“When you first start using a product and you’re improving your skin to where it should be, that’s where you see the most amount of benefit,” London-based doctor and cosmetic formulator Vanita Rattan, MBBS, says in a recent TikTok video. “After that, improvement is going to be less dramatic.” Think about a time when you introduced a brightener (like vitamin C or niacinamide) into your routine—glowy skin ensued, no? Over time, that initial wow-factor may wane just a bit, but it doesn’t mean your product itself has stopped working. 

“Reaction and being active are not necessarily the same,” adds board-certified dermatologist Ava Shamban, M.D., founder of SKINFIVE. “You do not need to see a reaction to have a metabolic or cellular skin benefit.” (Read: Just because your skin doesn’t tingle doesn’t mean a product isn’t doing its job!) So trust that those actives—the vitamin C, the niacinamide, what have you—are still doing the work, even if your skin doesn’t provide an immediate response. 

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