How Long Does it Take to Change Your Skin?
Hello! I'm excited to bring you a blog that I was inspired to write after my recent continuing education retreat. I had the opportunity to attend three days of intensive skin science review with the lead educator from one of my product lines. Over three days we covered everything from skin histology to product knowledge, but the more we covered, the more a common theme started to emerge regarding skin transformation.
One of the most common questions estheticians get is "How long will this take before I start to notice a difference?" And while it's not a perfect answer, I do have an answer for you: About 28 Days for new products and home care routines. And about three to four months for professional treatments. Today we are mostly talking about the former, but I'll touch on professional care at the end.
So why 28 days? Let's dig a little deeper and I'll explain.
For starters, 28 days (give or take) is about the average number of days that it takes your skin to complete a full turnover cycle. Just like the rest of your body.
If you're a woman, you'll note that this is also similar to your menstrual cycle. If you've never taken the time to learn about the various phases of your cycle and how they relate to just about everything, I encourage you to do a little reading on the subject and maybe even start paying attention to how this relates to your own cycle. Tracking the shifts can unlock a lot of secrets for managing your skin and your life. But more on that another time. Today we are talking just about the skin.
Knowing that it takes 28 days for cell renewal to occur should be enough of a reason to always give your skin that much time, but the truth is that most of us are impatient when we want to see change in the skin.
So today I want to make a case for investing the 28 days, with just a little more food for thought.
Think of it in fitness terms
I wrote a whole blog about this last summer, but when you compare your skin to the rest of the body, workout metaphors are always apt.
Just as you wouldn't expect to see a change in your body after one or two workouts or just one week of eating healthier, you have to have the same level of patience with your skin. It can take multiple sessions with your new routine before you can expect to reap the benefits.
A lot happens in 28 days
Twenty-eight days is only a small drop in the bucket time-wise, but think about all the things that happen in 28 days. Your skin being your largest organ, its cells are being affected by every meal you've eaten, every hour of sleep you've gotten, your stress levels, every glass of water you drank or didn't drink over the last four weeks. You get the picture. Not to mention if you've traveled or undertaken any new lifestyle changes that might have an impact on your skin. All of these things accumulate and either support or take their toll on your skin cells. A grace period of 28 days to let the skin start reset, seems more than fair, when you look at it that way.
Consistency, consistency, consistency
If you are introducing your skin to a new product or routine, there is only one way to find out if it's going to work for your skin and that is to use it consistently. Knowing what we know now about body cycles and the skin's turnover, doesn't it seem reasonable to give it oh...about 28 days (if not more) to try it out? Results in skin care are rarely overnight miracles but rather the cumulative benefit of routinely treating your skin.
Also note that after 28 days of using a product you should start to notice results but that doesn't mean your issue will be completely resolved. Permanent change takes even more time and even more...you guessed it...consistency.
Your skin might need 28 days of rehab
Now we just talked about all the things the skin takes in over the course of 28 days, but what about all the stuff that it's releasing too? Prior to using a new product or making changes that could affect the skin, you probably used other products or treated something differently. Your skin takes time to purge old toxins and dead cells. You can help it along with regular care, exfoliation and professional treatments, but ultimately it will take time before it's completely overhauled. When it comes to your skin, out with the old and in with the new doesn't happen overnight.
Mistakes will be made
Habits take time to form. When you first start using a product or doing a new skin care step you are bound to forget or miss some days here and there. You might get halfway through the month and then discover a different way of doing things that works even better. And that's totally fine! But it may delay your results ever so slightly. By giving yourself a 28-day window just to get adjusted and into a flow state with your skin care, you'll be in a better position to reassess at the end of the four weeks. Determine what's working, what's not and how to proceed.
Over time, this will actually save you a lot more trial and error (and money!) because you'll know if your skin care is really working for you and you won't have to keep buying and trying new products.
So now what about facials and professional treatments?
I mentioned at the beginning that the time frame for professional treatments is about three to four months. These treatments can take slightly longer to yield visible change in persistent issues. Ideally, when utilizing advanced methods like peels, LED or advanced facial massage you want to come every couple or weeks or at least every...you guessed it...28 days.
Coupled with good home care, your skin may need to complete a couple of turnover cycles before you see a change in things like acne, texture or pigment. These are issues that didn't develop over the course of a couple of weeks, so they aren't likely going to go away that quickly either. A couple of months or even 28 days might seem like a long time when you're working hard on your skin and want to see a change, but remember that it's really only a small fragment of time to get to the results you want. I encourage you to be patient and kind with yourself. Give yourself credit for committing to the change and investing in your self care first. I promise it will pay off!