Having acne or breakouts on the skin makes a woman want to hide her face somewhere deep down. She doesn’t feel like going anywhere or meeting anyone and can go to any extent to get rid of the acne. In such a situation, she may try any new skincare product that claims to clear acne from the skin. Well, at times, such impulsive decisions can cause more damage than help!

The skin may start breaking out even more and most of us assume that it is due to the new product. But that might not be the case. It might be a case of skin purging. Skin purging and breakouts, both can happen when you apply a new product on your skin. Although these two situations are very similar to each other there is a lot of difference. Let’s find out more about Skin Purging.

What Is Skin Purging?

When you apply a new product on your skin and your skin breaks out, it is referred to as Skin Purging. This happens because our skin needs some time to get accustomed to the new skincare product and only then we should expect to see the desired results. Although one may not experience a purge after using all new skincare products, skincare items that contain hydroxy acids, retinoids, acne management, and anti-aging properties are more likely to cause a skin purge.

These products speed the process of skin exfoliation and this leads to skin purging. They make the already clogged pores mature into acne and pimples. Most people think that their skin is not accepting the new products and they don’t suit their skin, but that’s not the cause. Let’s find out the difference between purging and breakout.

Skin Purging vs Breakout

During a skin purge, your existing pimples get inflamed since the cell turnover rate gets accelerated due to the use of new skincare products. In the case of purging, only the existing acne flares up. You may still continue to use the product but if there is a rash, only then you need to get in touch with a dermatologist.

On the contrary, if your skin breaks out after using a new skincare product, you are more likely to find that your skin has increased clogged pores, new blemishes, itching and even rashes. Breakouts occur when a product doesn’t suit your skin at all and there are inflammation and irritation in new areas. Unlike in the case of purging, you’d need to discontinue the use of the product as soon as possible, in order to avoid further damage.

Why are certain products more likely to cause skin purging?

As mentioned earlier, all new skincare products may not cause purging. The presence of active ingredients such as retinoids, exfoliants, hydroxy acids, and chemical peels are more likely to cause skin purging. Here are the products that contain active ingredients that you need to beware of:

  • Hydroxy acids – These include lactic, glycolic, gluconolactone, mandelic, malic, lactobionic, and fruit acids.
  • Retinoids – These include retinol, isotretinoin, tretinoin, retinyl palmitate, adapalene, and tazarotene.
  • Exfoliants – These include scrubs and enzyme exfoliants.
  • Procedures such as chemical peels, lasers, and microdermabrasion
  • Benzoyl peroxide

It is important to note that any skincare product which does not contain any of the active ingredients will not cause a purge.

How long does the purge last?

The duration of the purge depends largely on an individual cell renewal cycle. Our skin cells keep renewing themselves on a regular basis. For most people, the skin renewal process takes place in a month’s time. As our skin starts aging, this process becomes slower and may last from 4-6 weeks. However, if your skin doesn’t get better even after 4-6 weeks, your skin might be reacting to the new skincare products. If you notice this, you must discontinue the product and visit a dermatologist.

How to minimize the effect of the purge?

When your skin is experiencing a purge, you need to be extremely patient. Here are few tips to take care of your skin:

  • Avoid touching your skin or the pimples as it can worsen the situation.
  • Avoid exposing the skin to the harsh rays of the skin. Make it a point to apply a good sunscreen before stepping out.
  • Avoid using any products that contain harsh chemicals, on the affected area.
  • Whenever you wish to use any products that contain active ingredients, always do a patch test and then increase the quantity and frequency of use gradually.

Don’t worry too much if you experience purging. Just be patient and avoid stress. Too much stress can further aggravate the pimples.

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