How long it takes to see results from a new skincare routine

Hannah Wilson

When you start a new skincare regime, one of the first things you want to know is when you will see results. As many skin brands have evolved over the years, moving with science and technology, our understanding of the use of daily skincare has increased significantly, but an instant win isn't always what's best for your skin in the long run.

The answer is that it really depends on the following:

  • What skincare brand you're using and the ingredient quality
  • What skin conditions or concerns you have
  • How much time you have to spend each day on your skincare routine

We would love to tell our clients that they will see results within a few hours, but our honest answer is realistically this may not be the case - it is going to take time. Some products work quicker than others so patience really is key when it comes to starting a new skincare routine. Do consider your skin concern you are hoping to treat. For example, if your concern is deeper in the epidermis of the skin; you will need to give your skin time for it to rise up through the layers to the surface, to finally slough off.

ZO Skin Health Skincare routine

First and foremost, skincare is an investment. We understand that when you are not getting the results they had hoped to see in a short period of time, that it can be frustrating. Everyone nowadays lives a busy life and some look for that quick fix and hope for instant results. However, a powerful, medical skincare brand does take time to work. When you introduce a new product to your skin, it needs time to adjust.

Looking for expert skincare advice? Book your free online skincare consultation now, or read on to learn more. In this article, we have outlined some points to consider when your skin is adjusting to a new regime.


What to consider when introducing new products to your regime?

Think about skin turnover

Man using skin scrub

Your skin turnover is approximately every 6 weeks. Skin turnover is the process where your skin creates new cells to replace the old ones.

This is an important point to consider as your new, healthy skin cells have not developed fully and still need time to rise to the surface. This is something you want to work with and consider when starting your new skincare. Dr Zein Obagi, founder of the ZO Skin Health Inc, advised “the best results you will achieve will occur after three full skin cycles”. This could range between 16-20 weeks; so it's important not to give up on a professional medical-grade regime.

Speak to an expert

Skin Expert

A dermatologist or skin expert will know the best and most effective products to manage a concern or condition. It is always advised to speak a skincare expert before introducing new products into your routine. This will ensure you are purchasing the correct products for you skin type. 

Here at Face Dr, our skin experts have combined decades of experience in the skincare world, and we help thousands of clients achieve healthy skin with their skincare regimes. If you are interested in finding out more about us or the medical-grade skincare products we recommend, why not book in for a free online skincare consultation?


Consider which skincare ingredients you are using

 skincare ingredients

Below we have outlined some main ingredients that you can find in products and how long you should expect to see a result from each.

Glycolic acid, lactic acid and mandelic acid

These are all AHA’s (alpha hydroxy acids) best known to help with pigmentation and anti-ageing. You will generally see results straight away, although it will take between 16-20 weeks of consistent use for these ingredients to have a deeper and long lasting effect.

Hyaluronic acid

Helps to prevent with loss of moisture in the skin. You tend to see results straight away with a plumper and hydrated complexion.


Salicylic acid

Ideal for treating acne and an oily skin type. This ingredient is one to stick with as it can take up to 12 weeks for you to see the full benefits.


Benzoyl peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is a high strength acne treatment to help kill bacteria within the pore. It can take up to a month to see visible results of clear skin, however full results can take up to 12 weeks to notice an improvement.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C great ingredient for pigmentation. After introducing this into your regime, you will start seeing an improvement at around 3 weeks of using the product continuously.



Retinol is an amazing anti-ageing product for improving skin tone and texture. It can take a while for this ingredient to have an affect on the skin. You may need to give it 12 weeks to see a noticeable difference.



Caffeine is a really  popular ingredient in eye products, helping to reduce puffiness and dark circles within a few hours of using.


In summary

ZO Skincare routine

“ZO Skin Health Getting Skin Ready” consists of cleanse, exfoliate and tone. This is the essential first step in achieving healthy skin. When this was trialled on clients, after 8 weeks of using this 3-step regime, 60% had improved redness and 62% had reduced dullness. This shows that after 8 weeks of using the ZO Skin Health products, more than 50% of the individuals had results from just using 3 of the products from the range. These are strong results, and one of the many reasons why we recommend ZO Skin Health skincare to our clients.

If you are going to trial products, give them a minimum of 6 weeks. But remember you will see results after 16-20 weeks, once your skin has been through 3 skin cycles - maintenance is key. The main thing is not to give up hope, stick with it! Take before and after photos. They're so important for seeing gradual changes in the skin over time and can really give you an indication of whether or not a product or regime is working as it should.

For free advice from a skin expert, or to find out more about the product ranges we recommend for medical-grade professional results, you can book a consultation with us below.