I’m a few weeks into my Dermatica treatment plan now, and I don’t know how to tell if it’s working! Obviously, I’m not expecting my wrinkles to vanish overnight, but what signs should I be looking out for that my skin is changing?

Helen, 57, Oxford, Anti-Ageing

A: Congratulations on starting your Dermatica skin journey! If you’ve never used powerful active ingredients in your routine before, it can be quite daunting, and you’re probably quite eager to start seeing a difference. The good news is that your formula gets to work pretty quickly, so there’s some early changes you’ll be able to see, even before the long-term anti-ageing results. Let’s break down some of them, so you know what to watch out for.  

       1. Early irritation

At first, you may notice some irritation, like redness, dryness or peeling. Don’t worry, though – this is totally normal! It’s a sign that the ingredients are getting to work. If your irritation is quite severe, you can take a short break from your treatment and then gradually reintroduce it to your routine. You can also try buffering, an application technique where you use a thin layer of moisturiser before your formula to form a barrier on your skin. For more tips about managing irritation, check out our blog post

You also shouldn’t be concerned if you don’t experience irritation at all. Everyone’s skin reacts differently, and it doesn’t mean your treatment isn’t working!

        2. Smoother skin texture

Another sign is that your skin will both look and feel smoother. Even before visible changes start happening, you’ll notice your face is softer to the touch after a few months of treatment. When you start to see the difference, any fine lines or crepey texture should start to become less noticeable. If you wear makeup, foundation or powder will apply and sit more evenly, and it won’t collect or crease in certain areas throughout the day.

        3. Brighter complexion

Your skin will appear brighter — you should expect to see a more translucent look to your complexion, you’ll know it when you see it! As well as their powerful anti-ageing abilities, your formula’s active ingredients will be tackling inflammation and uneven tone, too. These bonus effects will leave your skin looking glowing and radiant, giving you an extra youthful boost. 

Remember, the most important thing about using your treatment is to be patient. As powerful as the ingredients in your formula are, they do their best work with long-term consistent application, so it may take a little while to see the results you’re looking for. 

You should start adapting to the active ingredients within the first few weeks, and once you’ve overcome any initial irritation, you’ll find your skin will be smoother and have a rosier glow. After 2–3 months, you might begin to see some fading of sun spots and softening of fine lines. It takes time to build new collagen, though, so full results may take up to 6–9 months. If you can handle higher retinoid strengths, you could see results sooner, but sticking to a consistent routine with a lower strength retinoid will get you results with patience!

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