How Long Does It Take for Skincare Products to Work?

How Long Does It Take for Skincare Products to Work? Everyone knows very well that it takes quite some time for skincare products to work, with the exception of products that are advertised as having an instant effect (and this instant effect isn’t usually particularly long-lasting). Today, let’s figure out how long you’ll have to wait for various skincare products to work based on their active ingredients.

Depending on the formula of a particular cosmetic product, you may see the first results of its use in a couple of days or after weeks and even months or regular use. Sometimes people give up on skincare products thinking that they don’t work, while in reality they just haven’t waited long enough to see the effect. In order not to abandon a good product ahead of time, or, on the contrary, not to waste time waiting for a miracle that will never happen, it is important to know what you can and cannot count on.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

As a rule, skincare products with vitamin C (ascorbic acid) are designed boost the skin’s protection from the sun, strengthen capillary walls, stimulate collagen synthesis, and inhibit tyrosinase (an enzyme that controls the production of melanin). When actively using products with a sufficiently high concentration of vitamin C, you will notice that your skin has become lighter in about 3 weeks. However, you will have to wait for at least 2 months for the wrinkles to reduce and for your skin to become smoother.

Vitamin A (Retinol)

Retinol has an impressive range of skin benefits, but it takes a long time for its effect to become noticeable. As a rule, you will see the first positive results after about 12 weeks of regular use of retinol-based products, but it will take 6 to 9 months of continuous use to make the most of their benefits.

Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide)

Niacimanide (vitamin B3), along with vitamins A and C, is one the most popular skincare ingredients. Skincare products with niacinamide show their first results (a brighter complexion) after 3 weeks of regular use. These changes will become most noticeable after 1 to 3 months, depending on the condition your skin and the concentration of niacinamide in the products you use.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is one of the most popular and powerful humectants used in skincare products. As a rule, products with hyaluronic acid have an instant effect: your skin will become less dry and tight in about an hour. However, if you want a stable and long-lasting effect, you need to use a moisturiser with hyaluronic acid twice a day for at least 2 weeks.

Azelaic Acid

Azelaic acid helps to get rid of acne, relieves inflammation, prevents blackheads, reduces pigmentation and skin redness. You will notice the first results in a few days, but it will take at least a month for the product to fully kick in.


There are many different peptides that are used in skincare, but their mechanism of action is basically the same. It takes 3 to 6 months of regular use to see the maximum effect of peptide-based skincare products, but you will notice the first results after about 6 weeks of use.


Caffeine is added to skincare products as an antioxidant, as well as to prevent dark circles under the eyes. The long-term effects of the use of skincare products with caffeine can be seen after 2 months, but the first improvements are visible immediately.

Of course, these are far from all active ingredients that can be found in skincare products. In addition, most cosmetics contain more than one active ingredient, so the waiting time is very approximate. However, in generally takes no less than a month to see whether a particular skincare product works or not because the full skin renewal cycle is 28 days, and only when it is over you can see if anything has changed.

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