It was shocking to find that there was very little information on the testing process of skincare in terms of reviews. Which is why I am writing out my process, to not only give you ideas on how to test your own products; but to be completely transparent.


Background Information

Now before we delve into the actual process, I wanted to go over some things that you should know. One of these things is skin turn-over rate, which is the rate in which our skin sheds dead skin cells (desquamation). Science terms aside, what this means is that you get a new face every 28-40 days (depending on age, lifestyle, etc); which is why often its recommended to use a product for a full month before deciding if it works or not.

While this general rule of thumb works well; we’re going to dive deeper for a better comprehensive review. I stumbled across this article by Stylecaster and it BLEW MY MIND. The information made a lot of sense to me and I truly feel that it makes a difference in how I review my products.

Now they didn’t mention every type of product out there but it’s better than the average 30 days; which we can always refer back to on products that aren’t written about.

Length of Testing Process

Cleanser: 30 Days

Due to the fact that cleansers are washed off in a matter of minutes after application; it will take approximately a month of daily use to see results.

Serum: 6 to 8 Weeks

This is one of the reasons I am so glad I stumbled across that article. If I had started testing a serum for the usual month and nothing happened? Well that wouldn’t have been fair to you guys, to me, or to the product. Now unfortunately, the article doesn’t dive into why serums take a hot minute to show results; but (and I am totally inferring here) that the reason is because serums contain smaller molecules allowing it to penetrate deeper into the skin.

Now while I couldn’t find how deep it penetrates, I would assume it penetrates to (or close enough) to the dermis. The reason why I assume this is because as a skin-care specialist (or esthetician) my job is to use products on the epidermis to affect change in the dermis (dermatologists work directly with the dermis).

Retinols and Retinoids: 10 Weeks for Over-the-Counter Products; 4 to 6 Weeks for Prescription

Prescription skin-care will almost always display results faster than over-the-counter products.

Eye Cream: 6 to 8 Weeks (If at All)

Eye cream is often one of those preventative products that honestly are hard to tell if it gives results (unless it’s moisturizing). It’s more often a leap of faith.

Moisturizer: Instantly, with Full Results After 2 Weeks

You know how your skin feels after a good face mask? It’s pretty much the same with moisturizers the two show results pretty early on.

Dark Spot Treatments: 3 to 4 Weeks

Treatment products are often concentrated in their ingredients which means they will show results pretty quickly; if it doesn’t then it’s time to ditch it.

Acne Treatments: Anywhere from 24 Hours to 12 Weeks

There are a whole lot of acne treatments out there. As a rule of thumb, prescribed treatments will work faster; over the counter products require vigorous usage and any treatments should be given time to work. There is not a miracle cure all in seconds (that we know of anyway).

Cleansing Brushes: 3 Weeks

When I saw this on the list; I have to be honest I was not expecting it; but as with everything, it’s not all created equal. The thing to note is that if you break out it’s because the brush is helping your skin shed quicker and so acne is coming up to the surface (purging). If the acne lingers and/or worsens; the brush is over-exfoliating your skin and you should stop use. This is why you shouldn’t use a brush with an exfoliant; it can cause microscopic tears in your skin. It’s safer to use gentle pressure with your fingers to exfoliate.

Testing Process

  • Patch Test
    • I’ll be honest I normally never do patch tests for new products. However, because these are products I’m testing to review for you guys it’s the first thing I do now. A patch test makes sure there aren’t any adverse reactions. You smear a bit of product on your wrist or inside elbow (I prefer inside elbow) and leave it for 24 hours.
  • pH test
    • pH is a difficult subject to grasp but it’s important to keep in mind when it comes to skincare. I use pH strips which aren’t as accurate as their digital counterparts; but it does the job and is cheap. See my pH blog post to see why I test the pH of products.


I use these strips to test the pH of products for an approximate pH indicator.


  • Deciding time period.
    • I always look at my calendar to see what products I’m currently testing to make sure that I will be able to tell if there are any changes in my skin condition as a result of the product.
  • Keeping products the same.
    • I always make sure that I keep use of the products currently in use and that nothing changes besides the specific product being tested. This is the controlled variable, and makes it easier to distinguish if there are any adverse reactions.
  • Now we test!
  • Keep track of progress
    • I use the app GoodNotes on my iPad (which has a dedicated notebook to testing) to record my testing progress and results. I record what results its suppose to have, the pH, any relevant details in the product description and I record the progress depending on how long the product should be tested.

      This is one of my product testing pages.
  • Review
    • Finally, once the time period is over, I write my review and I share it.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post and don’t forget to check out my social media and Youtube for more content.


Until next time, stay wonderfully you.


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