Starting a new skin care routine is easy; waiting for the results—not so much. If you’ve ever bought an entire skin care system with the expectation that all your skin-related concerns would be addressed by the end of the “30-day guarantee,” then you know that things don’t always progress according to a given timeline.
If you know the term “YMMV” (aka Your Mileage May Vary), that’s just one facet of the skin care puzzle. There are lots of other factors that play a role in the success of a skin care routine, so we’ve highlighted them for you here.
Consistency Is King
Don’t hate us for saying this, but it takes time to see results. Initially, you may use your new products as recommended, but forming a habit (good or bad) requires dedication. Life can get in the way, and you may occasionally miss a step or need to take a break from a new product, but be patient. Results are cumulative. As much as you want those skin issues to be gone overnight, they didn’t crop up all at once. Stick with the plan, and your skin will respond.
Give It 90 Days
As much as we all want instant gratification, true changes occur over time. A product that claims to transform your skin instantly should raise some serious red flags. Moisturizing products often provide noticeable immediate results, but those little creases and lines usually return as soon as the moisturizer wears off. It’s okay to enjoy those temporary effects, but you’ll need to use the same product consistently for a full three months in order to judge whether or not it has fulfilled more than a simplistic promise.
When testing a new skin care product, it’s best to give it 90 days before making an assessment about its efficacy. This is based on the average skin cell turnover time, which ranges between 28 and 90 days depending on your age. For example, collagen-stimulating products like serums work at a deeper layer than the average moisturizer. To know if they’re really working, your skin will need to go through a full turnover cycle, and that takes time (approximately twice as long as when you were in your 20s).
Put Some Selfies to Good Use
When it comes to observable skin care results, “a picture [really] is worth a thousand words.” Memory is a subjective thing, and you can’t always recall every little line or dot, especially when looking in the mirror. Before embarking on a new skin care journey, take a few selfies—unfiltered, of course—and store them for reference. Pick an interior location that is consistently illuminated by the same source, preferably an overhead light. Weather and sunlight vary from day to day and month to month, so make sure they’re not part of your equation when it comes time to check your results. To get even more accurate results, invest in a camera tripod, so that the height and distance will be the same in your “before” and “after” photos. Take a new photo every 30 days, then compare them side by side to see what, if anything, has changed.
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With these three things in mind, you’ll be better able to determine if your new skin care products are pulling their weight. If you’ve added retinol or a skin brightening serum to your routine, be a little more patient than when evaluating a cleanser or a moisturizer. Products that do the heavy lifting, like those that increase collagen production or fade scarring, may take longer to deliver results because you may not be able to use them as frequently. Just stick with your plan and reach out to us if you have questions or concerns. We’re always happy to help tailor a routine, answer questions, or recommend an alternate product.
To great skin care results,
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