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Skincare · June 2, 2021

How Long Skincare Really Takes to Work

The Ingredient: Alpha Hydroxy Acids

What It Does: This class of ingredients, including glycolic and lactic acids, exfoliates skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines.

When Youll See Results: Youll notice a more radiant complexion right away. Its anti-aging effects take longer to kick in, though: Using a product with AHA consistently for four to six months can help stimulate the production of collagen, minimizing the appearance of wrinkles.

Where to Find It: Sunday Riley Good Genes, Dr. Dennis Gross Peel Pads

The Ingredient: Ceramides

What It Does: These beneficial fatty compounds fill gaps between cells on the skins surface, hydrating and soothing dry skin, replacing ceramides skin naturally loses as you age.

When Youll See Results: Since ceramides work on the surface of your skin, they start working as soon as you smooth them on. Youll see results within minutes, Dr. Zeichner says.

Where to Find It: Dr. Jart Ceramide Cream, Sunday Riley Ice Cream

The Ingredient: Hyaluronic Acid

What It Does: Naturally found in your body, this compound helps pull water into the skin, hydrating and plumping for a smoother, dewier complexion.

When Youll See Results: Like ceramides, hyaluronic acid starts to work as soon as its applied. It can leave skin looking plumper in just a few minutes.

Where to find it: Derma E Hydrating Night Cream with Hyaluronic Acid, Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream

The Ingredient: Caffeine

What It Does: By constricting blood vessels in the skin, caffeine minimizes unwanted puffiness and can reduce the look of dark circles.

When Youll See Results: Put a caffeine-infused product on before enjoying a leisurely cup of coffee, and you should see results by the time youve taken the last sipit reduces the appearance of under-eye bags in a few hours.

Where to Find It: Keep 100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream, Clarks Botanicals Anti-Puff Eye Cream

The Ingredient: Salicylic Acid

What It Does: This common acne treatment fights blemishes by exfoliating, declogging pores, and calming inflammation.

When Youll See Results: When you use a product with salicylic acid, there are some immediate improvements, because it helps dry out pimples, Dr. Zeichner says. But getting the full blemish-busting effects takes about 12 weeks of regular use.

Where to find it: Mighty Patch Micropoint for Blemishes, Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil

The Ingredient: Vitamin C

What It Does: This potent antioxidant interferes with the production of pigment in the skin, fading dark spots.

When Youll See Results: Once you add vitamin C to your skincare regimen, you may start seeing noticeable improvements in three weeks. It can help significantly fade hyperpigmentation in about two months.

Where to find it: DERMA E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum, Sunday Riley C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum

The Ingredient: Retinol

What It Does: This anti-aging all-star minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, smooths skin, and improves tone.

When Youll See Results: Using retinol is a marathon, not a sprint. Dr. Zeichner tells his patients it takes 8 to 12 weeks to start seeing some improvement, and studies show continued improvement even at 52 weeks.

Where to find it: Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Serum, Kate Somerville Retinol Moisturizer

The Ingredient: Benzoyl Peroxide

What It Does: This go-to acne treatment kills off the bacteria that cause pimples, helping to prevent and heal blemishes and clear your complexion.

When Youll See Results: When you add a benzoyl peroxide product to your regimen, your skin will start to clear up in three weeks, and youll get the full anti-acne benefits after 12 weeks.

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