Share: how long do u expect results with skincare?

I was reading an article from Personal Care and the author mentioned that if a skin cream that promises results but does not yield noticeable benefit in a week, then we are justified that the promise will not be fulfilled. One week sounds rather short since most clinical trials cite at least 8 weeks of testing but I’ve also noticed that if the products actually does what it promises, you CAN see a difference in your skin a few days after using it.

Results maybe more temporary for those promising anti-wrinkles
I’ve noticed this to be true with products that promises brightening, evening out skin tone, depuffing and increasing hydration. As for those that promise to erase wrinkles and promote firmness, well, I say it depends. Sometimes the effects are almost immediate but they are most likely temporary and is gone as soon as you wash off the cream or serum from your face.

Timeline I set for testing products
I thought this is an interesting topic to discuss today. In fact, I was thinking a lot about this because as you know, one of the things I do is to test skin care products for this space. Typically, this is the kind of timeline I set for products:
– Cleansers: two weeks
– Oils, serums, lotions, creams: four weeks
– Treatment products like masks: per usage
– Eyecare: four to six weeks

Checking against promises given
And I always go back to check the promises that the product has given me. If it states that my skin would look radiant overnight, then that’s what I’ll look for. If it claims that my spots would lighten up in a week, then that’s what I’ll be checking. Except for eye care products, I actually expect to see some results after using a product for two weeks. And the reason why I give a longer testing period is to see how my skin would adjust for breakouts. For eye care, I tend to give a longer time because I have on some occasions, experienced improvements only after the 3rd or 4th week.

Stuck it out due to initial investment
But of course, the reality is that while we may give a shorter time frame to decide if a product is worth re-purchasing, we usually would HAVE to finish using the product because of the initial investment – unless of course it’s really dirt cheap. This is true for me – I forced myself to finish the bottle of GOW Bio-Active Neck Firming Serum even though it did absolutely nothing for me! I stuck it out because I didn’t want to throw it away and I couldn’t use it anywhere else.  I did however, supplement it with other products.

Your say
So tell me ladies: how long do you expect to see results with the skin care products you purchase? And what’s the longest time you would give it? Would you stick to using the product till you’re completely done with the bottle or jar?


  1. AtelierGal says:

    When I first starting on skincare, I expected results literally overnight. That’s the misconception, still.

    Nowadays I give the products 2-4 weeks to see how it works for my skin. This is why I decline doing any reviews within a week, something that even beauty companies don’t understand.

    But it seems eye products are slightly tricky, it takes longer to notice any visible difference.

  2. sesame says:

    Do they insist on a week??? That irks me too. I dislike being given deadlines for these things cos they can be quite subjective.

    You also find eye products longer to manifest results huh…it’s really hard to get good eye product. If they work immediately, the results almost stop working afterwards too.

  3. Rhonda says:

    For acne creams, it’s been reccommended by my doctor to use them for at least 3 months. I guess it is because the skin had to get used to it before it can truely show good results. Although in my experience, most acne creams show results within a month or two.

  4. AtelierGal says:

    Some do, for commercial purposes.

    I believe practicing the right eye massage is better than wasting money on eye products anyway. You can’t just slap them on and expect magic to happen haha!

  5. BT says:

    I will give at least 3 months trial for full-size product or review them when they are finished because I have encountered a spot corrector that only shown visible result after 2.5 months. Right now the longest time I take for review is 7-8 months(Time pass really fast,sometimes we don’t realize that) Makeup takes shorter time to review. For anti-aging/wrinkle treatment, I would give at least 6 months to justify because treating fine line in few months didn’t sound logic to me, except botox or plastic surgery. (“v)

  6. Soos says:

    2 to 4 weeks. It’s easy to tell immediately if something WON’T work for you – like cleansers that are too creamy or drying.

    I find eye creams usually do work for me, as I try to get samples first, and I think you get what you pay for. By this, I mean that for myself, eye cream by pricey brands like Natura Bisse, Kinerase and Exuviance DO work. It’s just a question of whether they should only be used at night because they’re too slippery, or can be used for day under makeup.

    I think the only eye cream I’ve ever had a reaction to was a drugstore brand that caused itching. I just used that up on the backs of my hands!

    As for moisturizers and serums – my skin is so changeable that I’ll be happily using something, it’s working for me, then all of a sudden it doesn’t, or it’s a negative effect! Or the weather changes!

  7. Raelynn says:

    no matter what product it is, i’ll give it an entire bottle. unless it clearly is not working for me (like those containing cetyl alcohol, they usually show their reaction on me within 2 weeks), or unless i have been told before purchasing that it is not something that will take just one bottle or just a month, then i’ll tend to be more generous with such products and maybe give it like… by the end of the second bottle??

    i agree with what you say about even if it is something that will happen after prolonged usage, you can see/feel some differences after a few days. this is especially so in serums i realise, provided if you have been diligent in the use of sunscreen. if you havent, nothing works. frowns.

  8. Maddie says:

    I give it at least 2-4 weeks before deciding. Though, I can usually see a difference in my skin after a few days of using something great. Also, will see if the product makes my skin worse within those few days after using it.

    E.g. With Sukin products, I noticed a difference in texture, and appearance within 1 day. Within a week, my skin was smoother and I was glowing. I’ve been using their products for at least 2 months now, and adore them. Though, I do break out still from time to time, but it’s nothing concealer won’t cover up. It works for me.

  9. astrorainfall @ beauty box says:

    Thanks for this post. I realized that my standards are quite low – lol! As long as a product doesn’t break me out, I’m happy. Though I am itching to find products that benefit sensitive skin too…the two don’t seem to meet because sensitive skin products tend to be stripped down. I did read a British Vogue article that some brands are looking into this like Lancome with their Genifique range (though I do wonder if they put that in as they are an advertiser!!!).

  10. DianaL says:

    I normally give a product 3 weeks to see if it has a positive effect on my skin.

  11. Krys says:

    Wow, that is what dedication is all about. I used to have a beauty blog, too, and that was one of my problems. Product testing is insane, and a lot of times, it made my skin a lot worse. I seriously salute you for this blog.

  12. sesame says:

    3 months sounds quite long to me. I would give acne products 2 weeks to work or I’ll chuck it away. I have no patience.

  13. sesame says:

    I think those that help with depuffing can be quite instantaneous but otherwise, usually slow in other aspects. One I used worked in a couple of days but not so much improvement after a week or two.

  14. sesame says:

    Wow, you’re really patient with products. I believe it depends on individual skin condition and some products may take longer to work but I really feel that products that promise something should manifest some results within 2 – 3 weeks. Otherwise, it’s another hype.

  15. sesame says:

    True…if something don’t work, it’s quite immediate telling. Moisturizers are quite safe as in they typically work and the only thing is that they shouldn’t be too greasy or cause breakouts.

    You’re fortunate to get eye creams that work for you. Apart from Kinerase, I haven’t come across the other two brands.

  16. sesame says:

    You’re another patient one. I would usually start looking for another product after 3 weeks if the one I use don’t give me much results. I typically complete them but might use them on other areas of my body. I also won’t re-purchase the product again even if told it takes 2 bottles cos there are so many choices out there to tempt me. ?

  17. sesame says:

    I liked the Sukin cleanser for awhile but kind of grew out of it. I’m glad the brand works for you.

  18. sesame says:

    Maybe you don’t have too much issues to begin with? I have colleagues asking me too – how can you tell if a product works – cos they sometimes can’t tell a difference. I guess for me, the products I’m using are mostly for brightening or lightening my spots so there should be some difference if they work.

  19. sesame says:

    3 weeks is about good for me too although I would usually wait one or two more weeks to review it here.

  20. sesame says:

    Haha…I don’t try out that many products compared to other beauty bloggers. And I usually pick out those that will fit my skin type to minimize issues. So companies have to send me their ingredient list before I’ll agree to testing.

  21. MissQ says:

    I usually get at least 1oz quantities for serums/moisturizers and finish them up. Unless my skin reacts negatively to it after afew days or so, I will make it a point to finish it up. Any results that it promises to yield I would expect it to show after I finish 1oz of it. If the results are not fantastic, I would usually move onto another serum type.

    Btw, how do you decide if a sunscreen works for you?

  22. Raelynn says:

    in terms of efficiency, for myself, i decide whether a sunscreen works by whether my acne spots seem to darken or remain the same or lighten. =) hths.

  23. MissQ says:

    I see… Interesting method! Somehow I am more inclined to think that it is my serums which are helping my scars to fade! Haha… :p

  24. sesame says:

    Good question! Sunscreen is tricky. Typically, I take it out for a spin and if I don’t appear dark and no breakouts, and it’s a good texture, I’m happy. I actually rely a lot on just reading the ingredients to trust if it works. A bit risky but well…

    Sunscreen effectiveness will take months to manifest – I have been using MVO and very very glad to report that I have no new spots – except for those from acne marks.

    But do note that there is a difference between Asian and Caucasian skin – the latter tends to burn more easily so what works for us, may not work for them.

  25. Mrs.Me says:

    A month or two…I should definitely see results by then.

  26. lynne says:

    i usually give them about a month or so before settling on a verdict – but sometimes time flies by so quickly we only realize that a product is working when we look into the mirror and get a pleasant surprise, which was what happened to me with the combination of using the Clarisonic and Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum.

    I usually force myself to finish up (expensive) products even if they dont seem to be working – simply because it doesn’t seem right to bin a bottle of $120 serum. And the products I purchase have usually been researched to death and has delivered results to many others with the same skin type as me, so I guess a little part of me would be wishing that the end of the bottle would show a miracle of some sort. If not I would use them on my neck. But if it’s eye cream, I would only use it occasionally and skip the step (which is BAD!) but I cannot justify spending another 80 bucks on eye cream when i still have more than half a jar sitting on my dresser.

  27. Happy.Bark.Days says:

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  28. sesame says:

    That’s good that your products are working for you. ?

  29. sesame says:

    I’ve read some really good reviews with Clarisonic. I’m glad you’ve found a combination that works for you.

    Yup, I don’t like the idea of throwing away products too – even if they’re given to me – it’s too wasteful. And a part of me is like you, sometimes thinking that perhaps there would be some miracle by the time I finish using the products. ?

  30. sesame says:

    Thank you for the award! I’ll take a look soon. ? I have no idea about beauty concoctions for furry, four-legged friends though. Heh.

  31. stella says:

    for me, i expect to feel what the skincare does literally overnight–if it’s supposed to hydrate, i *want* to feel a discernible difference when i wake up…if it’s supposed to be anti-aging, i want to feel like my skin is smoother. after all, a new product should make some difference in the first usage, no matter how little. however, i don’t expect to see obvious results until 2-3 weeks later.

  32. sesame says:

    So you expect overnight? Actually, that’s not expecting too much. I expect some improvements too but I try to give two weeks for some adjustments. Anyway, usually, those that worked for me would yield me results in a couple of days.

  33. Amanda says:

    Oh, it’s an interesting question. For me, it usually depends on how a product claims itself to be. But I am so disappointed to find out that many brightening and anti eye wrinkle products are completely useless or hardly noticeable even after using the whole product. I wonder whether there are any anti eye wrinkle product that are effective and not too expensive.

  34. Cass says:

    I normally give the products 2 weeks max to show me the results. Haha. I know its kinda impatient of me.
    But, normally if the products really work, they work within days, or overnight.
    I’ve tried this hyped korean skin care brand sulwhasoo and it gives me glowing dewy skin overnight. Been using it for months now. Haha. And now, the fickle minded me trying to find a replacement despite the product being so good to my sensitive skin. Guess I am just not loyal to any particular brand. And kinda impatient too.

  35. sesame says:

    I also find anti-wrinkle cream less efficient. It depends. For brightening, either they work or they don’t. And eye cream, I’m still waiting to find a good one myself.

  36. sesame says:

    You’re not alone. Most of us are impatient and try to hunt for that miracle product. That’w how the brands earn our money too…exploit our weakness. ?

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