How Long Does It Really Take For Products In Your Skincare Routine To Work?

Nailing the perfect skincare routine can be a long and tricky journey, especially if you have problematic skin, which explains why the skincare industry rakes in well over $15 billion annually, per Statista. However, this number isn't surprising given the number of skincare products available on the market. This leaves plenty of choices, with many consumers opting to try a wide range of products to help nourish their skin's very individual needs. While some people find the whole process relatively straightforward, things can be a bit more tricky if you're not a skincare wizard. In fact, knowing where to start can even be slightly daunting.


If you're considering purchasing new skincare products, you may be wondering how long it takes for skincare to work. As it turns out, the answer is not so clear-cut. Each product is different, and there's a lot to consider when implementing something new into your routine. So, what should you expect when using a skincare product?

Soft and smooth skin is a sign your skincare is working

Knowing whether your skin products are having a positive impact on your skin can be tricky. However, there are some telltale signs that will help you to cipher if your skin is reacting well to a new addition. Thankfully, they're not too difficult to spot, either. Speaking to the online publication Insider, cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Heidi Waldorf notes that you should notice that your skin "holds in moisture and exfoliates on its own, is soft to the touch, and reflects light well." If you have dry skin, then the difference may be night and day. Any dryness should be eliminated when you look in the mirror. This change is a positive sign when introducing new skincare products into your routine. However, you shouldn't be expecting instant results.


According to Healthline, any changes such as burning, dryness, irritation, and redness could be indicative that your new skin product isn't suitable for your skin. There are also signs your Vitamin C serum isn't working that you should keep an eye out for. While you may think that they're having an effect on your skin, they may not be doing so in a way that is beneficial for your skin. But how long will it take to see these changes? 

Your skincare products could take up to a month to work

So, how long does it take for skincare to work? When it comes to your skincare products, there is no set rule for how long it takes. However, dermatologist Dr. Aanand Geria, M.D., notes a rough guide to The Zoe Report that you should be able to follow: "The timeline to see results is entirely dependent on what kind of product you are using. But I think 28 days is a good rule of thumb." 


If you have any doubts about your skincare, then make sure that you wait for this set time before deciding whether to keep it or toss it. Of course, you may even see results before this. However, it's still a good guideline to follow. You should also keep in mind that this is just for one product rather than an entire routine. Generally speaking, if you get into good habits when it comes to your skin, you'll be able to see benefits quicker. On the other hand, some skincare products actually take much longer than this set amount of time. 

Exfoliating products could take months to work

While waiting for around a month works for some products, others operate on a slightly different timescale. Naturally, these timescales can vary quite a lot. So, which products do you need to keep on your radar? One of these products is exfoliants, which dermatologist Dr. Michele J. Farber explains to Brides: "Depending on your skin type and the type of exfoliation your skin can tolerate, you'll likely see results over one month and three or more for optimal results." While this may be slightly longer than you expect, it is important you follow through when introducing an exfoliant to your routine.


If you're unsure how long one of your skincare products will take to work, then you can always ask a skincare expert for advice. This is important since some products actually work faster than others. You will likely also be able to find an answer through a quick internet search. Having this knowledge will allow you to really see if your skincare products are having an impact. Likewise, you should also make sure to be cautious when resuming your skincare routine after a sunburn