How Long Does It Take for Skincare Ingredients to Work?

The answer is "it depends," both on the ingredients and on the skin concern you're trying to treat.

Dylan Mustapich

Esthetician at Atolla

Dylan Mustapich

Dylan Mustapich is a NYC-based lead esthetician who has been featured in New Beauty, Teen Vogue, Wired, and The Huffington Post. With a lifelong love of all things skin, he is incredibly knowledgeable about skincare ingredients, routine refinement, and personalized skincare, and follows emerging technology closely.



How long does it take to see results from your skincare product? The answer is "it depends," both on the ingredients and on the skin concern you're trying to treat.

Skin cells turnover every 28-40 days, so the ‘industry standard’ is around 4 weeks before you can expect to see results from introducing new skincare ingredients into your routine.

What’s important to note is that ingredients themselves can be complex and unique, not to mention the different skin concerns that they target. Some deal with overall texture, where as others assist in the reprograming of color pigment in the skin.

Results of course vary by each person, which is where personalization can play a huge role. Your skin is not going to respond the same as someone else's skin. Depending on how you are progressing, your custom formula may dial the amount of an ingredient up or down to maximize results.

Hyaluronic Acid / Coconut Extract

Skin Concerns: Dryness

Estimated time to see results: Right away. Ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid start to work as soon as they are applied and may leave your skin feeling noticeably different. Over time, helps replenish and maintain moisture in your skin and leaves it looking bouncy and refreshed.

AHA, BHA, Peptides

Skin Concerns: Flaky Skin

Estimated time to see results: 1-2 weeks. To address flaky skin, you need ingredients that promote skin cell turnover (by light exfoliation) and then hydrate the skin. Controlling external variables helps improve results as well, since flaky skin can become worse with dry air or harsh weathers.

Salicylic Acid / Tea Tree / Turmeric

Skin Concerns: Breakouts + Clogged Pores

Estimated time to see results: 4-8 weeks. Some people may see a surface level improvement in breakouts in ~2 weeks. More severe breakouts, or more persistent congestion (a denser area of congestion), may take longer to see results, usually at least 4-6 weeks. Even when you start to see results, you want to continue using the ingredients to have a lasting (and preventative) impact.

Aloe Leaf / Calendula

Skin Concerns: Redness

Estimated time to see results: 1 month. This applies to redness caused by environmental irritants, like weather, or skin sensitivity (from exfoliating too much, for example). Redness due to rosacea requires a different treatment under medical supervision.

Peptides / Retinol

Skin Concerns: Fine Lines

Estimated time to see results: 2-3 months. These ingredients can only reduce appearance of existing fine lines impact by cell turnover, or through hydrating the skin for a mild plumping effect. Should pair with regular sunscreen use to have the greatest impact. This does not apply for wrinkles, only surface,
or superficial fine lines.

Vitamin C / Ascorbic Acid / Diacetyl Boldine

Skin Concerns: Discoloration & Sun Damage

Estimated time to see results: 3 months. When it comes to pigmentation, length of time to see results depends on how long it has been there.
If the pigmentation is due to repeated sun exposure, or from long term breakouts, it will take longer than a recent blemish. A lifetime of tanning will not be erased in 60 days.

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