With every skincare product you buy, you’re also buying a new hope contained in a small bottle. Will it help with acne? Will it ease your fine lines? What about skin toning?
You keep watching your face every day...
Mirror… is my skin getting any better? You get frustrated as you can notice zero progress!
Skincare experts' number one advice is to use your products regularly to notice the result. But when exactly shall you expect the result? How long should you wait before judging: this one is not working for me! And start looking for a new product?
In other words: how long does each skin product need so you can start noticing their effect?
Short answer: it depends!
Not only depends on the active ingredients in each product, but most importantly, it also depends on so many variables related to the skin itself; from age, skin color& type, and the surrounding weather as well!
To reach a clear answer to such a question, we need to better understand two things: skin composition and skin cell turnover.
What is skin cell turnover?
The human skin consists of three main layers: the epidermis (the outer layer), the dermis / and the hypodermis.
Skin cell turnover occurs in the outer layer of the skin (the epidermis).
The adult human sheds nearly a billion skin cells each day from the surface of their skin. It is the final stage of the skin cell differentiation process that lasts approximately 4 weeks.
The human epidermis has four distinct sections; the basal layer, the spinous layer, the granular layer, and the stratum corneum.
This process is dynamic in that the surface skin cells are continually shed and replaced by inner skin cells that are developing in the basal layer and moving outward(migrating). This cycle takes from 4 to 6 six weeks. so, the general rule is to wait 28 days before expecting any result.
Factors That Affect Skin Cell Turnover
There are a number of different factors that can contribute to the rate of skin cell turnover. For example:
The rate of skin cell turnover was much higher in younger people than older people.
2- Skin color
Darker skin types shed skin at a faster rate than lighter skin types
Skin sheds cells faster in summer than in winter.
How Does Skin Cell Turnover Affect How Long It Takes Skin Care Ingredients To Work?
The general rule says you will start to see the benefits of a skincare ingredient once a full cycle of skin-cell turnover has taken place. This takes about 4 weeks. But every rule has exceptions:
It may take longer to see the benefits of new skincare ingredients or products:
- The older you are
- The fairer-skinned you are
- If you start using them in winter
The cell turnover rate can be affected by certain skin conditions. For example, the rate of skin cell turnover appears to be reduced in acne. This is why skin experts advise you to fix your skin conditions before starting a skincare routine.
But as much as the main individual factors affect how long it takes for skincare ingredients and products to work. There is another factor related to the ingredients themselves and the skin conditions they are trying to treat.
How long do different ingredients take to start seeing results?
Depending on each product, depend on the skin condition, depend on the active ingredients.
Ask yourself: what do you want to fix in your skin? so you can use the right product, and expect the right result as well!
1_ If you want moisturizing: hyaluronic acid (instant results)
Hyaluronic acid is a natural ingredient produced by the skin. When we use it we help to supply the skin with water, which is necessary to moisturize the layers and give it a smoother composition.
Hyaluronic acid has an instant effect on moisturizing, it shows up once used. Wait only a few minutes and you will see the difference!
2_ If you want to fight wrinkles: ceramide (from 15 minutes to 3 months)
We all know for sure you will never be able to beat wrinkles using only an external moisturizer, but what if this moisturizer contains a natural ingredient produced by the skin itself? Such as ceramide which targets the outer layer of the skin. Then it will help improving how it looks, filling the gaps between cells, and moisturize dry skin.
3_ If you want anti-aging products (targeting fine lines and hyperpigmentation): use retinol and vitamin c (from 2 to a year)
Retinol: takes from 3 to 6 months to start giving a result, a year for full result.
Vitamin c: it takes 2 weeks to start noticing brightness, and 6- 12 weeks to boost collagen.
4- If you want to fix rosacea and hyperpigmentation: Caffeine (takes 2 days)
Caffeine is an active ingredient used to treat rosacea by narrowing blood vessels of the skin.
It usually takes 2 or 3 days for a noticeable progress.
5- If you want to treat acne
There are many active ingredients intended for treating acne, the most important of which are Alpha and beta hydroxy acids. Then Niacinamide and benzoyl peroxide.
Each of them takes weeks to start showing results
Alpha Hydroxy acid (Glycolic and Lactic acid)
From 4 to 12 weeks
Beta Hydroxy acid (Salicylic acid)
First result shows around two weeks of regular using, but the desired result takes 12 weeks.
Works mainly on killing acne inducing bacteria while improving the skin’s appearance
Your skin will need 3 weeks of using to show improvement. However, ideal result will take 12 weeks.
It can improve acne scars within 8 weeks of use.
It also has other therapeutic effects, such as:
- Niacinamide can improve hyperpigmentation in 4 weeks
- Niacinamide can increase skin hydration in 4 weeks
- Niacinamide can reduce erythema in 4 weeks
- Niacinamide can reduce sebum levels in 2 – 6 weeks
- Niacinamide can improve wrinkles in 8 – 12 weeks
- Most skin products take 4 weeks to begin showing results after a complete skin cell turnover cycle.
- But anti-aging products and products that fix fine lines need from 8 weeks to 12 weeks. This is because collagen formation takes 3 months.
- Finally, the time required for skin products to show an effect, depends on the active ingredient, the skin condition problem targeted, and the type of the skin itself.
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