This is when anti-aging products start slowing down the clock, according to dermatologists.

By Claudia Fisher
Updated August 08, 2019

We live in a society accustomed to instant satisfaction. You can have almost anything delivered right to your doorstep in minimal time, and you can connect to the other side of the world with the push of a few buttons. We're jaded into thinking nothing is too big an ask not to get practically instantaneously, including changing our bodies.

From weight loss to evening our complexions, we want results and we want them right away. Unfortunately, that's not really how it works. With anti-aging products, no matter if you've got the cream with the highest price tag or a hidden gem from a Seoul drug store, time is a major factor.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, a dermatology group with more than 20,000 members, it's never too late to benefit from some anti-aging best practices, but you shouldn't expect to look a decade younger overnight. First of all, a serum is not a face lift. Second of all, slow and steady apparently wins this anti-aging race. The AAD points out on its site, "A moisturizer can plump up fine lines in a few days, but most products take at least six weeks to work."

Six weeks, though, is the baseline, and some anti-aging products can take up to three months to kick in. Your best bet is to use the products in line with their directions consistently and, over time, your skin will start to change.

Be wary of marketing labels that claim "immediate" anti-aging effects because there's little regulation on what brands can and cannot claim on their bottles, and even scientific-sounding terms carry little weight. "Clinically proven," for example, just means consumers have tried out the product, not that the FDA weighed in or that there were any clinical trials.

If you need a tangible motivator to keep at your beauty routine, try taking pictures of your face before using a new anti-aging product so you have a starting point to measure your results against.

I imagine a future world where something shaped like a pencil eraser gets rid of wrinkles and pimples on the spot, but for now I'll just do my creams and treatments and check back in six weeks.