how long does it take for skincare to work

This is How Long It Takes for Skincare to Work

Just how long does it take for skincare to work? Have you ever applied a product, and then looked in the mirror the next day to find that it did nothing? I am guilty of being very impatient especially when it comes to skincare.

However time and time again it’s been proved that being consistent and patient pays off.

How long does it take for skincare to work


With the increasing interest in retinol to treat acne and hyperpigmentation, it is expected that people are impatient to see results. Myself included. But it’s not that easy. You see, it all depends on how frequently you use retinol. And this frequency depends on your skin type.

If you have sensitive skin chances are that you are using retinol once or twice a week. In this case, results will be delayed and it might take up to 3 months to see them. Using retinol 3 to 4 times a week will lower that number to about 10 weeks, and with daily use, you can see results in 4 to 6 weeks.

So if you don’t see instant results, it’s completely normal. Consistency is key.


AHAs work on the surface of the skin by lessening the “glue” between the dead skin cells and effectively exfoliating the skin.

Consistency will make it possible for this little ingredient to bring more and more results over time. Using AHA 2-3 times a week, in the first week, you will already see improvement in skin texture. Within a month the skin will become more clear, and within two months you can see improvement in hyperpigmentation. If you continue using it too up to 6 months, it will increase collagen and elastin production and diminish the appearance of wrinkles.


BHAs work inside the pore, effectively removing sebum and dead skin cells and preventing pimple from forming.

Used once every other day BHA can bring you very quick results. Just like with AHA, you can see improvement with the first week. The first signs will be reduced clogged pore, reduced appearance of the pores, and improved skin texture. Consistent use will clear out breakouts and even out the skin tone. These results can be maintained with continued use of the product.

Vitamin C

Results from vitamin C will vary depending on the type of vitamin c and the concentration. The most efficient form of vitamin C is l-ascorbic acid. The problem here is that this ingredient is highly unstable in water and will oxidize. You need to choose a serum that is stable.

In terms of concentrations, 10% to 20% is the perfect ratio. Studies have shown that you can see a considerable improvement in skin tone in that range of % in 12 weeks. But you can start seeing little improvement already at the 4 weeks mark.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is the most popular humectant. It can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water. The way it works is by absorbing water from the environment and into the skin. The key here is to have humidity in the air. Or better yet, spray your face with a mist and apply your hyaluronic acid on the damp skin.

It works lightning fast and you can already see improvement in skin hydration 15 minutes after application! However, if your goal is to improve fine lines and wrinkles, it can take up to 9 weeks to see significant results.


This wonderful little ingredient has an array of benefits but is mostly used to improve acne, hyperpigmentation and sebum production.

Here again, it all depends on the concentrations of the product. But the good news is that you can start seeing improvement with as little as 2%, and the best results are at 5%. The serum currently available on the mark go as up as 10% at an affordable price.

So how to know if this skincare product is working? You will notice decrease sebum production in 2 to 4 weeks, decreased hyperpigmentation in 4 weeks and reduced acne breakouts in about 8 weeks.

how to know if a skincare product is working

So now that you know how long skincare takes to work, you won’t feel as discouraged when trying something new. As I said before: consistency is key.

NOTE: when using active ingredient don’t forget to follow up with a sunscreen in the morning.

If you’re wondering what my recommendations are on products containing these ingredients you can find my selection bellow.

Follow me on Instagram for more product reviews, useful tips, as well as snippets of my daily life.

Some of the links listed above are affiliate links, meaning that if you click through and decide to make a purchase, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission. 


  1. Halalbeautie

    12/11/2020 at 10:00 PM

    This is such an helpful guide! Love that you broke down according to frequency of use

    1. Dana

      13/11/2020 at 11:52 AM

      I’m so happy you found it helpful ❤️

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *