HI-TIPS: How Long Does Skincare Take to Work

by Rebecca Kim

Hi Beauties  🌷

We’ve all been there - trying out a new product and standing in front of the mirror, looking for results after day 1 like 👁👄👁

I think a lot of us would have been guilty of this, especially in the beginning era of our skincare journey. We apply products on our face in hopes that they will instantly fix all of our skin troubles like magic 😅

The truth is, patience is key when it comes to skincare - the quicker, the better is not always true in this case 🐢 Skincare that promises instant, overnight results can often be quite harsh and not ask great for the skin, in the long run 😔 The exception is moisturising ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramides, oils, etc., as these will make your face feel plump and hydrated instantly! 💦 Spot treatments are also typically more concentrated, so their result times may be different to products intended for the entire face.


Everyone’s skin is different, which means result times will vary. It will also depend on other factors such as the percentage of ingredients, other ingredients in your skincare routine, diet, as well as whether the products are being applied the recommended amount consistently. Another factor to consider is skin cell turnover, which is an active process that occurs over approximately every 4 weeks for a full cycle. At that stage, your skin cells from a month ago have been replaced, and it is usually after this period that you are able to see the full benefits of certain skincare ingredients!

Please keep these in mind only as general guidelines of how long to wait, before determining whether your products are working 🤓


Ah, our favourite all-rounder ingredient 😌 Studies have shown that Niacinamide can improve hyperpigmentation and sebum levels in 4-6 weeks, and improve acne and wrinkles in 8-12 weeks.

The COSRX Advanced Snail Radiance Dual Essence contains 5% Niacinamide, which is the best amount for visible results with less chance of irritation. With the added 74.3% Triple Snail Complex, you’ve got a pretty great brightening and firming duo 🐌


Retinoids that are prescribed by a specialist are usually higher in concentration, so can have faster effects. However, Retinol that can be bought over the counter may take a bit longer. Over the counter Retinol products can show results for acne after 4-12 weeks, and start to show results for hyperpigmentation and wrinkles after 12-24 weeks.

While Retinol is not considered a K-beauty staple, the Banobagi Vita Genic Lifting Jelly Mask Set contains a gentle form of Retinol and Jeju Prickly Pear Extract to firm and nourish skin.


A no-brainer choice when it comes to radiant and glowing skin✨ Vitamin C can show results for hyperpigmentation in 6 weeks, and improve wrinkles and skin elasticity in 12 weeks.

The By Wishtrend Pure Vitamin C 15% with Ferulic Acid contains pure Vitamin C for your antioxidant fix. Ferulic Acid boosts the effects of Vitamin C, which can allow the percentage to be low enough for more skin types to be able to use it!


Big fans of skincare will be very familiar with these chemical exfoliators! Although you may notice a smoother and brighter complexion within a matter of weeks, you can start expecting results for acne and wrinkles from 4-12 weeks and onwards.

The Some By Mi AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Cream uses a combination of chemical exfoliants and Centella to take care of dead skin cells and soothe at the same time 🌿

Some skincare can cause a little something known as purging (ahem, Hydroxy Acids...🙄). Due to their ability to promote cell turnover, it can bring pimples that were hiding beneath the skin to surface faster, and can continue for up to 2 months. If purging occurs, it may be a little bump in the road towards feeling like you’re achieving clear skin, but don’t worry, the wait will be worth it! ⏰

However, you might also be one of the few who are allergic to exfoliants. If you worry whether this may be the case, feel free to check out our YouTube video to help you differentiate:

I personally recommend opting for products that claim to be more gentle, with lower percentages of active ingredients. Although they might take a little longer, it’s always best to be safe and kind to your skin - she’ll thank you for it!

Remember - skincare is a marathon, not a sprint, and consistency is the key 🔑Until next time, bye Beauties! 💜


Title Photo 📸 www.reverie.com

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.