Here’s EVERYTHING you should know about skin purging

Updated on Aug 01, 2021 06:45 PM IST  |  514K
Here’s EVERYTHING you should know about skin purging
Here’s EVERYTHING you should know about skin purging

What is Skin Purging?

We always need a face mask, some serum, or dying for a drop of vitamin C for our skincare routine. When we try a new skincare product and your skin flares up with pimples, it can be hard to know whether your skin is purging or reacting with a regular breakout. When our skin reacts to an active ingredient present in the product, it can cause an increased cell turnover rate known as skin purging. It can lead to the build-up of all the accumulated dirt and bacteria that clog the pores of the skin's surface before revealing new and clearer skin. 

What Causes Skin Purging?

Purge breakouts on the skin can show in the form of a mix of whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, or cysts. In other words, skin purge is a breakout that occurs when we start to apply a new skincare routine. Due to this, we started noticing breakouts in the typical places we always get them. The skin renews itself in about a monthly cycle, so any purging can not last more than that. It is not the result of skin purging when there are no signs of improvement or clearing up after six to eight weeks. In this case, we should stop using whatever skincare products we are using or doing on our face, adjust to reduce the stimuli or in extreme conditions consult a professional.


Which ingredients cause skin purging?

Our skin and skin purging are triggered by active ingredients that are used to treat acne. It gets worse before it gets better. Retinoids, vitamin C, AHAs and BHAs (glycolic, malic, lactic, and salicylic acid) can also activate the skin’s purging. Retinoids are the major ingredient that can cause Skin purging. Retinol is found in most of acne skin care products, is an active ingredient that is known to cause a skin purge. Some major retinoids such as oral isotretinoin and topical tretinoin that can cause reactions on the skin and trigger skin purging. Many chemical peels treatments and exfoliating acids can also cause a trigger reaction that can lead to skin purging.

What not to do when skin is purging?

During skin purging, stick to a gentle skincare routine while skin shows signs of purging to avoid aggravating the situation. It can treat spots that are usually painful, rejuvenate the dull, irritated skin, and kill bacteria to prevent future breakouts. At this time, the most important thing is to resist the urge to skip a night of cleansing. At this time, it is most common that you may be tempted to stop using the product that caused the skin to purge in the first place, but you should refrain from this. Ingredients that cause the skin to flare up with pimples, those ingredients treat many skin problems. Let it run its course. Don’t pick or scratch your skin during this time. The acne caused by purging is temporary but picking or scratching the skin can make the scars permanent. Always take a good diet and eat clean when one is going through a skin purge, but it can help speed up the process. Because sugars from junk food, fast food, and complex carbs can exacerbate the condition of acne. You should avoid consuming these ingredients that can help balance your hormones and clear up your face.

Authored by: 

Dr. Ajay Rana, Dermatologist and Aesthetic Physician


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