The purging of the skin starts after a few days of using a new product. In a breakout, the appearance of the acne and blackheads can be concentrated on any area of the face. Purging appears uniformly all over the face.
“A traditional pimple typically takes anywhere from eight to 10 days to appear, mature, and shrink,” she explains. “A breakout from a purge is likely to show up and then disappear in about five days.” The caveat: That's if you don't touch it and let your skin heal itself.
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.
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.
These unwanted effects — particularly skin dryness and acne breakouts — are widely referred to as the “tretinoin purge.” While they don't affect everyone, many tretinoin users experience some degree of purge effects during the first several weeks of treatment.
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.
When it comes to treating your skin during a purge, the best thing that you can do is actually the least satisfying answer anyone really wants to hear—you just have to wait it out. “Depending on how congested your skin is, a purge can last from two to three weeks,” Dr. Linkner states.
Dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or take this drug more often than directed. Do not take this medication for more than 7 days unless directed by your doctor.
Purging may cause skin to dry out or become scaly, rough, pale, and more likely to bruise or scar. Cheeks and other parts of the face can also become swollen. If fingers are used to induce vomiting, there could be permanent scarring or calluses from the teeth or stomach acid.
Additionally, if you experience any itchiness, redness, burning or pain immediately after applying a new product, these are clear signs you're experiencing an allergic reaction and it's best to wash it off carefully and stop using it altogether.
Most niacinamide products also contain a variety of other ingredients. If any of these ingredients increase skin cell turnover then they may be behind any 'purging'. Some ingredients can also be 'comedogenic' which means that they are more likely to clog pores and cause breakouts.
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum is an immensely popular serum that can cause foaming due to that pesky ingredient Isoceteth-20. I have personally also experienced foaming with hyaluronic and retinol serums, it can happen with many products and it is no reason for concern.
4 tips for when niacinamide fails
Signs it's not working: You're not seeing results and you notice the product is pilling on your skin. Also, if you experience redness, itching, or burning, you might want to skip this ingredient.
“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.
Your pimple will disappear on its own, and by leaving it alone you're less likely to be left with any reminders that it was there. To dry a pimple up faster, apply 5% benzoyl peroxide gel or cream once or twice a day.
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.
It's fragrance-free. – Texture: A slightly sticky gel. A little goes a long way because if you apply too much, it tends to “foam” a little when you massage it on the skin and takes a long time to absorb.
The consistency is a clear gel-like liquid, and I apply a squirt of the pipet all over the face. Because it's water-based, make sure it's applied after cleansing/toning and before any oils or heavier creams.
Niacinamide helps build cells in the skin while also protecting them from environmental stresses, such as sunlight, pollution, and toxins. Treats acne. Niacinamide may be helpful for severe acne, especially inflammatory forms like papules and pustules. Over time, you may see fewer lesions and improved skin texture.
While some niacinamide-containing products start to show initial benefits in two weeks, most results will show in four weeks or more. "You have to remember that it doesn't take two days for spots to form so you can't expect them to be removed in two days either," explains Engelman.
When selecting niacinamide products, Dr Ho advises that “a concentration of 4-5% niacinamide is ideal—enough to improve acne and fine wrinkles”. Higher concentrations, like The Ordinary 10% Niacinamide + 1% Zinc, have not yet been proven to exhibit a higher rate of efficacy.
As it's well tolerated by most people, niacinamide can be used twice a day everyday. It works at any time of the year although it comes in particularly handy in winter during cold, dry weather and frequent use of central heating. Use it in the run-up before starting your retinol treatment and alongside it, too.
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.
Salicylic acid also improves the shape of the pore lining, and once the pore is normalized, the backed-up, smaller clog can more easily come to the surface, appearing as new clogged pores (blackheads or white bumps).