Tried a new product and instead of the expected glow, your skin’s flaring up more than ever?
“If this product is supposed to help my skin, why is it making my skin breakout?” Inspecting your skin, you notice little bumps on your cheeks, forehead, and chin. Don’t fret! What appears to look like a breakout is totally normal. Most likely, what you are experiencing is skin purging, not a breakout.
Let’s set the facts straight.
What is Skin Purging?
Skin purging occurs when you start using a new product that increases the skin cell turnover rate. Products that actively speed up the process of the skin cell turnover cycle will help reveal healthier skin, but not without first “purging” all the stuff that was living underneath your skin. This gunk includes flakes of dry and dead skin, already present buildup, and excess sebum.
Since the product you are using is increasing the rate of skin cell turnover, all the gunk will inevitably rise to the surface of your pores quickly. New acne may make you question whether or not to stop using a product.
Purging is a necessary process that your skin must go through to adjust to new skincare products. Once the purging finishes, it will leave behind clearer, cleaner and younger-looking skin. Skin purging is a method to all the madness that may be occurring on your face.
So, in the long term, products won’t build up or clog your pores but in the shorter term, this accelerated shedding or exfoliation may trigger more breakouts or blackheads. Skin purging takes form in mostly blackheads or tiny skin-colored bumps, and looks incredibly similar to a breakout.
How Do You Know If Your Skin Is Purging Or Breaking Out?
- Purging and breakouts do have slightly different appearances so it’s possible to distinguish one from the other. Acne or hormonal breakouts take a number of different forms such as red pimples at the surface of the skin, cysts, blackheads and tender bumps beneath the skin. Purging is slightly different, as you’ll notice either just blackheads or small, skin-coloured bumps under the surface, however, it is possible for purging to cause similar spots to a regular breakout.
- Another simple way to know the difference between the two is to notice where the flare up is taking place. Purging usually occurs where you’ve previously had pimples or acne. With fresh breakouts, they can happen anywhere other than where you’ve had pimples before.
Products That May Cause Skin Purging
Certain products trigger the process of purging. When changing up your regular skincare routine with new products, it is important to note which products are more likely to cause skin purging.
Vitamin c, retinol, salicylic acid, hydroxy acids, benzoyl peroxide, high concentration of niacinamide are just a few of the products that cause purging.
These products contain active ingredients that increase the skin cell turnover rate, therefore causing your skin to purge. Do not freak out! Rest assured that this is just the first phase to better skin.
How To Treat a Skin Purge
Scared for your skin’s health? Keep these key points in mind.
- Stick to the basics - Streamline your skincare routine. The lesser products you use, the better. Your skin at this point is sensitive and to take care of it, you need to not hoard more products in hopes of fixing it.
- Stay Hydrated - Since skin-purging products also tend to make your skin dry, it is important to stay hydrated.
- Moisturise your way to better skin. Drier the skin, the more prone it will be to worse skin conditions especially when your skin isn’t in its best state. Vya Naturals Hyaluronic Acid Serum and Vitamin C Moisturiser are the products you need to have in your dressing cabinet at all times!
- Don’t forget to apply your sunscreen! SPF is a necessity whether or not your skin purges.
- Keep your pillowcase clean. The importance of having a clean sleeping environment is often neglected but this is one quick fix that your skin will definitely thank you for.
- Are you sanitising your phone? If not, you NEED to start doing so. Chit-chatting should not come at a cost of making your already-sensitive skin suffer!
What Not to Do During Skin Purge
A set of things you should NOT be doing. Grab a pencil and paper - it’s time for some notes-to-self!
- DON’T pick or scratch your skin - As tempting as it may be right now, this will make more dirt transfer from your fingertips to your face and that can be terrible, to say the least.
- DON'T use products with parabens, sulphates, artificial fragrances or colours. Gentle products are your skin’s saviour - right now as well as in general. Opting for skincare products like Vya Naturals that have a strict no-harmful or toxic chemical rule is the best decision you’ll ever make for your skin.
- DON'T use any harsh exfoliants. Irritated skin is prone to tiny cuts and bruises from the granules in an exfoliant - something you don’t want happening!
How Long Does Skin Purging Last?
Though it takes about a month for your skin to be back to its normal state, it’s imperative that you visit a dermatologist if at the 6-8 week mark you don’t see a positive change in your skin’s condition.
All said and done, skin purging is an absolutely normal process. Remember, you need to get through the bad to get to the good!