Skin Purging: What You Need To Know

Learning how to manage our skin concerns can be difficult. There’s a lot of trial and error. A lot of new products. Unfortunately, not every product that your favorite beauty guru recommends is going to work for you. On the contrary, it can be a long journey even when you do find the right product. Sometimes, on that journey, you can go through what is known as skin purging. 

This is where the saying “it gets worse before it comes better” really comes into play. Today, I am going to unveil what skin purging looks like, whether it’s something to be concerned about, and what to do through the entire process. I promise, clear skin is around the corner. You just have to stick around to watch it unfold.

What is Skin Purging? 

First things first, let’s talk about what purging skin looks like. This can be a scary process. It’s the reason most people miss out on amazing results because they stop using a product before the skin purging process has completed. 

Purging skin can look very similar to a regular breakout. Looking at purging skin vs a breakout, however, there are a few key differences. The biggest difference is time. So how long does skin purging last? Typically, after 4 or 5 weeks, purging skin begins to clear up while a breakout does have acne, but there is no light at the end of the tunnel other than a small break before another breakout. 

The struggle with this is that it can be more difficult to know when a product is working or not, unless you wait through the awkward 4 to 6 week phase. Patience is key for purging skin. 

What to Do

So when you start experiencing this, what should you do? First, don’t freak out! Everyone has breakouts. This is nothing to be ashamed of, and remember that it is only temporary. Second, stick to a gentle skincare routine. The best thing you can do when breakouts come is to avoid overwashing or putting too much product on your face. Wait it out and trust your routine. 

You can also try to conceal the process by using smart and minimal makeup. The best thing you can use is going to be a color corrector. The redness from the purging is the most difficult aspect, so try adding a green concealer on your problem areas. This will help your foundation work longer and cover better, without any redness peeking through in the middle of the day. 

You can also use your full coverage products such as concealer and foundation. While I wouldn’t recommend overdoing it, for special occasions or other major events, you can use this in case of emergency. Try to keep loads of makeup use to a minimum if possible to not clog your pores. 

Is Skin Purging Bad? 

So is this a bad thing to have? The answer is no. It’s nothing to be concerned about. For some people, it’s just part of the process when trying new products. When you introduce any form of chemical exfoliator into your skin routine, it will shed away the dead skin, leaving your skin vulnerable to clogging more than usual. In the long run this is great, but it does look rough at first.  While it doesn’t happen to everyone, there are certain products that are more likely to get a bit rougher before the true results appear. 

To help you know when to expect this, let’s talk about a few of the more common products that cause purging skin. First, any form of Retinol leads the pack. This is typically used to help with acne as well as aging, but it can be a bit intense when first starting. Due to this, it is recommended to use it once a week and move up little by little until you can make it a part of your nightly routine. 

Another product to keep in mind is hydroxy acids. Like Retinoid, it is a chemical based product that treats issues in an overall better way than exfoliators we know. However, it can be an easy way to get your face a patch of pimples for a few weeks. 

Lastly, any acne fighting products tend to have this effect as well. Often the reason for acne, other than lack of face washing, is due to an imbalance or block of the skin. When the floodgates are opened, it’s hard to control at first, so ride the wave and get ready for sunny skies to appear. 

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