How long does it take for skincare products to work?

Have you ever found yourself asking how long it will take for your new beauty routine or skincare product to work, even though you’ve only just started using it? And when you don’t see immediate results, you’re tempted to throw in the towel and switch to yet another ‘miracle’ product… If this is sounding familiar, you might want to read on to discover just how long beauty products really need to work wonders on your skin …

At the beginning of last year, I was asked for my opinion on possible 2020 beauty trends and one of those I listed was consumer demand for skincare that provides immediate visible results, due to us constantly being on the go. Unfortunately, this is an almost unattainable expectation as not all products work in the same way and factors such as purity and quality of ingredients, combined with dosage, also influence the end result. In the vast majority of cases, our skincare products fall short of our expectations because we simply have not used them for long enough to produce the desired effects. Patience is a virtue, as they say, (something I always seem to be lacking in myself!) and when trying to answer the age-old question of “How long will this take to work?”, it also comes in handy to know that each type of skincare product performs differently as well.

As a general rule, for “lifting” or “pumping” serums or creams, often containing peptides or natural gums, the results tend to be pretty much immediate. With moisturisers you can expect to see results in a few days, as they repair or treat “just” the top layers of our epidermis. Products that contain ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, unsaponifiable oils or ceramides are known to be fast acting also. The same can be said for formulas containing emollients such as vegetable oils, as they immediately soothe skin and improve its appearance.

However, if you’re looking to reduce hyperpigmentation or fine lines for example, the minimum recommended treatment time is 3 months as we’re trying to repair the deepest layers of the skin. Although skin cell turnover is said to take just 4 weeks to complete, truth be told it’s actually more like 12 weeks (3 full cycles).

So, the next time you’re feeling frustrated with your brand-new skincare purchase, remember that consistency, along with a little patience, are key factors in achieving the results you want.

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