When it comes to skincare, most people want to see immediate results. While there are products that deliver results very quickly, most take a little patience and consistent use to see positive outcomes. In this blog, we’ll talk about the importance of patience and consistency when it comes to seeing the desired results of using skincare products. We’ll also discuss timelines associated with specific skincare products.

The Quest for Results: Navigating Skincare Expectations

When we choose to add a new skincare product to our daily routines, we likely do so because we’re looking to see a specific outcome. We see advertisements for the dramatic changes that are possible. We’ve read rave reviews. Many people even start a new product because a medical professional recommended it highly. It’s no surprise that people can be easily disenchanted when their new skincare products don’t lead to immediate improvement. In fact, many people feel impatient when it comes to seeing results after starting a new skincare product. However, with a little patience and consistent use, you should see the desired results.

Factors Influencing the Speed of Results

In addition to the need for consistent daily use to achieve the desired results from a new skincare product, there are also a number of other factors that may impact the individual’s timeline to see results. Some common factors that influence the speed of skincare product results include:

  • Skin type – Those with balanced skin are more likely to achieve results quickly. Dry, oily, sensitive, and aging skin types may take longer to see their desired results since these skin types may prevent certain products from working as effectively. Make sure you choose skincare products that work for your skin type, and be aware that you may need to give products a little more time to work.
  • Product potency – Products like serums and retinols have a wide range of potencies, and this can impact how long it takes to see results. The potency of a product is a good indication of how quickly it will work, but stronger isn’t always better as strong products may cause irritation and other concerns. For products like retinols, starting mild and working up to stronger is always recommended.
  • Individual skincare needs – Whether you have a chronic skin condition like eczema or acne or you’re struggling with excessive oiliness, your individual skincare needs will play a part in how quickly new products work. The same product can address similar skincare needs, but it may take a different amount of time to achieve these goals.

Typical Timelines for Popular Skincare Products

The timeline for results related to each skincare product and each individual person will vary, but in general, you can expect to see results from products in the following timeline:

  • Cleansers – Immediate results will be cleaner skin. Over time, using a good cleanser consistently will balance pH and reduce the risk of developing blemishes and other concerns. One of our favorite options is the ZO Skin Health Gentle Cleanser.
  • Moisturizers – A good moisturizer should be applied in the morning and evening. You will see immediate improvement after application with skin looking and feeling softer and more hydrated. Moisturizers should continue to improve the hydration of the skin for up to two weeks. Consistent use ensures the maintenance of these results. If you’re looking to boost your hydration, consider the EltaMD AM & PM Renewing Moisture Kit. It includes an eye cream and moisturizers formulated specifically for morning and evening skincare.
  • Serums – The results of serums and treatments will vary depending on what they’re addressing. For serums to help with skin concerns that impact the surface layers of skin cells, results are usually visible within a few weeks. For concerns that originate in the deeper layers of skin, it may take eight weeks or longer to see the desired results. There are numerous types of serums available, but a good vitamin C serum is an excellent addition to every morning skincare routine.
  • Exfoliants (AHA, BHA) – You will likely see and feel a difference immediately after using an exfoliant since these products remove dead skin cells quickly. Additional benefits of exfoliation, like clearing up acne breakouts, can take a little longer. Results for acne treatment may take up to eight weeks.
  • Sunscreens – The benefits of sunscreen occur pretty instantaneously. These products start protecting against sun damage within 15 minutes of application. They do need to be re-applied every few hours.

Why Some Products Take Longer: The Science Behind the Wait

In addition to considering how long certain types of products take to be effective, it’s also important to consider the key ingredients of skincare products and how long they take to be effective. Below, we’ve outlined the timelines to expect when using some of the most recommended skincare product ingredients:

  • Hyaluronic acid – This moisturizing ingredient not only delivers an immediate boost of hydration it also delivers long-lasting moisture by attracting and retaining moisture. When applied to dry or chapped skin, hyaluronic acid instantly soothes, but to see the long-term results and prevent skin from drying out, hyaluronic acid needs to be used consistently for at least two months. In addition to adding hydration, long-term benefits of hyaluronic acid usage include smoother skin, increased elasticity, and reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Retinols (prescription retinoids) – These products are recommended to combat acne as well as offer anti-aging benefits. When used to target acne, results are usually seen within six weeks of consistent use. It helps to heal current acne breakouts and prevent the formation of new pimples with ongoing use. To improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, you’ll need to wait a bit longer to see results. In most cases, retinol will reduce the appearance of wrinkles within six months of daily use. It will also prevent the formation of new or worsening wrinkles and fine lines with ongoing use.
  • Salicylic acid – This ingredient dissolves dirt, oil, and grime from deep within the skin’s pores, making it a go-to for those who struggle with acne, enlarged pores, and oily skin. In most cases, people see clearer skin and improved texture within six weeks of use.
  • Vitamin C – This antioxidant powerhouse is recommended for daily use for almost all skin types as it helps to prevent short and long-term damage related to sun exposure. It also increases skin brightness and evens out the complexion. For these improvements, results usually take about three weeks. Vitamin C is used to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation (dark spots) on the skin. To achieve these results, vitamin C should be used daily for about two months.

The Role of Consistency in Skincare

Consistency is possibly the most essential aspect of any skincare routine. It’s easy to become frustrated when you don’t see results right away, but it’s essential to give your skin and the new skincare product time. To give the skincare product a fair try you’ll also need to be consistent. Incorporate the product into your daily skincare routine and use it once or twice a day or as directed for the first four to six weeks. If you still don’t see any improvement, consult with a dermatologist about other options.

Skincare: A Journey, not a Sprint

Not seeing improvement in the health or appearance of skin right away can be frustrating, but it’s important to remember that consistency is the key to great skin. By using products consistently over an extended period, you will achieve better results. Many people make the mistake of getting frustrated and foregoing the use of a product too quickly. Stick with products, unless they are causing irritation or other concerns, for at least a month before moving on to a different option. Don’t forget to consult with a professional dermatologist if you need additional guidance and feedback and guidance to find the right skincare products.

Track Your Skincare Product Results & Consult with Professionals

Before you introduce a new skincare product into your routine, we recommend tracking your progress. Create a skincare journal. It can be a physical journal where you take notes about improvements and other changes, or you can keep a digital log. One easy way to track improvement is to take a photo at the same time each day. Over time, you should be able to actually see the results. If you’re having trouble achieving your desired results, reach out to a dermatologist to schedule a consultation. They will provide personalized skincare recommendations and guidance to help you achieve your healthiest and most beautiful skin. You can also check our blog regularly and explore the DermSkincare site to learn more about the latest in skincare.