How Long Does It Take To See Results When Starting A New Skincare Regimen?

As the largest body organ, our skin is visible to everyone every day. For various reasons, each of us has different skincare goals and needs for wanting to present our best appearance to the world. But there is one question that is universal. When will I see results from my regimen?

How Long Will It Take To Achieve Your Goals?

Whether your needs are for treating acne, hyperpigmentation, or anti-aging, we all want to know one thing. How long will it take for me to achieve my goals? To answer this question, we must first look at the timeline for the skin’s cycle, or turnover. When we are younger than age 21, our skin turns over quickly in about 21 days. Someone who is older, up to about age 40, the average skin cell cycle is about 28 days. As we continue to age, the skin cell cycle slows a bit to 45-60 days, and after age 50, can be as long as 60-90 days.

Why is this important to know? Our skin is comprised of three layers; the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis, also called the subcutaneous tissue. The outermost layer of our skin, or epidermis, is called the stratum corneum. This layer is composed of 10-30 layers of skin cells called keratinocytes which are constantly shed and are replaced by new layers rising from a lower skin layer in the epidermis called the basal cell layer.

Our skin is constantly generating new skin cells that rise up from the lower levels of the epidermis to replace the ones that are being shed. The cycle for this is faster when we are young, as described above, and starts to slow as we age. This means that it is the time associated with this cyclical renewal that influences when we will see our results. As we age, it can take longer to see our desired results.

Realistic Expectations

When we use products or medications to achieve a desired result with our skin, the medication or product starts to work right away, however, because of our skin cell cycle, it takes some time for the desired results to be achieved. The products will slowly begin to work on making changes to the skin cell’s overall health, condition and strength to achieve the desired results. Because we need to go through around three cycles of skin turnover to see the improved results, we can usually expect to see changes around three months of use.

This is why we recommend that if a regimen is tolerated well, stick with it for at least 10-12 weeks to gauge its efficacy. If we change things or give up too soon, it may be difficult to determine whether what was tried has been given enough of a chance to create the desired changes. This is especially true when starting a new acne regimen.

Generally, for anti-aging, we recommend trying a product for up to six months to give it enough time to allow a product to structurally change the skin for noticeable results.

Tips for Success

When starting a new regimen, here are a few tips to help you along with your skin care journey.

  • Stick with it! Consistency of application will be the best key to achieve your results. The product or medication must be applied regularly for the best and quickest results possible.
  • Talk with your provider if needed. If you are experiencing any issues with your chosen regimen or medication, contact your prescriber for thoughts on whether or not there needs to be a change.
  • Listen to your skin. Be gentle and if your skin seems irritated, inflamed, red, scaling, or just does not seem or feel right, reach out to your provider for guidance and suggestions.
  • Be patient. Results come from consistency and maintenance. Remember that once your results are achieved, you will need to continue with your product to maintain your results.

The Derm NP is Here to Help!

We know selecting an anti-aging or acne regimen can be overwhelming, but The Derm NP is here to help! We offer a variety of services, including skin care consultations, during which we can assess your individual needs and recommend the best retinoid for you.

Virtual visits are only $37 and are available via telehealth. Learn more information regarding the states that we serve and other commonly asked questions on our website,

The Derm NP, Laura Collins, APRN, ANP-BC, DCNP, ACTTP, has over 18 years of exclusive dermatology experience. She is here to offer you the best advice for your skin, so you can feel confident about your appearance.

Do not hesitate to contact us today to schedule a consultation!

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