When it comes to expecting skin care results, how long should you realistically expect to start noticing a difference? In most cases, you shouldn’t expect instant results. It took years for sun damage and wrinkles to appear so it’s unrealistic to expect them to disappear overnight.
There are products that can have more immediate impact, but for the most part, it can take weeks to months to notice a real difference. Skin cell turnover – the process by which old skin cells shed and new ones rise to the surface – takes about three to four weeks when you are a teenager, but can increase to between 6 weeks to three months once you are in your 50s. The slowing of this process as we age results in a greater accumulation of dead cells on the skin’s surface. Skin may appear dry, flaky and saggy. Lines, wrinkles and discolouration can become more prevalent.
Here’s a rundown of what to expect for skin care results from different products:
- Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs). AHAs exfoliate the top layer of dead skin cells revealing the newer, healthier ones hiding below. You’ll notice a more radiant complexion right away and a gradual improvement in skin tone over the course of several weeks. Try AHA-Mazing Clean Cleansing Gel.
- Moisturizers. Depending on the ingredients in your moisturizer, you can start to see results upon application. Emollients like squalane, for example, enhances the skin’s natural barrier function and boosts its ability to retain moisture. An improvement in the skin’s condition will become apparent with continued use. Try Daily Infusion Moisturizer.
- Salicylic Acid. Used to help unclog pores, this ingredient is a boon to those of us with acne blemishes. There will be some immediate results, but it can take about 3 months of regular use to benefit from its full effects.
- Vitamin C. This potent antioxidant can interfere with the production of the melanin pigment, helping to fade dark spots. You may start to notice skin appearing brighter within three weeks but it can take 2 months or longer for hyperpigmented spots to start fading. Find it in our Bespoke Vitamin C Serum.
- Retinoids. This collagen booster can help to reverse sun damage, minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and improve skin tone. It can take between 2 to 3 months to start seeing some improvement, and improvement continues over time. Consider A is for Anti-Aging.
- Serums and Target Treatments. Depending on the formulation, skin can begin to look and feel younger over a short period of time. Skin tone can improve after about 2-4 weeks but ongoing use is required for continued improvement.
A few treatments can deliver faster skin care results but for the most part, it takes time for a product to really make a difference. Consistent and continued use is necessary to achieve and maintain results. While topical treatments are effective at reversing some of the signs of aging skin and preventing further damage, they will not be able to make you look 20 years younger so you must stay realistic. If this is your expectation, then a cosmetic medical procedure or surgery may be better suited to your needs.