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.