Each one of us was born with our very own personal body suit, our skin. It is the largest organ that we possess. It grows and changes as we grow and change. It has a very important job to do, and that is to protect our inside from infection and germs. Our skin is constantly exposed to injury, whether from UV exposure, pollution, or physical injuries like scratches, scrapes, and other wounds. It is perpetually making new skin cells to repair itself. It’s always on the defensive, just waiting to mobilize the troops if damage is detected. In fact, our skin fully regenerates itself roughly every 27 days!
Unfortunately, each time our skin regenerates itself, it loses a little bit of it’s luster. We can help keep it fresh and youthful by taking care of it. The most important thing you can do is apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every single day. I have said this before and I will keep saying it because it is that important! If you don’t take this first step, the signs of ageing like fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone will keep getting worse!
So, now that we are applying sunscreen every day what else can we do to keep our skin healthy and youthful? We can apply skincare products with key ingredients. Once these products are applied we expect to see results, especially if we have paid a lot of money for them. So, when can you expect to see results from your skincare products?
The most disappointing news about skincare products is that they do not work overnight. It took years for skin damage to appear so we can’t really expect to apply a magic cream and wake up with ageless skin. We need to have a little patience. It takes time and consistency to see results. All good things come to those who wait.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to protect our skin from free radical damage like sun spots, fine lines, and wrinkles. It also helps to lighten existing sun spots and boosts collagen production. You may start to see results after a few weeks of daily use but maximum results can be seen after 2-4 months. The wait is worth it. You will see an improvement in skin tone and texture and your complexion will be brighter. For more information, check out my Vitamin C post.
This is a power house ingredient that works wonders. Retinols are available without a prescription and retinoids require a prescription. They increase the rate of cell turnover which stimulates new collagen production, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, diminish sun/age spots, and help prevent and treat acne. When first starting to use a retinol/retinoid most people experience redness, flaking, and/or purging (pimples that were lurking below the skin waiting to escape). If this happens try mixing it with a moisturizer and applying it every other or every third night. Gradually increase to nightly application as your skin gets used to it, and those annoying symptoms will subside. Expect to see results after six to eight weeks but you can expect your best results after 3 to 6 months. For more information, you can read my retinol/retinoid post.
If you have dark spots, the most common lightener is hydroquinone. This ingredient blocks melanin production in our skin. You will likely notice a more even skin tone in approximately one month but your best results will be seen after 3 months. I wrote a post about skin lighteners if you want to check it out.
It’s important to keep in mind that everyone is different and everyone’s skin responds to different products in different ways. Some people may experience results much sooner than others and some may not experience the results they were hoping for. The one thing that is true for everyone is that if you don’t use sunscreen every day, you will not see improvement, no matter what products you use.