Hero Skincare ingredients - How long do they take to work?

Hero Skincare ingredients - How long do they take to work?

When it comes to skincare, the sheer number of options and individual ingredients available today can make shopping for the right products extremely challenging.

When you put a lot of work into your skincare routine, it is frustrating when you don't see results right away. After all, good things do not happen overnight.

To help you choose the right skincare ingredients, we've created a guide to the most potent ingredients and how they can benefit you. Know more about skincare heroes that will provide the most immediate results and which ones are well worth the wait.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, has powerful antioxidant properties. It prevents pigmentation and redness by shielding against UV and infrared radiation, as well as toxins from the environment. Research within the skincare industry point to the fact that Vitamin C usually takes four to eight weeks to have noticeable improvements in the tone and texture of your skin.

When you apply carefully and layer with a good moisturizer, vitamin C products might get to work within a few weeks. But, if you have significant hyperpigmentation, it may take up to three months to see some real progress.


The two most common hydroxy acids include glycolic acid, lactic acid, and salicylic acid. Both are chemical exfoliants. BHA refers to beta hydroxy acid and AHA refers to alpha hydroxy acid. AHA is mostly used when you have rough, dry, and patchy skin. BHA is better for those with oily/combination skin with concerns about blackheads and acne.

AHA and BHA are chemical exfoliants that help in discarding our dead skin cells by dissolving their cellular bonds. AHAs and BHAs both work as exfoliants, but the way they work is very different. BHA can help you if you have some aging or wrinkle concerns.

They are also kind of soothing so if you have sensitive skin, you can use them too. Salicylic acid is the most common form of BHAs that are often present in cleansers and toners, and act as a skin peeling agent with antibacterial functions.

AHAs are known for their ability to dissolve dead skin cells and stimulate the skin's natural renewal process. They’ve been known to help build collagen and promote cell regeneration. Some common skincare AHAs are tartaric acid, glycolic acid, citric acid, and lactic acid.


Niacinamide is often considered a wonder ingredient with multiple benefits for skin health. Niacinamide is another name for Vitamin B3. It absorbs easily, protects skin from environmental stress, reduces excess oil production, prevents dark spots, improves skin hydration, and strengthens the skin's barrier. It keeps the skin from getting extremely dry.

This ingredient is incredibly popular with dermatologists and skincare fanatics as it enhances the skin's elasticity and minimizes the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and pores.

It is an absolutely holy-grail ingredient if you’re looking for a versatile ingredient. If given the time and attention it deserves, it can help address a number of skin concerns. You should also be aware that the speed at which it works for you depends on how often you apply it, how much of it you use, and which problems you're trying to solve.

After eight weeks of continued use of niacinamide, anti-aging effects such as wrinkle reduction and improvements in skin elasticity began to kick in. Studies around the world have shown that a 6% niacinamide cream can diminish redness and blotchiness within four weeks of application if used twice daily.

For niacinamide to start working at the cellular level, you have to continue to use it regularly to see a visible improvement.

The effects of niacinamide are often not seen right away, as it works at the cellular level, just like retinol. If you follow a skincare regimen, your skin may become more supple and you may see fewer wrinkles appearing. The presence of niacinamide in your skin can help increase collagen production by reducing wrinkle-causing sugar proteins in your skin.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Organic peroxides, such as benzoyl peroxide (BPO), are organic compounds suitable for acne-prone skin. It is often available as an over-the-counter drug in different concentrations such as gels, spot treatments, and cleansers. As a treatment and preventative for acne, benzoyl peroxide penetrates hair follicles, kills acne-causing bacteria, and reduces inflammation. It often gets to work immediately when applied to the skin. But keep in mind that this ingredient also has some side effects. For instance, benzoyl peroxide may irritate the skin, if you’re not being careful. It's generally better for those with sensitive skin to use rinse-off products or benzoyl peroxide that's of lower strength. Consult your doctor before you use benzoyl peroxide.
Hyaluronic Acid

As a humectant, hyaluronic acid keeps the moisture in your skin locked in. As a result, your skin looks and feels hydrated because it pulls moisture from the surrounding environment. Hyaluronic acid works mostly on the surface of the skin, allowing it to hydrate in minutes. Your skin looks supple and refreshed. You may even notice a temporary reduction in fine lines. A serum with a low to medium molecular weight penetrates the skin a bit slower, but still a lot faster for dewier, bouncy skin. Hyaluronic acid of larger weights actually forms a film over the skin to attract water, so these products start working more quickly.
Hyaluronic acid begins working immediately upon application to the skin, giving it a plumper, more hydrated appearance after just a few minutes.


Retinol is a miracle worker for most skincare fanatics as well as dermatologists. This viral skincare hero helps fight aging, acne, pigmentation, dark spots and so much more. Because skin cells replace themselves every 28-40 days, introducing new skincare ingredients into your routine should take 4 weeks before you see any improvement. During use, it stimulates collagen synthesis, reduces pigment production, boosts elastic tissue, and promotes healthy skin growth. You can use it to lessen fine lines and increase skin firmness. If your derm doctor has prescribed you a retinoid, stay on top of things, as retinoid takes longer to work so before you see results your condition might get worse for a bit. With retinol, it’s always good to use it for the long term as it takes between six and 12 months of regular use to see positive results.

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