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Question & Answer: How long should you stay on a skin care regimen to see results?

Posted by Dan Narsete on

This is a great question as it can be a very confusing issue. Are the products I am using work? Is it helping with my acne? Wrinkles? Brown spots? To answer this question, let’s look at some things you need to know.

Consistency is key

Using a skin care regimen at first can be challenging, particularly if you are not used to it. Just like a New Year’s Resolution it’s easy to fall off the band wagon. The issue with consistency is you are essentially directing your body to make changes. Depending on what you are using and the goals you have it takes your skin some time to respond to a skincare regimen--it’s not an overnight process.

The 90-day test

Any product can hydrate your skin and give it an instant satisfaction. Ever seen a celebrity-endorsed like or a late night infomercial that shows a new magic cream? By hydrating the skin, wrinkles will “disappear,” only to return when the moisturizer wears off. It’s sad, but millions of dollars a year are spent on things like this.

Most regimens should last at least 90 days. The reasoning behind this is it takes a minimum of 90 days before your body will begin to regenerate collagen using a topical solution. As an example, retinol is one of the most studied substances used in skin care. It has been used since the late 1960’s and its effects are well known. A study published in Clinical Interventions in Aging showed how retinol takes a minimum of 90 days to regrow collagen and with consistent use, improves up to 6 months.

With that in mind, it’s also important to change the serums you use on certain intervals. It’s not uncommon for drugs to wear out and stop working. We won’t get into the medical reasons why that is, but this principle also applies to skin care. Because of this it’s important to keep in mind you should change parts of your regimen every 3-6 months.

How do you know?

Taking a good set of pre-treatment pictures of your face is key. There are some rules on this you need to follow. Make sure you take pictures in a room without sunlight. Different times of the day will cast different shadows on your face depending on the position of the sun, time of day, etc. and this will give a distorted image of your face.Next, use a tripod. Even if you are using your cell phone, get one of those little cell phone holding tri-pods. Measure the distance between you and the camera or tri-pod and mark it with a piece of tape. That way it will be the same distance every time. Without taking these steps, you risk an inconsistent picture. If your picture is inconsistent i.e. different shadows, distances, lighting, etc, how can you tell if the regimen is working? Following this, you should repeat this process at least once a month for at least 3 months and then compare the photos. Can you see an improvement comparing side by side pics? Keep in mind we all have different genes and our skin responds at different speeds so some may see results a little sooner than others.

Moving on from here you should have a good foundation for knowing what to look out for. Do you have any questions beyond this? Please feel free to let us know. As a company we make regimens for 90 days and change them with every step. Should you ever need help or have questions on what to do, take our free skin care quiz which will create a customized skin care program for you.

To great skin care results,

Team Reflect

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