Whenever we start using a new skincare product, and especially one that promises miraculous results, we want to see improvements already from the next day. But we have to be realistic. No product can work wonders in such a short time! But how much time should we give a product to assess its efficacy (or lack of it)? As it often happens, there isn’t a definite answer but it depends on the condition you are treating and the products you use to treat it:
The General Rule
With most skincare products, you need to wait at least a month to see some results. That’s because, as dermatologist Kenneth Beer explained in an old issue of Glamour magazine, “the complete benefit of skin creams won’t be visible until after a full cycle of skin-cell turnover to take place, at least a month”. If after that time, you don’t see any improvements at all, you can just toss the product away. And because smoking and sun exposure can affect the results you get, you should avoid both as much as possible. It goes without saying that if a product irritates your skin and gives you an allergic reaction, you should immediately stop using it.
Acne and skin lightening products
When you use a well-formulated acne product, you should be able to see a small improvement already after a week. Skin lightening products with active agents such as hydroquinone and kojic acid can begin to work in a few days, but you’ll have to wait for months for your dark spots to be considerably reduced or even completely faded. If you’ve been using these products for 3 or 4 weeks and see no noticeable results, then they will just not work for you so you can stop using them and try another treatment instead.
Antioxidants and Retinoids
Antioxidants like green tea, Vitamins C and E, and coenzyme Q10 work by fighting free radicals, which are the main cause of premature aging. However, they can’t reduce the wrinkles you already have, only prevent new ones from forming. Because of this, when you use antioxidants, you may notice that after two or three weeks your skin is brighter and softer, but it will take years to see long-term antiaging results (ie, as you grow older, you’ll notice that your skin remains younger-looking for longer). Retinoids are the only ingredients that can actually reduce wrinkles and they will begin to work after 4 weeks, but to see noticeable results, you’ll have to wait months (and while retinoids work well, they don’t erase wrinkles as well as botox does).
So be patient! Although some products begin to work sooner than others, give them all a month before deciding whether they work for you or not.
Do you usually wait that long or are you impatient?