What is skin purging?

14 Aug , 2021

After months of trial and error, you finally decide on a skincare product that might work for you. It is perfect — composed of natural ingredients, handmade with care, and simple, yet effective enough to become part of a routine you can stick with. But there is one unexpected problem that soon puts your plan to a halt: a perceived breakout.
This situation is one that is quite common. Following the use of a new skincare product, many people are turned away by what they think is a negative reaction to its ingredients. They see the sudden onset of acne and believe that their situation has worsened. In reality, this is not a breakout; rather, it is a critical part of the improvement of the skin that is referred to as skin purging.

What is skin purging
Ingredients within well working skincare products increase the amount of skin cell turnover rates. This process is a natural one that is meant to get rid of old, unhealthy cells and replace them with new ones that improve your complexion. As these older cells are quickly pushed out, the result is a temporary “purging” of the dirt and grime on your skin. This period can be seen as a sort of detox that leads to healthier cells and clearer skin.
Skin purging may look different depending on the individual and the specific product they are using, but there are two ways that it is most commonly presented:

Dryness: Because of how quick the old cells are shedding, the skin will appear to be dry and may even have peeling. The skin under this layer is new, which makes it not strong enough to protect against irritants yet, leading to the “breakout” that is seen on the face.

Blemishes: This is the most common form of skin purging that comes from product use. The dirt and old cell material that is being purged combines to create blackheads, cysts, whiteheads, pustules, and other types of pimples.

How to reduce the effects of skin purging
While skin purging is an essential part of the process of skin improvement, there are still ways that the effects can be lessened. This cycle can generally take anywhere from three to six weeks in order to completely revitalize the surface and deeper level of the skin. Here are some ways to reduce the intensity of this phenomenon:

Introduce treatments gradually: When using products, start with a smaller initial dose and continue to increase it slowly as you figure out what works well for your skin

Avoid touching your skin: While this is a tip that is good regardless of the stage of your skincare routine you are currently in, not touching your face can prevent the spread of dirt that could worsen side effects of the purging

Keep treatment consistent: The most important step in reducing these effects is to make sure that you continue to keep up with the routine. When it comes to skincare the moniker “it must get worse before it gets better” holds true. Stick to your products throughout the purging in order to ensure the transformation of your skin in the long run.