What Happens To Skin When You Introduce A New Formula?
The skin contains three main layers: the epidermis is the outermost layer, the dermis lies deeper, and the hypodermis lies at the bottom. Introducing a new skincare product to your routine takes time for the body to interact just like when starting a new medication or round of supplements.
Skin is the largest organ; its primary function is protecting the body from external environments. The brick wall that serves as the main barrier is the stratum corneum, one of the five distinct parts of the epidermis and the layer that skincare often impacts the most. The stratum corneum is responsible for fighting bacteria, dehydration and various toxins, and it does so thanks to a system of durable corneocytes, linking desmosomes, and barrier-like lipids.
This complex layering is maintained by a constant shedding and replacing of cells. The process is called cell turnover, and it takes between 14 and 84 days depending on the age of the individual and the condition of the skin. By refreshing on a regular cycle, the body ensures that the skin's protective abilities remain in place while also keeping the complexion's appearance radiant and clear. If the balance is upset, blemishes, dry patches and dullness are soon to follow.
Introducing skincare into your daily routine and following healthy rituals can aid the body's natural processes by adding moisture, hydration, and detoxifying ingredients that help regulate the cells. However, don't expect miracle results, as it takes time for these treatments to work.
How Long Should I Test New Skincare?
The short answer is to wait about a month to see how you get on with a new skincare product. Remember all that skin science I just talked about? It takes between 28 and 42 days for adult skin cells (age 20-50) to turn over, so until this process occurs fully, observable results will be minimal. 'Instant' effects are rare, so it's worth waiting to let the ingredients work.
However, if you notice a formula is causing irritation or isn't compatible with your skin type, don't be afraid to stop using it. If your skin feels tight, itchy, or sore, or your complexion is looking red or full of acne, you may be experiencing sensitivity from a particular ingredient. Switching your ritual can lead to temporary blemishes, but there should never be burning or long-lasting issues.
If you observe any complications, it is definitely time to pause and let your skin rest.
If your skin is not experiencing sensitivity, keep up with it and test for at least a month before making any judgments. For long-term effectiveness to be noticed, though, you'll want to keep going with the routine for about three months, as this allows any cellular action occurring within deeper layers to be observed (such as changes to fine lines or pigmentation).
When Will I See Results From A New Skincare Product?
Results often depend on the type of product, the ingredients, and the intended treatment. As a rule of thumb, formulas that primarily impact the epidermis will show results first. At the same time, targeted treatments that need to work at a cellular level will take longer to reveal their effectiveness.
For example, a cleanser designed to remove daily dirt, makeup, and buildup will reveal its effectiveness immediately. Does it melt away your foundation and mascara, or must you follow up with another product? If it's not cleaning your skin, it won't offer results no matter how long you test.
Other formulations can take much longer, so results will be slow to show. Skincare products like serums and oils take around a month to reveal observable differences and up to three to see the full effect on wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and brightness. Of course, you should notice an improvement in nourishment and skin softness quickly, but true transformations in texture or radiance will need time. Once that 28-day cycle has passed and those brand new cells from the stratum corneum surface, it should be smooth sailing.