March 13, 2021
Exfoliators are the trickiest skincare product to pin down (in my opinion). If you're using things like AHA's and BHA's then they can cause a purging phase in the beginning, eventually evening themselves out after about 2 months.
If chemical exfoliants make you nervous, you may start with a gentle physical one if your skin isn't currently going through acne breakouts. You can also ease into chemical exfoliants with a once a week (or once every two weeks) treatment. If an exfoliant is right for you, you should start to see results with smoother skin and reduced hyperpigmentation after about 3 weeks. Continuous use is required to maintain results. Tip: Make sure not to over exfoliate! If skin feels sensitive, red, irritated - it's a sign that you are over exfoliating so cut back!
Acne targeted products, unfortunately, take the longest to produce results. If you're using benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid you may see immediate improvement but consistent results should be seen after 4 to 12 weeks.
If your skin hasn’t improved after 12 weeks of consistent use it may be time to seek out a different treatment.
A good rule of thumb is that surgical or cosmetic procedures such as laser treatment will work the most immediate, prescription creams like Retin A or Epiduo will be the next effective, and over the counter treatments will take the most amount of time.
If you are microneedling at home with the Banisher 2.0, results are typically seen within 1-3 months if being consistent. Results will also depend on how old and stubborn your dark spots or acne scars are and your age. Newer scars tend to heal faster compared to older scars. A scar may be considered old if it has been there for a year.
Certain types of acne scars such as severe deep ice pick scars may not have as much of a result compared to milder shallow scars.
I know the situation all too well. You've got a big presentation, date, or another important (yet stressful) event and a big cyst rears its ugly head. You'll do anything to get rid of it fast. However, if that spot treatment or anti-inflammatory serum isn't working you probably ditch it after about a week or so.
I don't blame you, it's hard to have patience when basically everything gives us instant gratification these days. We can watch our favorite shows (Netflix), or even date at the click of a button. So, waiting for your spots to disappear after using a product for a week feels like forever.
Unfortunately, when it comes to skincare, constantly switching it up can do way more harm than good.
It can be hard to tell which products are working and which are making your acne worse. That's why consistency is key and as we mentioned above, it can take 6 weeks on average to know if a product works for you since the skin cycle takes a full month.
For some, it takes around three months for their skin issues to completely resolve. It's just how our skin biologically works, it’s a process that can't be rushed.
Constantly switching between one product for another can create issues with your skin. Because if you don't know what kind of ingredients or product your skin is actually reacting to, you may be doing the same mistake with your skincare by exposing your skin to a product or ingredient it doesn't sit well with over and over.
This can lead to more sensitive and irritated skin down the line that makes it harder to repair.
According to expert esthetician Renee Rouleau, you should stop a new skincare product or routine if you experience any of the following:
I can only speak based on my skin type (sensitive, acne prone) but to tell a difference in new routines I typically have to wait anywhere from a month and a half to two months. Here's typically how it goes down for me. During the first week or two I experience a honeymoon period, I think "this is awesome, this is the best product I've ever used, I love it". My breakouts typically improve or go away completely.
During the third and fourth week the honeymoon period starts to wear off, and I typically experience some purging or blemishes if I'm using a new product targeted towards acne or exfoliation.
Purging can also occur with AHA'S/BHA'S. The fifth and sixth week are where things start to level out, after this stage if my skin isn't clear or at least normalized it's probably not going to be.
If it's been three months and I haven't seen changes or my skin has gotten worse, it's probably time to move on. Even with diet changes to see a difference in my skin I've noticed it takes about two to three months.
What's your experience with switching up skincare routines?
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