How long does it take skincare products to work?
You just purchased a new skincare product you’re dying to try. And you’re hoping for immediate results — but not so fast! When it comes to caring for your skin, patience is key. Most skincare products won't give you instant results. Certain products may create effects within hours or overnight, some in two weeks and others in six to 12 weeks.
Want to know more about what you can expect from your skincare products? Here's the lowdown.
Cleansers instantly cleanse the skin, removing dirt, makeup, and oil in the process. Washing your face for 30 seconds with a cleanser is adequate if you go most of the time sans makeup. But if you wear a full face of makeup, you should make sure to double-cleanse.
If your cleanser is formulated to treat acne or other skin conditions, such as blackheads or rosacea, it may take anywhere from four to 12 weeks to notice a difference.
Sunscreens: 15 to 20 minutes
Sunscreens work almost immediately. You should apply face and body sunscreen 15 to 20 minutes before sun exposure to give enough time for them to absorb into the skin. It’s recommended that you reapply sunscreen every two hours to exposed skin.
When it comes to SkinFitness™, sunscreen is non-negotiable. Why? Because exposure to UVA and UVB rays is what causes wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and premature aging. If you’re not wearing sunscreen daily, you’re wasting the money and time you spend on skincare products and laser skin treatments.
Exfoliators: instantly to a few weeks
There are two different types of exfoliators — physical and chemical. Physical exfoliators for the face produce instant results since they use the same professional-grade crystals found in microdermabrasion and Dead Sea salt. Other physical exfoliators include sugar, brushes, and crushed kernels.
Be sure to include both physical and chemical exfoliators in your skincare routine. While a physical exfoliator manually separates the dead skin from the surface, chemical exfoliants, like alpha-hydroxy acids and beta-hydroxy acids, dissolve the layers of glue that hold skin cells together so they can shed. With chemical exfoliants, it can take approximately four weeks to start seeing results.
Skin-brightening products: 4 to 12 weeks
Prescription skin brightening products, like those formulated with 2% hydroquinone, can lighten dark spots and other forms of hyperpigmentation. After four weeks of consistent use, you should see your skin tone evening out. By the third month, dark spots should be significantly reduced. These prescription products only work while you’re using them, and they don’t prevent the skin from producing new pigments in the future.
Over-the-counter skin brightening products should be used both morning and night. These products usually contain ingredients like tranexamic acid, kojic acid, and niacinamide to reduce hyperpigmentation, calm redness and inflammation, and brighten skin. You should notice improvement after eight to 12 weeks of consistent use.
Serums and moisturizers: 4 to 12 weeks
Serums and moisturizers contain ingredients that form a protective barrier on the skin’s surface to help prevent loss of hydration, pull in water, and soften rough skin cells. Immediately after applying, you should notice that skin feels softer and supple. If the serums and moisturizers contain actives, like retinoids, that are supposed to brighten, firm, and improve the skin’s texture and tone, it can take four to 12 weeks of consistent use to see noticeable changes. With products specifically designed to target fine lines and wrinkles, ingredients that support healthy collagen require time, especially if your skin is mature.
Want to speed up results?
Laser treatments, like Clear + Brilliant, allow the skin to absorb skincare products better, meaning they are more effective. How? Clear + Brilliant increases the skin’s permeability, allowing skincare products to penetrate more deeply into the skin.
Interested in learning more about how aesthetic treatments can complement your skincare routine? Check out LaserAway, the nation’s leading aesthetic dermatology provider.