out.
      Thanks again for your thorough reading and perfect questions.
      Best regards,

  22. As I was looking for some information about the collagen effects, I found your website and I’m glad I did. After reading your article, I got the information I was looking for to know more about how collagen works to help me keep my skin and hair in good shape and it might help me look younger, lol. I was happy to know that the right collagen supplement will also help me keep my joints healthy and I will be able to keep doing my normal life for a longer time, as I’m currently looking for information about how to age healthily. Your article helped me to get great information about collagen. 

  23. I am curious about how big the effect of your diet has on the natural collagen production in your body. Does it increase if you eat collagen-rich food like chicken skin, pork skin, beef, and fish regularly? And if so, should you take a smaller dose than the recommended dose of a collagen supplement?

    1. Hello Megan,
      I wouldn’t be afraid that the collagen supplementation could be too high if you can digest collagen without problems. Some individuals might experience problems with digestion.
      All the foods like chicken skin, pork skin, fish, beef, and eggs help a lot. There are also other foods like citrus fruits, leafy green vegetables, etc. that help to increase natural collagen production in our body. The question is: do we consume enough of them on a daily basis? I don’t think so. For instance, I eat some vegetables every day, but I don’t think it’s enough. I also don’t eat fish, chicken skin, or eggs every day, so I think the collagen supplements help me make sure I get enough collagen into my body.
      Thank you for your question, it might help others as well!

    1. Hi Aparna, collagen is safe to use but the question is whether it is absorbed by the body, which is not always the case. Some people have problems digesting it. If you are thinking about starting using collagen, you just have to try it and see whether your body’s ok with it, whether you are not bloated, etc.
      Hope it helped.

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