How Long Does It Take for Skin Care Products to Absorb?

Using skin care products for most people is a simple matter of slapping on lotions and creams one on top of one another, and they are done. While that may serve its purpose, it is best to have a little bit of care, especially because it is our skin we are taking care of.

One of the most important things to consider when using skin care products is the time it takes for them to absorb. So, how long does it take for skin care products to absorb?

It takes about 5 to 20 minutes for skin care products to fully absorb. The time it takes depends on the type of product and your skin type. The general rule is to wait until the previous application feels dry to the touch before applying the next product.

Several other factors can vary the time it takes for a product to absorb, including:

  • How thick or thin you apply the product
  • How you apply the product – massage in or just lightly apply
  • Your age
  • Your skin type – oily, dry, or combination
  • Season – e.g., drier months like winter
  • Ingredients in the product
  • Oil or water-based product
  • Type of product: gel, cream, lotion, serum, etc.

Read on to learn more about how long it takes for skin care products to absorb into the skin and how to make them absorb more effectively!

How Long Does It Take for Skin Care Products to Absorb?

Exposure to sunlight, pollution, and a myriad of other conditions that speed up our skin aging have led to the rise of skincare products to combat and prolong these aging effects. It is a multi-billion dollar industry, and as such, produced almost endless choices of products out there.

The general rule is to make sure that the product that you will layer on feels dry and you feel that there are no more residues to the touch. It could be anywhere between 30 seconds to a minute or two, depending on how viscous the product is.

If you are unsure, you can wait about 5 minutes before applying the next product.

A chemical burn is not one of the most appealing things to look at, especially on your face. Most skincare products work well with others, and yet some may actually have a problem with other products, creating more harm than good.

Because of this danger of inadvertently mixing stuff up and your regimen becoming harmful, it is of the utmost importance that one knows exactly what they are dealing with, especially with skincare products. Now, there is no need to be alarmed; these things only happen when you do not know what you are doing, and we are here to remedy that.

Factors That Speed up the Absorption Rate of Skin Care Products

It is not so much as how long a skincare product is absorbed into the pores of your skin, but equally as important is how you take care of and store these products themselves.

The hierarchy with which you apply them is also another factor that can help you get the most out of your skincare routine. Yes, there is an exact order as to which products you apply first and last. Below are some tips on how to get the most of your skincare products:

Apply Them in the Correct Order

No, you do not have to memorize chemical compositions for this but rather apply the products from the thinnest to the thickest of consistencies. This way, you can make sure that the previous product will not be blocking your pores to receive the next application.

As a general rule, the hierarchy should be something like this: toner, serum, face oil, moisturizer, sunscreen, and then makeup. Depending on your skin condition, you may not need any toner or moisturizer, especially if one or two items in there already contain moisturizer or sunscreen, for that matter.

Exfoliation Is Definitely Your Friend

Perhaps just doing this alone will allow you to always maintain that healthy and young-looking skin you have always wanted. Making sure that your skin regularly renews dead skin cells is one sure way of making sure that your pores are not blocked.

But make sure that you do not use harsh exfoliants and just stick to a gentler exfoliant. Your skin type will dictate how often you should do this. Also, those with oily skin can afford to do it as much as daily, while those having drier skin can only do it weekly.

Store Your Skincare Products Properly

This is perhaps one of the most taken-for-granted things when it comes to using these products. For instance, most of these chemicals lose their effectiveness when left in direct sunlight. This will unknowingly reduce how well they absorb into your skin and possibly even cause some damage. Store them as you would medical supplies, in a cupboard or a medicine cabinet for good measure.

Know When and How to Apply Them

Exfoliants are the most commonly abused item when it comes to being time-sensitive. Use these only at night as these products will make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Another aspect is that skin dries up faster when in colder temperatures, so you may need moisturizer when you are sleeping.

Aside from this, know how to knead the product into your skin. The direction of the kneading motion will certainly have an effect in the long run. If you want a lifted look, for instance, massage the cream in upward sweeping motions, gently coaxing facials muscles and skin to be uplifted. Gently kneading or massaging the product into your skin will also help the product absorb better.

See the below video for more insight into the time it takes products to absorb:

Products That Need to Be Absorbed by Themselves

While our skin can generally absorb multiple kinds of nutrients all at once, there are some notable exceptions:

  • Benzoyl peroxide-based blemish treatments that are antimicrobial and has pore cleaning properties
  • Acne medication, whether ointment, serum or cream, included here also are retinoids and retinoid-like products
  • Vitamin C collagen and antioxidant serum, to promote collagen growth
  • Sunscreen or Sun Protection Factor (SPF) products

Blemish treatments usually have benzoyl peroxide as their base, and these need to be as dry as possible before putting on any other cream on top of it. Ensuring that this treatment is absorbed first will avoid it being diluted, which may diminish its effectiveness in the process. Benzoyl peroxide is most effective when absorbed on its own, without any additional compounds along with it.

Acne medication is also something that needs to be considered during the application, whether in serum, cream, or ointment form. It needs to be almost completely dried off or absorbed fully before the application of other creams. Their effectiveness can be diminished when mixed in with other creams prematurely.

Vitamin C is also another exception to the general rule of simply slapping on everything without waiting. Vitamin C is pretty acidic, and it is just common sense to wait for it to settle down into your pores before adding a layer on top.

Sunscreen should be applied only when the rest of your products are well-absorbed. Ensure to wait about 10 minutes before applying it. It protects your skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays and, therefore, should be on top of everything else.

Conclusion – How Long Does It Take for Skin Care Products to Absorb?

So how long does it take for skin care products to absorb? While there are no specific timeframes as products differ and vary in their consistency, the gauge is often how you feel about it. You can actually feel it if it is already absorbed into your skin. If it is dry to the touch, that means that the nourishment is already absorbed by the pores of the skin.

If you are still unsure, wait about 5 to 10 minutes before applying the next product.

When applying multiple products, their consistency may get in the way of the other. These may tend to roll up or bar up when applied immediately one after the other, so in this case, make sure that the other one is dry to the touch before the application of other creams.

Getting the most out of your arsenal of beauty and skincare products is really not as complicated as you may think. It can be broken down into these three simple things, take care of the skincare products themselves and know how to properly store them to make them as effective as they should be.

Know the hierarchy of their application to make sure that each component will be absorbed fully by the skin. And lastly, know the best way to effectively apply them, look at it as applying light massage to your facial muscles as you apply them to your skin.

People, men, and women alike need to take care of their skin. While there are no complicated rules to follow in a regimen, it is best to look at some of the guidelines that were enumerated above in order to maximize the effects of skincare products.

Skincare is always going to be more than skin deep, as the way we look on the outside is the first indication of our personality on the inside. It is always agreeable to put our best face forward, and knowing how to best take care of our skin brings us that much closer to achieving our goals.