Warning messageRegistrations and logins temporarily disabled. Please try again later.
This Is How Long Your Skin Care Products Actually Take To Start Working
Have you ever been guilty of throwing in the towel when you haven’t seen instant results? Yeah, us too.
From losing weight to developing a new skill, it’s human nature to become quickly disheartened when we don’t see an immediate, visible improvement. And as it turns out, the same principle applies to the cleansers, toners and serums promising to banish our acne and eliminate our wrinkles.
So, a week or two into your new regimen, as you stand in front of the mirror and your fine lines are still prominent and blemishes are still inflamed, it’s important to remind yourself that Rome wasn’t built in a day. And your flawless, youthful complexion won’t be either.
In fact, when it comes to getting the most out of our skin care, patience and consistency can be equally as critical as the formulas themselves.
But exactly how long does skin care take to work?
Well, that all depends. While different products work to varying timelines, a general rule of thumb for how long we should wait before seeing results is roughly 28 days.
This four-week block mimics the length of our typical skin cycle. Within each skin cycle a fresh skin cell will appear, mature, die and then shed. So technically any products working on the superficial layer of our complexion shouldn’t need any longer than this.
Image credit: @jordanrisa
In fact, most dermatologists will even recommend waiting a full three months before making a fair assessment on whether or not your products have been working. So if you’re a serial serum chop and changer (say this out loud five times), this could be the reason you are seeing little to no improvement when it comes to eliminating your skin care qualms.
How do we know which products might need longer than others?
Products targeting the superficial layer of our skin will often offer visible and immediate results. This includes cleansers recruited to wash the oil and dirt from the day away, physical exfoliants or spot treatments applied to a pimple that’s moments away from bursting.
However, deep-rooted skin concerns like acne, scarring and pigmentation will understandably require more time.
In fact, comparing this process to the healing of a scab, Tracy Julien the VP of marketing at bioClarity explained to The Zoe Report, “the smaller the wound, the quicker it will heal and the larger or deeper the wound, the longer it takes to heal”.
“In the case of acne, the root cause of it is often subdermal, so it will take time for the active ingredients to penetrate into the dermis and reach the source of the inflammation and irritation,” she noted.
This means any products containing more potent actives like retinoids or peptides can “take anywhere between three to four months to see the full effect because they’re working on a genetic level.”
When can we disregard this rule and immediately move on?
If your skin immediately starts to burn, sting or become red and irritated, then this might be the sign of an allergic reaction, in which case we don’t recommend sticking around to see the full 28-day cycle through.
However, stinging doesn’t always mean you’re allergic. A bad reaction can also come down to pairing skin care ingredients that shouldn’t be mixed together.
Main image credit: @summerfridays
How long do you wait before seeing results from a product?