Skin purging refers to a reaction to an active ingredient that is increasing skin cell turnover in order to improve acne. When using prescription-strength acne medications, it's reasonably common for your skin to get worse before it gets better.
Skin purging is a process that happens when certain skincare ingredients increase skin cell turnover. This encourages shedding of old, dead cells and growth of new, healthy ones. Unfortunately, this process often makes the skin look worse before it looks better.
When you start a new skin care routine or you incorporate new products into your current regimen, you may experience breakouts or skin flaking. This process is sometimes called purging. This is a normal, short-term condition where the skin will rid itself of underlying oil, bacteria, or dirt, according to Dr.
Acne treatments — especially those that contain active ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid — are drying and a bit harsh on your skin. If you use too many treatments at the same time, your skin may become irritated, and you may actually suffer more breakouts as a result.
Be patient for one skin cycle, or about 28 days
Everyone's skin is unique, so that time frame can differ from person to person. Generally speaking, dermatologists say purging should be over within four to six weeks of starting a new skin care regimen.
Skin purging typically looks like tiny red bumps on the skin that are painful to touch. They are often accompanied by whiteheads or blackheads. It can also cause your skin to become flaky. The flare ups caused by purging have a shorter lifespan than a breakout.
Some refer to this phenomenon as skin getting worse before it gets better. ... As salicylic acid penetrates the pore lining, it thins the thick, sticky oil (sebum) buildup as it loosens and reduces the size of clogs residing deeper in skin.
Sudden acne breakouts can be because of numerous reasons, including hormonal changes or hormonal imbalance, an unhealthy diet including lots of deep fried and junk food, release of cortisol hormones because of excessive stress, excessive production of sebum and much more.
Retinoids such as Tretinoin, acids such as salicylic, and benzoyl peroxide 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.
Adolescents and young adults between ages 12 and 24 tend to be the most affected group. It usually begins during the start of puberty, affecting girls earlier than boys. Typically people will outgrow acne but about 12 percent of women and 3 percent of men may still have acne even in their 40s.
“Purging is neither good nor bad. It can happen after using excellent products but, equally, it also frequently occurs when the skin barrier is compromised prior to starting with a product or treatment.
What does it look like? Distinct, acne-like bumps may be purging. However, if you're noticing welts, diffuse redness, or anything resembling a rash, stop what you're doing. Inflammation is a sign of reaction and generally appears as all-over redness rather than individual, blemish-like spots.
How long does it take for skin to purge? Unfortunately, purging can be a lengthy process and it can take up to three or so months before results start to show, especially if the treatment is an acne medicated treatment.
Skin purging occurs because newly introduced skincare ingredients increase the rate at which your skin cells turnover, causing you to shed more dead skin cells than usual. This, in turn, pushes layers of dead skin off and also brings clogged pores to the surface, Chang says, resulting in more breakouts.
It takes between 2-8 weeks for the skin to become acclimated to new skincare products, and only then can you start to see results. Initially you may notice a negative effect on your skin, such as dryness, redness and spots. This is part of the skin's natural purging process, and is completely normal.
Acne purging or “ skin purging ” is when a person's acne condition seems to get worse when they begin an effective topical treatment. This can mean more pimples popping, sometimes even in new areas . These breakouts can also be more intense than normal, often larger and more inflamed.
Experiencing a few more breakouts is totally normal when starting a new acne treatment. The reason is that acne medications cause rapid destruction of acne bacteria, which can cause more inflammation and sometimes result in an initial "worsening" of the condition (sometimes called a "purge").
Dr. Jaliman adds that itching, redness, or irritation are signs your skin is simply sensitive to the formula. "If it isn't something that's formulated to help skin turn over and you're breaking out more," says Dr. Nagler, "you should stop."
Though some people do report experiencing irritation and breakouts after using the ingredient, niacinamide is unlikely to cause purging. That's because it doesn't affect the skin in a way that usually triggers purging.
Given the increase in oil production, she says your skin will usually look greasier and slightly more inflamed. Zeichner adds that stress acne can also look like a combination of blackheads, whiteheads, red bumps, and pus pimples.
What does hormonal acne look like? Whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, cysts and nodules are all common hormonal acne symptoms. Normally, whiteheads and blackheads do not cause pain, inflammation or swelling, but if they do, then they are most likely forming into cysts and pustules.
Purging is a sign that the product is working and you should continue with the treatment as prescribed. After a few weeks of purging, your skin and acne will have noticeably improved. Breaking out is when your skin is reacting because it is sensitive to something in the new product.
A cystic pimple on your chin? You're probably not purging. Though a skin purge can technically appear as any type of acne, it typically looks like “small, red, tender bumps on the skin, and often [can be accompanied] with the appearance of blackheads or whiteheads,” says Dr. Nazarian.
Many have questioned whether skin purging is real. It may seem contradictory that continuing to use a product through breakouts and holding on through some serious bad skin days can result in your complexion eventually clearing. But purging is absolutely real—especially if you have acne-prone skin to begin with.