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When you will start seeing improvements

How quickly patients see improvement varies according to several factors - what you used previously; the ingredients, dose/concentration and frequency of your regimen; the severity and duration of the condition we are treating; age; and lifestyle. 

The rule of thumb is that it takes a minimum of one full skin-cell turnover (approximately 4 weeks) to see first results from skincare ingredients. In general, most patients see improvements as follows:

  • When using a retinoid, expect initial results to take 4 to 6 weeks and more pronounced results at 3 months. With continued use, additional results are seen in 10 to 12 months and thereafter.
  • When using hydroquinone, you will likely experience some darkening of spots at 3 to 4 weeks. Don't worry, darkening in this timeframe is to be expected and means the therapy is working. Thereafter, you will see progressive improvement maximizing at about 3 months. 
  • With benzoyl peroxide, you will see some improvement immediately. More complete acne clearing is seen around four weeks for mild acne and eight to 10 weeks for stubborn or resistant acne.”

  • For clindamycin, most patients start seeing improvement from 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Niacinamide is shown to yield initial results anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks, with more significant results 6 to 12 weeks. Timing varies based on the concern being treated. 
  • Azelaic acid can achieve improvements starting at four weeks with more results seen at three to four months.
  • Sulfur can help resolve mild acne in four weeks but can take up to three months for more complete results.
  • Metronidazole patients start seeing initial improvement in their rosacea in about 3 to 6 weeks with some advanced stages needing two to three months of care.  
Should your skin not respond in the timing mentioned above, we will reassess your profile and progress and can change up your prescription as needed.