When you start a new beauty or health routine, you may find yourself wondering how long it takes for a new supplement, like collagen, to start working fully.
Well wonder no more, we’re answering all your FAQs about collagen supplements here.
What is Collagen? Why Should I Take it?
Collagen is the most abundant protein found in the human body. It is found in the gut, tendons, skin, muscle, bone, and various internal organs.
Collagen is naturally produced by the human body, but as we get older the rate of collagen production decreases with a 1% decrease per year after age 20.
This decrease is why we start experiencing wrinkles, sagging skin, and aching muscles and joints. This is why it’s recommended to start taking collagen supplements for hair and for skin as early as possible.
The Many Benefits of Collagen
Taking daily collagen supplements has been shown to improve skin elasticity over time, making it appear firmer and more moisturized, with a youthful glow.
In fact, according to one study in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, those who took collagen daily for two months saw significant improvement in skin elasticity compared to those who took a placebo.
Collagen can also help strengthen hair and nails. If you have brittle nails or frequent split ends and straw-like hair, a collagen supplement may help strengthen your nails and hair and tame these issues.
How Long Does it Take for Collagen Supplements to Work?
Collagen supplements on average can take a few weeks to work, often up to four weeks.
The time frame varies from person to person based on various factors such as age, diet, etc. In general, the time it takes for collagen to work depends on the current collagen levels in your body.
If you have super low collagen levels, you may notice more of a dramatic difference once you start taking it, while if you have high collagen levels, you may not notice a dramatic effect immediately.
If you’re taking collagen for your skin, you may notice a difference in a matter of weeks.
According to a study by the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, collagen supplements substantially reduced wrinkles by over 30% after 3 months, with some noticing a tangible difference in only four weeks.
Similar studies have shown improvement in skin elasticity over the course of eight to twelve weeks.
As far as hair, consistent usage can show sleeker and softer hair at two weeks, with changes in both hair texture and scalp health becoming visible between four and eight weeks on average. This can also be heavily impacted by both diet and stress levels, making it more variable than changes to skin.
If you’re taking collagen supplements for joint pain however, it may take longer to fully show changes in pain level.
On average, athletes who took a 10 gram dosage of the supplement did report improvement in joint pain, but it did take 24 weeks for it to be significantly noticeable.
As with any new supplement, always make sure to consult a general practitioner or medical professional to discuss potential impacts on your health, find the correct dosage, and choose from the variety of supplements on the market.