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We’ve all been there - that exciting moment when you treat yourself to a new skincare product, or even a whole new routine, and are bitterly disappointed when you wake up the next morning with the same skin. No dramatic changes overnight and no gorgeously glowing skin. It can be slightly annoying, even if we’re all aware that dramatic changes overnight aren’t really a thing.
So, how long does it take to see changes when you use new skincare products? Well, we caught up with our Skincare Expert, Edele, who gave us the lowdown on everything from retinol to supplements.
According to Edele, generally speaking, it takes 28 days to experience a full skin cycle. What’s a full skin cycle? Well, it’s how long it takes for our skin cells to travel up towards the surface of the skin. This takes 28 days in general, but it’s not the same for everyone.
For that reason, we say to people to use the product for at least a full skin cell cycle, which is at least 28 days before any changes or tweaking of the routine. After four months you should visibly be able to see the differences and results of your skincare.
Physical changes can be things like a smoother texture, a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles, a reduction in pigmentation or the darkness of pigmentation and a more even skin tone and clarity.
Consistency is key when it comes to skincare, I’ve always said that no matter how simple or basic the skincare routine is. Once you are consistent with it you are going to see results and your skin is going to behave a lot better as well.
When it comes to eye products, people can be sceptical, especially if they’re using a good serum that they’re bringing up around the eye area anyway, but eye products are specifically going to target dark circles, pigmentation, puffiness - there is a need for that type of product out there.
For you to see results, or to map out a timeline, I always say it’s really important to take a picture of the eye area before you begin using the eye gel and then approximately after one month of using it.
So for consistency, leave your eye cream beside your toothbrush and use it every morning and night. Then after a full month look back at your picture and take a new picture again. The changes can happen subtly, so you can use this as a reference in order to see if it really suits you.
Top Pick: IMAGE Vital C Hydrating Eye Recovery Gel
When you’re using retinol, you may be using it for anti-ageing purposes, pigmentation, and oil control. There are plenty of reasons why you should be using retinol. But for that reason, it can take different lengths of time to see results and also depending on your age.
So generally for 40 and over you will see a difference using a retinoid approx one month after beginning to use it. In your 30s you’re possibly going to see differences in the skin in as little to two to three weeks because it’s that time for your skin when you’re noticing the first signs of ageing so a lot can be done for it.
In your 20s, it can be different but it can take longer to see a difference because it’s more about prevention.
Top Pick: Skinceuticals Retinol
For products with glycolic acid, you are going to see a difference in the skin after maybe two to three weeks, the reason is that it’s an exfoliating acid.
Glycolic acid is actually quite a small molecule and it goes down deep into the skin, preparing the skin and creating little channels so when you put on your other active ingredients, such as your hydrating serum or your hyaluronic acid or anything products that treat things such as pigmentation, that product is going to go deeper into the skin and it’s going to perform a lot better.
I would say that with glycolic cleansers, treat them as your exfoliator and use them no more than twice a week and at nighttime preferably. Don’t forget glycolic acid is something that’s going to make your skin a bit more sun-sensitive so be conscious of that and remember to apply your SPF.
Top Pick: IMAGE Ageless Total Facial Cleanser
Supplements can be quite similar to skincare, so don’t forget that our skin is actually a double-sided organ. As much as we can do topically we also need to look after it from the inside out as well.
So when it comes to supplements and results, the more deficient you are in a mineral or a vitamin the quicker you’re going to see results when taking supplements. This is because your body is craving it and you’re going to see that difference.
Generally speaking, anything from 3 to 6 weeks, or possibly up to 3 to 4 months is the time it takes to change your wellbeing or your skin. Like I said with the eye gel I would still recommend that you take a picture of your skin before you start taking supplements that are skin-specific and then again take another approx a month afterwards, you can then investigate and compare/
Top Pick: Advanced Nutrition Programme Skincare Box Ultimate