Timeline for Skincare Results

Most of us have been in a situation where we’ve started using an amazing skincare product, but we’re still waiting for the results. If that sounds familiar, then this blog post series is for you. Why on earth does skincare take so long to show results? Well, part of the answer lies with how our skin works in the first place. 

The Skin’s Renewal Cycle

illustration of young skin compared to older skin

The reason that some skin care ingredients can take so much time to show results has to do with the skin’s natural renewal cycle. Did you know that every ~28 days or so our skin cells undergo cellular turnover and renew themselves? This period is actually much shorter when we’re younger, which is why babies have the softest, smoothest skin!

It can take up to 12 weeks to see a real difference in your skin - depending on the ingredient in question and the results that you’re looking for. I know, that sounds like a long time! The truth is, results that last when it comes to skincare take time to form - and they’re totally worth the wait. 

The skin care cycle is 28 days on average, but as a natural part of ageing, gets slower as we get older. However, there are skincare ingredients out there that can prevent it from slowing down as quickly! There’s a catch, though - these are typically the ones that take the longest to show results. I’m talking about anti-ageing favourites like retinol and peptides, but there are a few others that fall into this category too.

Are There ANY Skin Care Ingredients That Give You Instant Results?

Well, yes, but maybe not the ones that you’re thinking of! Something that’s important to understand is what kind of results are going to be instant, and what kinds of results will take time. 

For example, hydration is a fantastic instant result that goes towards maintaining the health of your skin. However, when it comes to reducing the appearance of wrinkles, a little more time and perseverance is needed. But how are you supposed to know which ones are going to give you the results you want, and when?

Guide to How long skincare takes to work

To start, here are the three main time frames where you can expect to see results, depending on the skincare ingredient - instantly, after 4-6 weeks, then 12 weeks (or more)!

These timeframes are more of a guideline than hard rules - some people see results faster, while some need a little more patience. For all my impatient people out there - remember, when it comes to skincare, patience really pays off. Here’s a breakdown of the most common skincare ingredients and when you ideally should be seeing a difference in your skin. 

In general, instant results tend to be ones that do with hydration of skin - if you want to see a real difference in anything like texture, skin tone, or wrinkles, you’ve got to be ready for the long haul. 

If you’ve just started a new skin care product and feel like you’re still waiting for results, stay tuned for our exciting new post series. We’ll de-mystify how long certain skin care ingredients take to work, plus give you all the best tips and tricks to ensure you get the results you’re looking for. 

First on the list?

Retinol - we know that you’ve been waiting for this one!

If you're still trying to create your perfect skin care routine, check out our skin care quiz - you'll get a bunch of recommendations personalised to your own skin concerns and goals!

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Alexis Adrienne

Alexis Adrienne

Alexis Adrienne is a passionate beauty writer with over 10 years of experience. She’s incredibly keen on all things skincare, makeup and cosmetics, with a fingertip on the pulse of the latest global beauty trends at all times.

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