How Long Does It Take for Skincare Products to Work? Blue Haven Holistics

How Long Does It Take for Skincare Products to Work?

What To Expect With New Skincare: Our Guide to Seeing Results From Your Beauty Routine

Starting a new skin care routine? Or adding a product to your existing rotation? If so, you may be wondering how long it's going to take before you start to notice the results.

To help you navigate the process and get the most out of your investment in your skin, we’ve put together a little breakdown covering everything you need to know. Keep reading for the full scoop!


Getting To Know Your Skin’s Turnover Cycle: Why Patience and Consistency Are Key

One of the most important things to understand when it comes to tracking progress with your products is that changing your skin for the long-term takes time. Because the skin is a living organ, it is constantly engaged in a process of regeneration – also known as cellular turnover – which occurs cyclically.

In young, healthy skin, the cycle of cellular turnover takes place over the course of about 28 days. However, this time frame will change over time, slowing down a bit each year, as part of our body’s natural aging progression.

For this reason, it can take your skin at least one turnover cycle to adapt and adjust to changes in your skin care routine, and it may even take multiple cycles before changes become visible to the naked eye. With this in mind, we recommend staying consistent with new products for at least 6-12 weeks, before attempting to assess their efficacy.

That said, there are also a lot of variables at play, which may shorten or lengthen this time frame – including your skin type, overall health, specific concerns, what products you are using, and how often you use them.

For further reference, here are a few guidelines regarding different products and their potential impact:

  • Cleansers – From first use, you should notice that your skin feels clean and refreshed. Skin that feels tight or stripped of oil may be a sign that the formula is too drying. Long-term benefits from a cleanser will take longer to notice, and will largely depend on any active ingredients it contains.
  • Face Mists – Facial mist formulas are designed to provide some immediate replenishment causing the skin to feel more hydrated. You may also notice relief for symptoms of irritation, such as redness or itching. With consistent use over time, you should also start to notice better moisture retention in your skin.
  • Face Balms and Oils – The moisturizing benefits of a balm or oil can be noticeable overnight or within about 24 hours. Meanwhile, benefits from any active ingredients will take a bit longer. For example, the brightening effects of Vitamin C may take about 3-8 weeks, and improvements to skin tone or texture from bakuchiol will take approximately 8-12 weeks.
  • Face Masks – Outcomes from a masking treatment will depend on how often you use them and specific ingredients featured in the formula. Masks containing exfoliators – such as alpha or beta-hydroxy acids – can produce some instant effects, causing the skin to feel more soft and supple.

If you are looking to target concerns such as hyperpigmentation, results will appear more gradually over a period of about 3-6 weeks. You will also want to continue using your mask on a regular basis, as part of a healthy skin maintenance routine. Just be mindful to only incorporate AHAs and BHAs a few times per week in order to avoid overdoing. Too much exfoliation can be counterproductive, causing irritation, or damage to the skin.


Other Important Things To Know

Of course, you may also be wondering when to give up on, or ditch, products that aren’t working for your skin. As a general rule, as long as you are enjoying how your skin feels immediately after use and seeing no negative side effects, you can continue to keep it in your routine for as long as you like.

However, if you notice discomfort such as stinging, excess dryness, or flaking skin, we recommend that you discontinue use and take a break. You may also want to evaluate the ingredients to rule out an allergic reaction before trying again.