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How to know if your skincare is actually working

How to know if your skincare is actually working
PHOTO: Pexels

It’s easy to spot all the signs when our skincare isn’t working. Breakouts, rashes, and irritation to name a few. But knowing if our skincare is actually working is where things start to get blurry.

We speak with Dr Gladys Teo, Head of R&D for Heure and ést.lab, to learn about the signs to look for.

How long it takes for you to see visible effects on your skin depends largely on ingredient dosage, type of ingredient and formulation, and how your skin responds to these factors.

As Dr Teo shares, “As each person has a very unique skin condition, the results vary even when using the same skincare. However, in general, a skincare product that works well for you would affect a positive and noticeable change on your skin with ongoing and consistent use.”

For anti-ageing products

While it’s idealistic to assume that anti-ageing products work instantly, Dr Teo shares that your skin should feel younger.

Within a short period of one to two weeks, your skin should feel and look smoother and more plumped, as it also feels more hydrated and moisturised.

If the product consists of anti-wrinkle ingredients, it is realistic to expect that an effective formula can soften the appearance of some wrinkles and reduce the depth of wrinkles after two to four weeks, and gradually start to diminish over longer periods of usage.

We recommend: Heure Ageless Serum, $190 (30 ml)

This supercharged serum promises to minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles within seven days all while boosting collagen production.

Heure’s Ageless Serum has encapsulated anti-ageing peptides which are quick to penetrate the skin, remaining in the dermis layer for up to 24 hours

For hydrating products

For normal skin types, hydrating products should trap moisture and prevent moisture loss from your skin. You’ll know it’s working once after application and your skin should feel moisturised throughout the day.


Another factor to take note of, Dr Teo shares, when hydrating ingredients such as low molecular weight hyaluronic acid are able to reach into the epidermis to ‘plump’ the skin, you may see that your fine lines and wrinkles are slightly diminished.

For dry skin types, using a suitable moisturiser can also bring about the effects mentioned above.

Keep in mind that using a moisturiser is one of the most important things to have in your skincare routine, and using it consistently every day can over time help build a stronger skin barrier.

Dr Teo explains that you’ll know you have a healthy skin barrier when the sensation of skin sensitivity starts to decrease. Look out for signs of less redness, itchiness, dryness, flaking, acne, and more resilience to using a wide range of skincare products.

We recommend: Glow Recipe Banana Souffle Moisture Cream, $60 (50 ml)

This soothing lightweight moisturiser helps to hydrate and calm the skin’s barrier with the help of banana and magnesium.

Blended with Centella Asiatica, chia, and turmeric, this lightweight moisturiser helps to reset and replenish the skin with a healthy-looking glow.

For brightening products

Most of us wish that there would be a quick formula for diminishing pigmentation and skin dullness. Unfortunately, there is no magic skincare formula that can safely make this happen overnight.

Dr Teo advises that it is realistic to expect brightening products to take up to four to eight weeks to take effect.

This is because it takes 28 days for our skin to renew itself. Effective brightening formulas penetrate into the skin’s dermis to reduce the production of melanin, gradually revealing a new skin layer after.


Keep in mind that even if you’re using anti-ageing and brightening products simultaneously, it’s important to also maintain healthy skin with a healthy lifestyle. Case in point: minimising exposure of your skin to UV with sunscreen or wearing a hat. Otherwise, it can counteract with your use of any skincare product.

We recommend: Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum Complexion Correcting 15th Anniversary (Limited Edition), $132 (50 ml)

This powerful serum brightens and evens the complexion with Caudalie’s patented Viniferine. This ingredient is 62 times more effective than Vitamin C and helps to boost radiance while evening the complexion.

This article was first published in The Singapore Women's Weekly.

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