verb: skin purging /skin/purg· ing/
a skin reaction caused by the introduction of new products that speed up cell turnover
If you’ve ever tried a new skincare product that left your skin with an unfamiliar bumpy breakout, you know what we’re talking about. Just when you think you’re killing the all-inclusive skincare game, skin purging can occur before you notice the products solving any problems. But, that’s not to say the products aren’t working, you just have to get used to them and be wary of what to look for. Here’s everything you need to know about navigating these choppy waters.
How Skin Purging Forms
Most commonly triggered from chemical exfoliants like retinols and acids, skin purging appears when buildup is rapidly brought to the surface. AHAs and BHAs are resurfacing ingredients that slough off dead skin cells, which leads our skin to speed up cell turnover.
This regeneration process happens sooner than it normally would when actives are involved and our skin naturally produces blockage as a result. Alas, skin purging forms and, honestly, it’s nothing to lose sleep over. The good news? Skin purging does not go on forever as our face eventually becomes acclimated with this new pace of turnover. Consider it a sign that your skin is alive and well, and the products are working.
Skin Purging or Skin Problems
The physical act of trying out new active products can be tough on your skin alone. Everyone’s skin reacts differently so not all purges will look the same. Some may come up as the standard bumpy surface, while others may result in irritation in the form of a breakout.
In order to determine the difference between a skin purge and a breakout, consider the duration. An acne breakout lasts 2 to 3 weeks, whereas skin purging clears up much quicker. If you’re noticing spots or texture after testing a new face oil or moisturizer that contains no active acids, it’s likely not purging and your skin is just experiencing some unrelated irritation. Save yourself some stress and recognize the signs.
Spot Product Sensitivity
At the end of the day, it’s important to get to know your skin and understand that some products may not agree with it. And that’s ok! If you’re noticing that the products you’re using are consistently causing breakouts, take the L and try something new. Don’t just fight through thinking it’s purging because you may be causing your skin irritation and possibly further damage, like scarring.
If we can give you one piece of advice, it's to be patient with your products and stick with the actives, unless sensitivity occurs. If you can make it past the purging, your skin will come out stronger on the other side. We've never steered you wrong thus far, have we?! Embrace the journey and enjoy the ride.