How Long Should it Take to See Results From Different Skin Care Products?

By March 1, 2018

How long does it take to see results from skin care? We’ve got the answers for different products here!

Whether you’re using skin care to treat acne or to smooth fine lines and wrinkles, it isn’t an overnight process. It takes time and consistency to achieve results from skin care, but how long do we actually have to wait to see results? Is it the typical four to six weeks? To get the answers, we reached out to dermatologist Annie Chiu for her advice.

Acne and Exfoliating Products: 2 weeks to 1.5 months

If you suffer from acne, it can be a hassle to wait four to six weeks for a product to kick in, especially if it doesn’t end up working for you, but Chiu says you need to have patience: “Some products take longer than others. This depends on the type of acne they are addressing and the levels of chemical concentrations.”

Spot treatments, like the Dr. Oracle A-Thera Tea Tree Peeling Sticks, that are formulated with a blend of AHA and BHA, tend to work the quickest since they’re designed to be more potent and to reduce pimples overnight. On the other hand, benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid can take much longer to show full results. “Benzoyl peroxide products start to work in a couple of weeks and need to be continued for complete results,” says Chiu. “AHAs and salicylic acid products can take 1.5 months and also must to be continued.” So, if you’re an avid user of the Cosrx One Step Original Clear Pads, which contain a natural form of salicylic acid, and you’re not seeing results, it’s important to wait it out for a few weeks to see if your skin clears.

But no matter the acne treatment you choose, it’s important to stick with it. This means that you don’t just indulge in acne treatments when a new spot appears, but that you are always actively preventing acne with your routine. This will help to not only keep it at bay but also help stubborn pimples disappear faster.

Brightening Products: 1.5 to 2 months

We’re all about brightening products to help skin maintain its healthy glow, but just how much time do we need to invest in them? Again, Chiu explains that this really varies depending on the chemical concentration of each formula, but ultimately, brightening products can take months to see the results you’re looking for.

Vitamin C takes longer [to see results],” says Chiu. “It takes 1.5 to two months because it relies on your skin to build up plumpness and turnover to decrease hyperpigmentation.” 

Here’s a good rule of thumb to remember: Products that tend to rely on your body versus your skin’s ability to absorb the product will always take much longer for their true results to appear. This means that a powerful vitamin C serum containing 20.5% ascorbic acid like the Cosrx Triple C Lightning Liquid will give you results much quicker than the Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Serum, which only contains 5%. This doesn’t mean that the Klairs one doesn’t work, but rather because the chemical concentrations are different, the Cosrx one will provide you with quicker results. No matter what, they will both ultimately help to even out your skin tone by decreasing the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation.

Product combinations can also play a factor. Combining the Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin C with the Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask is meant to increase the effectiveness of your vitamin C. This is because the vitamin E helps to stabilize it, allowing it to work more effectively.

Whatever brightening ingredient that you choose, remember to continue to use it for a few months before deciding if it’s not working for you. As much as we wish our skin tone would even out in a blink of an eye, the reality is that skin care just doesn’t work that fast.

Anti-Aging Products: 3 months to 6 months

Anti-aging products are some of the most sought after since they can help to smooth fine lines and wrinkles while also improving skin elasticity, ultimately creating more youthful and radiant skin. These products tend to take the longest to provide results since they rely on the body to create change within itself rather than only on the surface. “A peptide serum, which helps your body build collagen takes about three months because it is helping your body build its own collagen,” says Chiu.

This means that products like the Hanskin Bio Origin the Ampoule Serum, which is a highly concentrated serum packed with saccharomyces ferment filtrate, peptides, and adenosine, will take time and patience to see results. This is even more apparent for ingredients like retinol. “Retinoids and AHAs take the longest at six months for full anti-aging results to be seen because they rely on old skin flaking off and making room for newer skin that is thicker, thanks to increased collagen production,” says Chiu.

The Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Ampoule contains a blend of fermented ingredients like saccharomyces ferment filtrate, bifida ferment lysate along with other anti-aging ingredients like adenosine and a bit of retinol. They work together to repair and hydrate, helping you to achieve smoother, softer and firmer skin. To really get the best results, remember that these types of ingredients take the longest to physically appear, so if you’re looking for actual results, it’s necessary to take the time to use the product consistently.

Bottom Line

No skin care product you use is going to provide instantaneous and long-lasting results. The reality is that products take time to work so it’s important to stick with them in order to allow them to provide you with the results you’re looking for. Rather than bouncing from one product to the next in search of instant results, take some time to find the ones that work for you. Plus, remember that not everyone’s skin is the same, so these times frames are really dependent on your skin type.

+How long has it taken for you to see results from skin care products? Let us know in the comments below!

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