- What is Skin Purging
- Which Ingredients Cause Skin Purge
- Skin Purging vs Breakout
- Who Needs to Purge
- What to Do When Skin is Purging
- Tips When Purging
I don’t know if it’s just me, but the word “purge” scares me. Maybe I associated the word negatively from watching the horror film The Purge? So, when I heard about skin purging, I couldn’t help but feel terrified of what will happen to my skin. However, upon doing much research, I realized that skin purging is not something you should fear. Yes, you will see pimples during skin purge but that will only be temporary, and the result will be worth it. If you are curious about skin purging, which skincare ingredients might cause it, and how it is different from breakouts – this article is for you. Read on below!
What is Skin Purging
Skin purging is a temporary acne flare-up that usually occurs when the skin is introduced to a new skincare product. This happens when the products you use goes deep into the skin layers and bring dirt, bacteria, excess sebum, and other skin impurities to the surface of the skin. These impurities can lead to purging or temporary acne and peeling. However, not to be confused by breakouts, skin purging is healthy and actually good for the skin. This is because the old layer of the skin starts to shed off for new cells to regenerate.
Which Ingredients Cause Skin Purge
Purging is usually triggered by active ingredients because these products increase skin turnover. These ingredients are commonly found in antiaging and exfoliating skincare products and aim to promote skin renewal by resurfacing healthy skin cells on the top layer of the skin for a youthful and glowing complexion. Here is a list of common ingredients that cause skin purging:
- Benzoyl Peroxide
- Retinoids such as tretinoin, retinol, retinoic acid, and adapalene
- Exfoliating acids like AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) and BHAs (Beta Hydroxy Acids):
- Glycolic acid
- Lactic acid
- Malic acid
- Tartaric acid
- Malic acid
- Beta hydroxybutanoic acid
- Trethocanic acid
- Vitamin C
- Chemical peels
Note: Not all skin is the same and everyone’s reaction to a certain product is different. This does not mean that you will automatically go through skin purging when you use any product with actives.
Skin Purging vs Breakout
Although skin purging and breakout usually get confused with each other, these two are quite different. Skin purging is temporary and usually only lasts for 4 to 6 weeks and disappears faster than a normal pimple. If you added an active ingredient to your skincare routine and see acne or a cluster of whiteheads and blackheads coming out, there is a possibility that you are in the purging stage. Breakouts, however, are caused by hormones, lack of exfoliation, overproduction of sebum, or an allergic reaction to a product and appear in the areas where you don’t usually get pimples.
Check out this TikTok from @dermguru to know more on how you can tell skin purging from a breakout:
@dermguru How to tell if #skincareproducts is breaking you out or if you’re going through the #purge #acne #derm #skindoctor #breakout #fyp #4u ♬ original sound - Dr. Lindsey, MD
Who Needs to Purge
People who suffer from congested skin or people who have the following can greatly benefit from purging:
- Trapped sebum
What to Do When Skin is Purging
It is best to stick with a simple and gentle skincare routine when your skin is in purging mode to avoid more inflammation. Stick to the basics like a gentle facial cleanser, moisturizer, sunscreen, and the actives or exfoliating product you are using for purging. Keep using the product that makes you purge until you complete the purging process and attain clearer and healthier skin results.
Purging usually lasts for about 28 days. If purging lasts for more than 6 weeks (about 1 and a half months), consult your dermatologist to check your progress and adjustment of ingredient dosage and usage.
Tips When Purging
- Stop picking your skin to avoid spreading bacteria and increase your chance of getting hyperpigmentation
- Use a gentle facial cleanser like Pure Biology Premium Facial Cleanser
- Stay consistent and avoid the temptation to stop using your actives at the first sign of pimples.
- Hydrate and moisturize