Patience may indeed be a virtue, but try telling that to someone who’s waiting for their sun spots to fade. That’s why it’s helpful to know whether your products will provide instant payoff or delayed gratification before they even touch your face. “The ‘how long’ question is one I get asked every single day,” notes True Botanicals’ lead skincare therapist, Tara Parenti. Here, she gives a rundown on what to expect…when you’re expecting results.
The Fast Fixes
Issues on your skin’s surface — dryness, roughness, etc. — can be remedied pretty immediately. Take exfoliators, for example. The lactic acid-based Resurfacing Moisture Mask waves a veritable magic wand over your face, clearing away dead skin cells and unclogging pores in five minutes, leaving skin smoother, softer, and more luminous.
Similarly, moisturizers — including the Pure Radiance Oil and Moisture Lock Overnight Mask — replenish your barrier on the spot with nurturing ingredients like fatty acids, ceramides, squalane, and hyaluronic acid. This not only makes skin feel immediately better (a godsend for anyone dealing with irritation), but they make skin look immediately better too, softening lines and casting a covetable glow.
The Gradual Treatments
For the majority of skincare, however, the general rule of thumb is it takes 28 days to truly work — because that’s how long it takes for skin to go through a full cellular turnover cycle. The only hiccup? As we age, that cycle slows down. Significantly. That’s why Parenti likes to counsel clients that the deeper the issue, the longer it will take to see real improvement.
If you’re working on clearing breakouts with something like The Clear Collection or lifting hyperpigmentation with ingredients like vitamin C in the Vitamin C Booster, then you’re dealing with pretty deep issues. For breakout-prone skin, Parenti says to expect a 3-month wait. For pigment issues, she says it can take 10-12 weeks.
In the case of fine lines, wrinkles, or other signs of aging skin, you’ll actually see instant improvement with moisturizers because they plump out creases pretty immediately. (In fact, many signs of aging are exacerbated by dehydrated skin!) But you’ll get the most benefit with age-supportive products, like the Renew Collection, in 3-6 months, thanks to proven firming and smoothing ingredients like niacinamide, peptides, antioxidants, and — of course hyaluronic acid — which is known to work instantly and over time.
Maximize Your Efforts
- For the best — and the fastest — results, avoid mixing and matching products. Instead, use products that are meant to work together synergistically in a collection.
- Be consistent. Use the products as directed — morning and night — and give them enough time to get the job done.
- Enjoy yourself. Skincare should be about the journey, not just the destination. If you stick with products that you actually like using, you’re less likely to ditch them or watch the clock, which makes reaching your goals feel less like a chore and more like a treat. Skincare isn’t just a means to an end, after all. It’s self-care.