A few years ago I fell down the collagen rabbit hole. It was summer of 2017, long before you could walk into any Sephora or grocery store and find a fully stocked section of every type and form of hydrolyzed collagen imaginable.
In fact, when I first started experimenting with collagen, there was very little information published about it, outside of a couple of studies and marketing campaigns. I wanted to know more and I was hungry for before and after pics. That’s why, when I started taking hydrolyzed collagen every day, I decided to make a YouTube channel to document any changes I saw.
Now, collagen and articles about collagen are everywhere. It’s great because more options means that we can be more discerning about the type and quality of the products that we put in our bodies, but sometimes the sheer volume of information can be overwhelming.
I’ve collected all the questions that you’ve sent me over the years, and added a few in of my own to create the most comprehensive working list of frequently asked questions about collagen that I’ve seen yet. This list is built to help you sort through the noise. You can check out the video series or scroll through the list below.
If there is anything that I missed, please don’t hesitate to drop it in the comments below and I’ll do my best to keep this list updated.
What is hydrolyzed collagen?
How long do I have to take collagen before I notice a difference?
Give yourself a month to see if you notice any changes. Most supplements give you about a month’s supply, so that is a good time for you to check in and see if you see a difference. If you are taking collagen for improvements to your skin/hair/nails, be sure to take pictures before and after. This will help you to spot subtle changes that are easy for us to to miss when we see ourselves in the mirror every day.
How much collagen should I take?
What are the differences between collagen types?
Do I need to take any other supplements with collagen?
Do I need to cycle on and off of collagen?
Collagen supplements are only effective while you are using them. There haven’t been any studies that have shown that you can increase effectiveness or overcome any plateau of benefits by cycling off and then back onto them. On a personal note, I notice that when I take it, my skin looks more plump and smooth and when I go off of it, that goes away. for more info, check out this video on what happened when I stopped taking collagen.
Does collagen have a flavor?
There are flavoured and unflavoured supplements. I have a strong sense of smell/taste and in my experience, the flavourless supplements still have a slight taste to them. Enough to notice if mixed with water but not if you mix it in with a smoothie.
What brand of collagen should I buy?
My favorite collagen brands
No added hormones
Utilize 3rd party testing for heavy metals
- Transparent processes
Sustainably sourced (marine collagen)
Utilize 3rd party testing for heavy metalsNote: I took their Marine Collagen for a year
Boosters are an alternative to collagen (more on that below)
Personally liked my results when taking it (see my video review)
What to look for when choosing a collagen brand:
No additives/toxic chemicals
3rd party testing
Grass fed, no hormones, if applicable
Do collagen supplements actually work?
Does cost indicate quality?
Not necessarily. I’m always skeptical of absurdly cheap products, but just because a product is expensive doesn’t mean it is high quality. Do your research and don’t depend on cost or reviews, alone. Look at what the company prioritizes, the effort they make to create a quality product and willingness to be transparent, and go off of that.
Note: I think it’s important that I mention here that I don’t work directly with any collagen brands. When it comes to products I share, I research what I think is a high quality product and share my experience. I have high personal standards of what I eat, use on my body, purchase, all of it, so if I’m trying it, then it means that I think it’s a good quality product.
Can your body absorb collagen?
Hydrolyzed collagen is absorbed by our bodies. How exactly it is used, and how much you’ll be able to see benefits to your skin, joints, hair, etc., is up for debate. There have been promising studies, but the studies so far have been fairly small and are often associated with a collagen brand.
Can collagen lighten hyperpigmentation?
There isn’t any evidence that collagen helps with hyperpigmentation. There are other products out there that do help with that, and they are mostly topical. Such as, retinoids, products with vitamin C, or skin peels.
What is the difference between gelatin and collagen?
Can’t I just drink bone broth?
Are there vegan collagen supplements?
Don’t be fooled by brands that claim to be the fountain of youth.
It is possible to achieve results by using supplements and beauty products but don’t be fooled by products that make it seem like you can change your appearance drastically or overnight.
If you choose to experiment with collagen make sure to set realistic expectations and don’t underestimate the power of a healthy lifestyle and a little self-love.
Download this free one-page guide to purchasing collagen
By submitting this form you are opting in to receive emails from me about new experiments, blog posts, videos, and other things that I think you’ll love.