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When to Expect Results From Skin Care Products

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One common mistake when using skin care products is expecting to see results right away. Experts discuss the typical waiting period for standard skin care products, per an article from Hello Giggles.

It can be difficult to know when a skin care product will start showing results. One of the most common mistakes is expecting to see results right away, according to Joshua Zeichner, M.D., a Manhattan-based dermatologist. Zeichner and other experts discussed what to expect from these skin care standards, per an article from Hello Giggles.

Related: Tips For Back-to-Work Skin Care Routines


The straightforward purpose of a cleanser means it is appropriate to expect results right away, according to Zeichner.


Toners are difficult to test because they play more of a supporting role, acting as an additional cleansing step, while also prepping the skin for the next products, according to Frank Neuser, Ph.D., leading principal scientist at Olay. The results can be hard to isolate, but it is expected to notice results quickly.

Toners have a variety of other longer-term benefits, like combatting hyperpigmentation and improving skin texture, which takes closer to four or more weeks to show up, Neuser says.


Serums have a wide range of benefits and purposes—including minimizing dark spots, brightening dull skin, and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Serums are generally powerful formulas and can take about a month to start showing results, according to P&G senior skincare scientist, Jennifer Werner.


Moisturizers should provide immediate relief to dry skin. Werner recommends checking throughout the day to make sure the moisturizer is maintaining hydration in the skin.

Werner recommends glycerin, niacinamide and hyaluronic acid as ingredients to seek out in moisturizers.


While there may be some results within the first week or so, Zeichner says that retinol must be used regularly for weeks or months to see significant improvements in skin texture and lines.

The most immediate effect of retinol is often irritation. Retinol is a powerful active ingredient and may lead to some initial dryness, redness, and flakiness for the first two weeks.

Acne products

Acne can be a challenging issue to address, and treating it can take several weeks or months to see improvement, according to Zeichner.

Acne can have a wide range of causes and one product alone often won't be enough to completely treat skin acne. Zeichner recommends to his patients to stick with an acne regimen for at least one to two months to accurately judge whether or not it's working.