These products are actually removing excess dead skin and oil (sebum) from the skin. Q. Does glycolic acid cause purging? Yes, glycolic acid can sometimes cause purging in acne prone skin.
Skin purging symptoms
Skin purging may be intense and make you second guess if you should continue using a product, but understand that this process is temporary and a sign that the product is working. Common ingredients in skincare products that can stimulate skin purging include: Glycolic acid. Lactic acid.
It's normal for your skin to purge when you use a product with a chemical exfoliator, such as AHA's and BHA's. Sometimes, your anti-acne treatment with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid can also cause skin purging.
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 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.
Be patient for one skin cycle, or about 28 days
Generally speaking, dermatologists say purging should be over within four to six weeks of starting a new skin care regimen. If your purge lasts longer than six weeks, consult your dermatologist.
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.
Because glycolic acid speeds up your skin cell turnover rate, it can sometimes accelerate the development of microcomedones turning into acne and blemishes if the exfoliation doesn't open existing microcomedones.
How to treat skin purging. “If the skin barrier is compromised when you see purging then start ingredients which help with barrier repair, such as ceramides and hyaluronic acid in a non-comedogenic formulation. If you are using a treatment or product continue with a slower approach.”
If you want to prevent skin purging or limit a purge's severity, make sure you introduce your new acne treatment products slowly into your routine. This is true of other skincare products for most skin conditions! Slow and steady usually wins the race.
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.
After about a month, you'll notice that you have fewer blemishes, as the Glycolic Acid works to keep your pores clean. Two months in, you'll notice your skin tone has become more even and is less prone to discolouration.
According to a 2013 review , glycolic acid peels of between 30 and 70 percent can improve the appearance of acne and acne scarring. Some skin types and even skin shades may be inappropriate for glycolic acid peels due to risks for irritation and hyperpigmentation.
A purge can last as long as two months, and you should start seeing an improvement by the six-week point, if not sooner. On the other side of a purge is cleaner, clearer skin!
Glycolic acid not only exfoliates the surface of the skin but penetrates to dissolve the sebum that causes blackheads.
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.
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.
Why do some people break out directly following a facial? During a facial, skin is well stimulated and much of what's below the surface is encouraged to come up and out. If extractions are not done well then pores and pimples may have left over debris that come to a head in the following days.
You can actually layer your glycolic acid and niacinamide together, at the same time of day—just 30 minutes apart. When layering products, start with the one that has the lowest pH first. This will be your glycolic acid, which you'll apply straight after cleansing.
Purging pimples do not leave marks or blemishes on your skin. It actually heals the skin to form fresher skin cells. Breakouts don't benefit the skin; they leave marks and blemishes when they go. The cell turnover is faster to remove dead cells.
Peeling, redness, and irritation are common onset reactions for some people when they first start to use retinol. Some reactions get so bad that the common term used to describe the list of effects has been dubbed the “retinol uglies”. Note from a skincare expert: Many things in life get worse before they get better.
Glycolic acid and salicylic acid are great ingredients used separately (or in pre-formulated blends) but mixing the two yourself could cause a major reaction and compromise your skin barrier.