How Long Skincare Ingredients Take To Work

A common query when starting a new skincare regime, or trying a new product is – “How long will it take to work?”. It can be confusing to get your head around each ingredient in your skincare, and understand how long it’ll be before you see results. We’ve rounded up the common skincare ingredients, and how long it will take for them to work wonders on your skin.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids

AHAs are perfect for exfoliating dry and sensitive skin. They can help with age spots, skin discoloration and the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles! The most commonly used AHAs you will see in your skincare items are glycolic acid, mandelic acid and lactic acid.
When you’ll see results: You’ll be able to see a brighter complexion straight away, although it will take 4-6 months of consistent use for AHA’s to stimulate the production of collagen and minimize the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
Some of our favourite AHA containing ZO® products include GlyocgentOffects® TE-Pads and Invisapeel.


Ceramides are a family of waxy lipid molecules composed of sphingosine and a fatty acid. Ceramides are found in high concentrations within the cell membrane and comprise the bulk of the lipid layer, which holds the skin’s cells together in a firm, smooth structure. They maintain the moisture-retention ability of the skin. A decrease in the level of ceramides results in the skin becoming dry and hard, leading to fine lines and wrinkles and an impaired barrier function.
When you’ll see results: Ceramides work on the surface of the skin on the lipid layer, so you’ll see results almost immediately.
Some of our favourite ceramide containing products include Oraser Body Emulsion and Ommerse® Overnight Recovery Crème

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic Acid boosts skin’s moisture content and helps prevent moisture loss. Found in high concentrations in the skin, hyaluronic acid provides continuous moisture to the skin by binding up to 1,000 times its weight in water. It gives a smoother, dewier complexion.
When you’ll see results: Hyaluronic Acid gets to work straight away, and can give the appearance of plumper skin in minutes.
Some of our favourite hyaluronic acid products include Liprebuild and Hydrafirm.

Liprebuild zo medical


Caffeine works to reduce puffiness around the eyes, and also reducing the look of dark circles.
When you’ll see results: Caffeine can reduce tired looking eye in a few hours. You can find it in ZO Medical Hydrafirm Eye Brightening Repair Crème 

Hydrafirm Eye Brightening Repair Creme

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a great ingredient for treating acne and oily skin. It works by exfoliating and cleansing pores, as well as calming inflammation.
When you’ll see results: To get full results, use a product with salicylic acid for about 12 weeks.
Offects® Exfoliating Cleanser, Oraser® Microderm Hand Renewal and Offects® Te-Pads Acne Pore Treatment all contain salicylic acid.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C works as a antioxidant, stopping the production of pigment to fade dark spots and even complexions.
When you’ll see results: You’ll start to notice a difference after about three weeks of introducing Vitamin C into your skincare regime.
ZO Skin Health Ossential® C-Bright Serum provides a potent dose of pure vitamin C that is stabilised to brighten and re-texturise the skin

c-bright zo medical


Retinol works to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as smoothing skin and improving tone.
When you’ll see results: Retinol can take a while to start working on your skin, as it affects epidermal renewal and collagen synthesis. Wait around 8-12 weeks for the first signs of improvement. You can find out more about retinol here.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl Peroxide is a high-strength acne treatment that kills bacteria that causes spots and blemishes, leading to a clear complexion.
When you’ll see results: It will take about three weeks for your skin to start to clear after starting to use benzoyl peroxide, with the full benefits after 12 weeks. You can find this ingredient in our ZO Medical Aknetrol.

Aknetrol Acne Treatment ZO Medical