Understanding Skin Purging: Causes, Symptoms, and How to Deal with It

Understanding Skin Purging: Causes, Symptoms, and How to Deal with It - blog | yearnskin.co.za

Skin purging is a phenomenon that often occurs when starting a new skincare routine or using certain products. It can be confusing and frustrating, as it may initially make your skin appear worse before it gets better. In this article, we will delve into the concept of skin purging, its causes, symptoms, and provide tips on how to deal with it.ย 

What is Skin Purging?

Skin purging is a temporary reaction that happens when your skin is adjusting to a new skincare product or treatment. It is a result of increased cell turnover, which can lead to the accelerated exfoliation of dead skin cells and the unclogging of pores. This process can bring underlying impurities to the surface, causing breakouts, redness, or flakiness.

Causes of Skin Purging:

When you introduce new skincare products with active ingredients, they can increase cell turnover and accelerate the exfoliation process. This can lead to the purging of clogged pores, bringing underlying congestion to the surface. It is important to note that skin purging only occurs with products that increase cell turnover, and not with all skincare products.

Symptoms of Skin Purging:

Skin purging often manifests as a sudden and unexpected breakout, but there are specific signs that distinguish it from regular acne. Here are some common symptoms of skin purging:

1. Increased Breakouts: The most noticeable symptom of skin purging is an increase in breakouts. These can appear as whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, or even cysts. The breakouts usually occur in areas where you typically experience acne.

2. Rapid Onset: Unlike regular acne, which develops slowly, skin purging happens quickly, often within a few days of starting a new skincare product or treatment.

3. Short Lifespan: While regular acne can linger on your skin for weeks, the breakouts caused by skin purging usually have a shorter lifespan. They tend to clear up faster as the skin adjusts to the new product or treatment.

4. Occurrence with New Products: Skin purging typically occurs when you start using a new skincare product or treatment, especially those that promote skin cell turnover, such as retinoids, chemical peels, and certain types of cleansers and creams.

5. Temporary: Skin purging is a temporary reaction. Once your skin adjusts to the new product or treatment.

Dealing with Skin Purging:

Skin purging can be a challenging phase, but with the right approach, you can manage it effectively. Here are some tips on how to deal with skin purging:

1. Patience: Remember that skin purging is a temporary phase. It might be tempting to stop using the new product or treatment, but it's important to give your skin time to adjust. Typically, skin purging can last anywhere from four to six weeks.

2. Gentle Skincare: During a purge, your skin can become more sensitive. It's crucial to use gentle, non-irritating skincare products. Avoid harsh scrubs or cleansers that can further irritate your skin.

3. Hydration: Keeping your skin hydrated can help soothe irritation and promote healing. Use a moisturiser suitable for your skin type and consider incorporating hydrating serums or masks into your routine.

4. Sun Protection: Products that promote skin cell turnover can make your skin more susceptible to sun damage. Make sure to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day, even if you're staying indoors.

5. Professional Advice: If your skin purge is severe or lasts longer than six weeks, it's a good idea to consult a dermatologist.

It is important not to be aggressive when you see purging, and understand it can be part and parcel of getting the best results for your skin. When it occurs treat the skin gently โ€“ donโ€™t try and pick or exfoliate away the papules because that could actually make things worse. Instead, review the products; slow down your use of them and invest in products that are calming to the skin.



Please see below educational YouTube videos on this topic:

Skin Purging Vs Irritationย | Dr Dray via Dr Dray YouTube

Is Your Skin Purging or Just Breaking Out? | Dr Sam Ellis via Dr Sam Ellis YouTube