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How Long It Takes For Skincare To Work

Skincare, Singapore, Beauty,

Everybody wants instant results when it comes to skincare although it is rarely ever the case and yet we find ourselves seduced by the false promises of “Results visible in 24 hours” and the “what-ifs” of skincare brands. We seek out instant gratification and easily give up when little to no results show when we introduce a new product to our skincare regime. They always say consistency is key but they forgot something equally important – patience.

How long does it actually take for skincare products to work their magic? According to board-certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon Dr. Melanie Palm, one (epidermis - the top layer of) skin turnover takes an estimated time of 30 days. Because of this, she recommends a timeline of 3 months before determining whether a new skincare product is effective or not. In addition, it is important to know how the ingredients, more specifically active ingredients interact with one another to prevent canceling out the benefits by accident. 

Here’s a general overview of how long each product type takes to work:


A cleanser should clear dirt and sebum without stripping the skin of its natural oils or causing it to dry out so the effects of a cleanser should be immediate. You can tell after washing once or twice, the direct effects of the cleanser on your skin and whether it is suitable for you. 


Within 1 to 2 weeks, the effects of your toner should be evident. If you are using a pore-refining toner, you might even observe smaller pores immediately after use but continued use for a week or two will show a more reliable and sustained result.


There are various types of cleansers targeted towards different skin types (i.e dry, combination, and oily skin) but the general consensus is that it will take 2 to 8 weeks before you be observed. 


Anti-aging products come in different forms such as a lotion, eye cream, or serum and they are usually packed with concentrated and active ingredients to help with fine lines and wrinkles. On average, it takes 2 to 8 weeks before results can be observed. It is important to manage expectations as anti-aging products cannot make you look 20 or 30 years younger than before. Lifestyle habits such as your diet and sleeping schedule also directly affect your skin which may (or may not) exacerbate premature aging. 

Lastly, if your skin care product is giving you unexpected redness, irritation, or causing your skin to hurt, discontinue using that product as it may not be suitable for your skin. Whilst consistency and patience are necessary in the skincare game, you know your skin best. Watch out for any side effects and never forget to do your research.

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