4 signs your skincare products are actually working, according to a dermatologist.

Your skin has been in a bit of a mood lately. Carrying on like a pork chop, screaming for attention and being a real P in the A. So, you decide to treat yourself to some new skincare products. A whole new routine, if you don't mind.

You've been using it for a few weeks now, and your skin looks pretty good (no, honestly it does! It really does). But you're kinda sitting back and waiting for that oooh! ahhh! moment.

Come to think of it, how do you know if your skincare products are actually working? 

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We all know that consistency is key when it comes to skincare, but how long does it take to actually see the full results of a skincare product on your skin?

According to dermatologist Dr Cara McDonald from Complete Skin Specialists, a coupla weeks won't cut it. It takes longer than that to see results, you sweet fools.

"Most people will notice an improvement from a good skincare regime within three months, especially if they have problem skin which they are hoping to improve," she said.


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If that sounds like a long time to wait, well it is, Judith. Too long, in fact. And we're nosy little rats, who want to know exactly when things are working.

So, we asked Dr McDonald to break down four of the common signs your skincare products are working. Here's what she said:

You notice less congestion.

One of the easiest ways to tell if your current skincare routine is working is if your skin is clearing up.

"If your skin needs repair or has a problem to start with, it is easy to notice when your skincare is working because you will see a reduction in your skin issues," said McDonald.

So, if you've been dealing with congestion and breakouts on the reg, and you stop experiencing these issues, this is a good sign that things are working well. 


"For example, if you struggle with oiliness, blocked pores, acne or congestion then you should see a reduction in pimples or breakouts, reduced oil production and generally less inflamed looking skin," adds McDonald.

If your skin looks less bumpy and more uniform in colour (reduced redness, less marks and discolouration etc.), this means your skin is balanced, hydrated, and regulating itself like an absolute champ. Go, you good thing.


Your skin feels hydrated, but not oily.

According to Dr McDonald, if your skin is looking all hydrated and radiant, this is a good sign your skin is happy with the products you have in your routine.

"If you suffer from dryness, flakiness or dull crepy-looking skin then you would expect to see improved texture, a decrease in fine wrinkles and increased luminosity if your skincare is working," she said.

"Good skincare will give dewy and hydrated but not oily looking skin. All in all, you should notice increased skin radiance."

Struggling to tell if your skin is feeling hydrated and glowy or just really freakin' oily? 

If your skin is on the oily side of things, you'll usually feel like there's some kind of film over your face (and you'll be shiny all over), whereas hydration will make your skin feel comfortable and not flaky or itchy (and your skin will look glowy in specific areas, like the top of your cheekbones and cupid's bow). 

We good?

Your skin doesn't feel itchy or irritated.

Is your skin usually dry, itchy and b**chy? Well, if it's currently free of any redness, pain and irritation - things are going well.

"If your skin is sensitive and you struggle to use certain skincare and ingredients on the face without stinging, burning or flushing then you would expect to see an improvement in all these symptoms with the right skin care."

While it's common for some products to hand out a side of irritation and redness (hey, retinol), if you feel like this reaction is getting worse after two to three weeks of using specific products, stop using whatever it is (like, now) and see a dermatologist. Kay?


Your skin feels smooth and plump.

When it comes to knowing if your anti-ageing skincare products are actually doing the job or just slacking off and having consecutive smoko breaks, this is when it gets a little trickier. 

"It can be a little more difficult to judge how much we are preventing and protecting the skin to reduce premature ageing with skincare and strict sun protection."

However! There are *some* things you should start to notice in the short-term that will give you a pretty good idea if particular products or ingredients are hard at work.

Dr McDonald said, "You should see generalised changes such as a smoother texture, decreased fine lines, smaller looking pores and decreased pigmentation."

Generally, the preventative gains are seen in the longer term, where you should see a "slowing of ageing processes when compared to similar aged peers or family members."

"I frequently say to my patients that even if you don’t see anything dramatic in the short term, if you continue with good quality sun protection and active skincare ingredients to reduce premature ageing then you will have attained a huge benefit at five and 10 years time."

Feature image: Getty

Have you noticed changes in your skin due to your skin routine? What products are you currently using? Share with us in the comment section below.