How Long Does it Take Skincare Products to Work?

Posted by Camille Smith on

When adding a new product to your skincare regimen, you may hope to see results immediately. Unfortunately, most skincare products take a while to show any visible results on the skin and require regular use before you can see any real change. Whether you are trying out a new cleanser or adding a new treatment to your routine, each product has a timeline that you can follow to tell if it is working for your skin or if you should move on to another product. 

Cleansers: After the first use

Because cleansers are washed away and do not penetrate the skin barrier like moisturizers and other treatments, you should notice results after the first use. If the cleanser leaves your skin feeling tight and unbalanced or if it doesn’t thoroughly clean the skin’s surface, it may not be a good option for you. A good cleanser should leave your skin feeling clean and hydrated and remove all surface impurities. 

Toners: After the first use

Toners are used to balance the skin and prepare it for other products that will penetrate the skin on a deeper level. You should be able to notice the initial effects of a good toner, including a brighter complexion and more clean and balanced skin, after the first use. 

Serums: 3 to 4 weeks

Vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and other serums often have a lightweight consistency which allows them to deliver ingredients to brighten, hydrate or treat various issues on the skin’s surface. Although most serums have high concentrations of their ingredients, it may take about three to four weeks to begin seeing visible results. 

Moisturizers: 1 to 2 weeks

Finding a moisturizer that works well for your skin type should hydrate and moisturize your skin almost immediately, but it is a good idea to monitor how your skin responds to a moisturizer for about two weeks before making it a staple in your routine. The moisturizer should keep your skin hydrated throughout the day and not leave the skin feeling dry or sticky. 

Retinol: 2 weeks to 2 months

Retinol is excellent for its anti-aging benefits, but it should not be considered a quick fix for fine lines and wrinkles. Like other skincare products, seeing the results of retinol in your skincare treatment can take some time. Experts share that it can take anywhere from two weeks to two months to see a visible difference in the skin. However, if the skin becomes red, dry, or flaky you should use it sparingly in your routine, transitioning from every evening to every other evening. Eventually, the skin will adapt but scaling back can help the process and reduce irritation.

Each skincare ingredient has a timeline for how long it takes to show visible results on the skin. As a general rule, you should give skincare products at least 28 days before deciding if it is a good fit for your skin because it takes approximately 28 days for the skin to renew itself. If you are looking for more skincare tips check out our post Do You Need a Day Cream and a Night Cream?

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