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How Long Do Skincare Ingredients Take to Work?
by Emily Linehan on April 16, 2022
Estimated Timeline: 3-6 months for visible improvement. 6-12 months for best results.
Retinol is considered the gold-standard when it comes to anti-aging. Retinols, which are typically Vitamin A derivatives, help to give you an even skin tone, minimizes the appearance of pores, fades acne scarring, and helps clear blemishes. So, whether your goal is clearer skin or anti-aging, retinol should be a part of your routine.
Like any skincare ingredient, retinol isn't going to drastically change your skin overnight. You’ll see signs of visible improvement within 3-6 months, but best results are seen within 6-12 months. So, be sure to stick with it, apply it consistently as-directed, and have patience.
Estimated Timeline: Immediately improves appearance of skin. Reduced fine lines in 3 months. 6 months to stimulate new collagen production.
When peptides are applied to the skin they begin to immediately produce a visible improvement by rejuvenating the skin. After about 6 months of use peptides stimulate new collagen production which keeps our skin plump and also strengthens our elastin, which keeps our skin bouncy and youthful. As we stimulate new collagen growth, the skin will appear firmer and smoother with less fine lines and wrinkles. Most people see reduced fine lines after 3 months of consistent use. One of the best benefits of peptides is that they are perfect for all skin types. Unlike many anti-aging ingredients that can be very drying or irritating to the skin, peptides are incredibly gentle, even for the most sensitive skin.
Estimated Timeline: Immediately protects skin against UV & free-radical damage. Visible signs of brightening within 4-12 weeks.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to protect the skin against UV and free-radical damage, hydrates the skin and acts as a brightening agent. A preventative, hydrating serum containing Vitamin C, such as our Brilliant-C Serum, can also stimulate new collagen production to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Micronized Benzoyl Peroxide
Estimated Timeline: Immediately begins to kill acne causing bacteria. Best results in 12 weeks.
Micronized Benzoyl Peroxide, which is found in my Acne Eraser, is truly the greatest discovery for acne sufferers as it is the most effective acne-bacteria fighting ingredient. It immediately begins to kill acne bacteria by creating an oxygen rich environment to suffocate the bacteria, as acne cannot survive in oxygen. In addition to its effective bacteria fighting power, Micronized Benzoyl Peroxide also assists in clearing the pores of the debris that create clogged pores, including blackheads. This is why it is also so effective for non-inflamed acne such as blackheads, milia and clogged pores. After 12 weeks of consistent use you’ll see the best results, however it is important to note that this ingredient alone will not clear acne. A successful transformation requires a full regimen. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to start with my free online skincare consultation to troubleshoot your skin, uncover hidden acne triggers, and customize the perfect skincare regimen for you.
Estimated Timeline: Provides instant hydration after 15 minutes of application. Best results occur after 8 weeks of continuous use.
The secret to plump, hydrated and glowing skin? Moisture! And the best way to ensure your skin has the moisture it needs is with Humectants, like sodium hyaluronate (a.k.a. hyaluronic acid). Hyaluronic Acid is one of the trendiest humectants because it has the ability to hold 1000x’s its weight in moisture, which results in improved hydration of the skin within 15 minutes of application. Additionally, it is also a postbiotic which helps rebuild the unique microbiome of the skin so you’ll see the best results after 8 weeks of continuous use.
Estimated Timeline: Smoother skin within a few days. Reduced breakouts in 2-4 weeks. More even pigmentation in 4-8 weeks.
Mandelic acid, which is an alpha-hydroxy acid, is an incredible clarifying, anti-aging and brightening ingredient. This ingredient works to unclog the pores by dissolving the bonds, or “glue” that hold dead, sticky cells together. When this happens, your pores are cleared of that acne causing build up which leads to visibly smoother skin within just a few days as well as reduced breakouts in 2-4 weeks. Mandelic acid also promotes cell turnover for more youthful looking skin, resulting in brightened skin and more even pigmentation within 4-8 weeks.
Estimated Timeline: Initial benefits in 2 weeks. Best results after 4 weeks.
Niacinamide is a topical form of Vitamin B3 which reduces inflammation and redness and minimizes pore size. It also encourages healthy cell regeneration and “damage-repair” in your skin by stimulating new collagen growth, and fades hyperpigmentation for a more even skin tone. Initial benefits such as reduced inflammation and redness are often noticed within 2 weeks, however the best results are typically seen after 4 weeks.
Estimated Timeline: More radiant complexion after just a few days. Best results after 2-3 months.
AHA’s, or Alpha Hydroxy Acids, are a class of ingredients that work to exfoliate the skin and increase cell regeneration to help diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of premature aging. You’ll notice a more radiant complexion within a few days of use due to its ability to smooth the skin, however the best results, including softened fine lines and wrinkles, and reduced pore size occur after 2-3 months of consistent use.
Estimated Timeline: Immediately.
Sulfur is a naturally occurring mineral that effectively kills acne bacteria, draws out oils and impurities, reduces inflammation, and decongests pores. Sulfur starts working immediately to reduce acne causing bacteria, exfoliate, and prevents new acne from forming. If you’re in need of quick results, a spot treatment containing sulfur such as The Pink Potion is able to quickly and effectively reduce inflammation and redness overnight!
Estimated Timeline: Immediately on normal skin. 3-5 days on a damaged moisture barrier. Best results with continued use.
Ceramides are essential skin lipids that are proven to increase skin hydration and lock in moisture to support and maintain healthy skin and optimal barrier function. Those with normal skin will notice increased hydration and maintain a healthy moisture barrier immediately. If there is a damaged moisture barrier results will typically appear within 3-5 days. Hydration is a key component to a healthier, more youthful complexion, so best results are achieved through continued use of Ceramides.