How Long Does It Take for Your Skincare Product to Work?

So you buy a skincare product and you are expecting it to do all the wonders that the producers claimed it would.

But the problem is, how long do you have to wait for that to happen?

I have heard many women complain that they used a product for two weeks, sometimes more, sometimes less and they gave up on the product.

The first thing I need to state is: no skincare product works magic.

The truth is, with some skincare products, you might begin to notice the difference on your skin within the first day. But with others, you would have to wait for weeks before you start seeing any improvement.

But when should you quit?

The truth is, there is no clear-cut answer for this. There are a lot of factors that come into play, like the type of product, the ingredients used in making the product, the results you desire from the product and your individual skin cycle.

How does your individual skin cycle affect how a skincare product works?

One of the most important factors that determine how long it will take for your skincare product to work, is your skin cycle.

The turnover rate of skin cells can make a product work fast for someone and take a longer time for another person to see results.

Let me explain…

Your skin goes through a cycle. It’s more like a journey from when new skin cells are created, to when they die.

So, your skin has three layers: the epidermis (the outer layer), the dermis (in the middle), and the subcutaneous tissue (the inner layer).

New skin cells are generated from the lower parts of the epidermis and they move upwards towards the surface of the skin, where they stay for a while and eventually die – and then, new skin cells take their place.

Dead skin cells are constantly being shed off; you just might not notice. (Exfoliating and cleansing also help to remove dead skin cells from the surface of your skin.)

Usually, this process takes between four to six weeks.

As we grow older, your skin cycle takes longer to get completed.

When you are a teenager, it takes 10 – 21 days. If you are in your 20’s and 30’s, it takes about 28 days or more, and as you get to your 40’s and 50’s, it takes about 45 – 60 days.

Generally, it is advised that you wait for a skin cycle to be completed – for new skin cells to be generated and get to the top of your skin – before you give up on your skincare product.

The type of skincare product can also affect how fast it will work

Apart from your skin cells turnover rate, the type of product you use can also affect how fast it will work.

Here’s what to expect when you use these different skincare products:

1. Face cleansers

When it comes to making your skin clean, a face cleanser creates a noticeable effect immediately – at least when you cleanse properly.

But if you are expecting any transformative effect, it will take longer. You wash off face cleansers immediately, so they do not stay on your skin long enough to cause an immediate change.

So if you are expecting your face cleanser to help with dullness, blemishes or dryness (all caused because you do not wash your face enough), then you have to wait for about a month before you see the effects of your skin.

2. Moisturizers

The main function of a moisturizer is to give your skin moisture and keep it hydrated.

Moisturizers kick in almost immediately you apply them. After applying your moisturizer for the first time, you should notice your skin getting softer.

If your skin is really dry, then you will have to wait for a few days, or even a week, to start noticing a softer skin.

If you want your skin radiant and glowing, then you have to wait for a week or more.

In all, give your moisturizers two weeks to start noticing changes on your skin.

3. Exfoliants

There are two types of exfoliants; physical exfoliants and chemical exfoliants.

Exfoliators remove the dead skin cells from your skin and stimulate the growth of new ones. If you use a physical exfoliant like sugar or salt, you may notice your skin getting smoother (little changes though) after the first use.

But when it comes to reversing the blemishes that dead skin cells on the skin, then you will have to wait for about two weeks or more. You also have to wait this long for softer and glowing skin.

It might take longer due to your skin cell turnover rate, i.e your skin cycle.

4. Anti-acne products

Acne products do not work magic. In fact, they largely depend on your skin cycle.

While some people might start seeing results immediately, it might take up to four weeks to six weeks for you to see results on your skin. In fact, some products you buy over the counter can take longer than that before they work.

How fast the acne treatment works depends on your skin, the ingredients included and how terribly acne has affected your skin.

Some acne products can cause skin purging, that is, they bring out all the acne lying in wait under your skin, all at once.

It might seem bad, but the product will eventually clear it off and leave you with a clear skin within a couple of weeks.

So, before you give up on that acne treatment, give it about a month or six weeks.

5. Dark spots remover

Dark spots take a while longer to clear off.

This is how it works:

Melanin in your skin is what gives your skin its colour. Normally, melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin, all produce the same amount of melanin all over your body, giving you an even skin tone.

But some of these cells can get damaged by ultra-violet rays from the sun and other environmental factors.

So, some cells begin to produce more melanin than the others, which causes dark spots.

What does your dark spot remover do?

It slows down the rate the affected cells produce melanin and bring them back to normal. So, your skin gets its natural color back, but this happens slowly.

You have to give your dark spot remover time. It might take up to two months before you start seeing changes – and this is when you use it consistently, at morning and at night.

6. Sunscreen

The work of sunscreen is majorly preventive so you might not see a result anytime soon.

Sunscreen protects your skin from sun damage, so you do not have to worry about premature aging signs, cancer, and sunburns.

It takes years to know that your sunscreen is working. When you realized that after years of being exposed to the sun, you are aging slowly. And your skin looks youthful even you are aging.

7. Anti-aging treatments

There are two kinds of anti-aging treatments; antioxidants and collagen boosters.

Antioxidants destroy free radicals which can cause you to age quickly. Products that contain antioxidants perform a preventive function. They slow down the appearance of aging signs.

It might take years before you even see any result. Or how do you know if it is working if you do not have aging signs yet?

The other kind, the collagen boosters, boosts the production of collagen in your skin and make already wrinkled and aging skin look firmer and younger.

This also takes a while but not years. It takes about three months for your collagen metabolism to change.

How can I make my skincare products work faster?

The truth is, you can’t make the product itself work faster – it’s not like you can force it to work as fast as you want.

However, you can do a few things to speed up the results you get from your product.

One way to do that is to have a skincare routine that you strictly follow. With a skincare routine, you have all the skincare products you need for your daily regimen and you apply them correctly.

With these products working hand in hand, you will notice great and long-lasting improvements within a shorter period of time.

If you do not have a skincare regimen, click this article to learn about a skincare routine that can transform your skin –> 7 Things to Include In Your Skincare Regimen.

Bottom Line:

There is really no magic towards it. Changing skincare products just because one doesn’t work as fast you think is not so healthy for your skin.

Note that when you change a skincare product, your skin has to get adapted to the new skincare product.

So, you have to give the product a while – generally about a month, and sometimes even more, before you think of giving up.

8 thoughts on “How Long Does It Take for Your Skincare Product to Work?

  1. Thank you got the post. I really needed this…. I m at a phases where my acne is getting out of hand or so I think… Of course I m trying different things and thinking is it working? I just started using aloe Vera to reduce excessive sebum production and after 2 days I m already wondering ki Lo n see….do we have a winner.. 😂

    1. Lol. I understand. Sometimes, we just want the our skin spotless as soon as possible, it’s hard to be patient, but you have to be. Give the aloe vera at least a month. Don’t forget to let me know what happens, if it worked or not? Cheers!

  2. Thank you so much,this post was super helpful,I was beginning to get bothered about a spot remover I purchased and thank for all the other post.They’ve been helpful as well.

  3. Thank u soo much ma for the post ..I have been suffering for acne for years product seems to be working for me,the one that will try and work sometimes might not last for 2months it will stop working again..I don’t really knw what is problem is…but will continue trying though

  4. Thank you Fadekemi, as always your post is very educating and helpful too.
    I have wondered many times why some skincare products I buy takes long to show results. This post has finally done justice to that. My question is, is it okay to scrub my whole body with granulated sugar, I mean the one I get from the grocery shop. Or its compulsory I scrub with srcubs that have been processed. Thank you Ma.

    1. Hi Benedicta, you can make use of sugar. Just make sure you mix it with other ingredients like honey.

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