This Is How Long It Takes to See Results From Your Skincare Products

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The process of applying skincare is half the fun, but how long does it actually take for the products to work? The answer is varied, given the efficacy and design of each product, with cleansers working much sooner than a retinol product, for example.

If you’re wondering how long to wait before switching products, we have compiled a guide you can use when it comes to tracking how effective your skincare products are. From serums to face creams and exfoliants, these are the time frames it takes for your skincare to work when using them regularly.

And, if you’re changing your whole skincare routine, just a reminder that it can take up to three months to notice a difference from such a big change. The lesson here is to take it easy with your skincare and allow the products the proper time to prove their effectiveness before making a change.


Time frame: Immediately to one month.

You’ll notice whether a cleanser is working for you almost right away. When you finish washing your face, how does it feel? If your skin is tight or dry, this isn’t the cleanser for you. If your skin feels soft and smooth, continue using this product.

You should be able to gauge the total effectiveness of your cleanser within a month of using it, especially if it’s a hydrating product that promises to help bolster your skin’s moisture levels. If you haven’t noticed a change within this time frame, chances are you probably won’t experience any further benefits.


Time frame: One to two weeks.

Toners help remove makeup, calm redness and leave skin looking radiant and feeling soft and smooth. Within two weeks, you should be able to notice a reduction in redness as well as improvements to the size of your pores.


Time frame: Six to eight weeks.

Serums are powerful products but they can take a while to start showing results. Try not to get disheartened by the lack of results you may be experiencing, as it can take a full six to eight weeks for these to become apparent. For example, a vitamin C serum can take up to 12 weeks to produce an effect, so keep at it and before you know it you’ll be reaping the glowy benefits.


Time frame: One to two weeks.

Much like cleansing products, moisturisers and face creams usually start working within one to two weeks. Your skin should look hydrated, smoothed and plumped but not greasy. If your skin is feeling overly oily or, on the other hand, still quite dry a few weeks after using a new cream, it’s probably not suited to your exact skin type.


Time frame: Three to six months.

Retinol and retinoids require some patience on the results front, but trust us, the wait is most definitely worth it! In the first few weeks of using a retinol product, you’re bound to experience some of the not-so-stellar side effects like dry, flakey skin, tightness and even some irritation.

After a few months, you should notice an improvement in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as your skin texture and tone. Retinol also helps control acne, so you should experience fewer flare-ups as well as a reduction in hyperpigmentation.


Time frame: Five days to two weeks.

If you’re using exfoliating scrubs, you’re most likely to experience a difference immediately after. Your skin should feel softer and smoother, but if it’s red or irritated, that scrub could be a little harsh for your complexion.

Chemical exfoliants, on the other hand, can take a little longer, with results becoming noticeable around the 12-week mark. At this point you should notice that your skin is brighter, your pores are less noticeable and those with oily, acne-prone skin should have experienced a reduction in both of these.

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