You’ve heard the saying that patience is a virtue, but the ability to wait and see can come especially in handy, when it comes to building a skincare routine.
As you may or may not already know, your skin’s natural turnover cycle is a process that takes about 28 days, or more depending on your age(as we get wiser this process takes longer), meaning that it will often take some time to see results from even the most potent products and ingredients.
At best, your favourite cosmetic formulas should start producing results within a few weeks. However, many active ingredients that work deep within the skin can take even longer, as they progressively create lasting change.
To break it down even further, let’s look at a few go-to super ingredients, and their timeline for transformation:
Alpha and Beta-Hydroxy Acids - For your exfoliating acids, some immediate benefits such as smoother skin and reduced breakouts should become apparent within just a few weeks, as they work to quickly increase cellular turnover and reduce inflammation. However, for other associated perks such as diminishing dark spots, replenishing collagen stores, and reducing wrinkles, you’ll need to stay consistent for somewhere around three to six months.
Hydrating Serums/Hyaluronic Acid - If you like rapid results, a bit of good news is that hyaluronic acid has some almost instantaneous effects. As a humectant ingredient that binds with moisture, application of hyaluronic has the ability to hydrate and plump the skin with each use. That said, these types of results are temporary, so you’ll need to be diligent with this ingredient - applying daily - to really see cumulative change like improved moisture retention and fewer fine lines.
Vitamin C - Some of the basic benefits of Vitamin C include boosting your glow factor and helping to protect your skin against UV damage. According to experts, these associated benefits should kick in pretty quickly and start to really ramp up around the six – eight week mark with regular use. The longer you incorporate C into your daily routine, the more you should start to enjoy a clearer and more even complexion thanks to added antioxidant protection, and increased immunity in the skin. Apply Vit C in your AM routine.
Retinol - Results for retinol can vary widely depending on what you are looking to accomplish. While conditions like acne can start to turn around after about a month of nightly use, other concerns related to aging could take as many as six months to address. Even so, retinol remains one of the most effective skincare ingredients for encouraging healthy aging. Sticking with your routine for the long haul, and increasing usage gradually, will yield the best possible outcome. Retinol & Prescription Retinoids are to be applied in your PM routine on dry clean skin. Start at a low % and go slow in terms of frequency, don’t be tempted to increase frequency too fast as this can lead to peeling and irritation. Think LONG TERM!
Other Important Things to Know
Although all of the above are meant to be helpful guidelines, always remember that no two skin types are alike. Your results from your skincare routine, and ability to achieve your skincare goals, will also be impacted by factors such as age, climate, lifestyle, and overall health. If you don’t see results right away, try not to get discouraged. What matters most is practicing developing healthy skin habits that will support your skin for the long term.