Have you heard the term skin purging? Pretty sure you have. If you have acne and are using a new product for it, within a few days you might start breaking out a little more. Skin purging is when your skin actually starts getting worse before it gets better. So is it a real thing and how long does it last?
Skin renews itself every 28 days, i.e old cells die off and are replaced by new, healthy cells. This is known as cell turnover. Acne forms deep within your skin. So the hair follicle gets inflamed and the pore gets blocked. Eventually the inflammation makes its way to the surface of the skin and this is when you breakout. However this “breakout” has been in the lower layers of your skin for a few days before it slowly shows itself.
The reason purging happens is because some of the ingredients in the product may speed up cell turnover. When cell turnover speeds up, blocked pores that would have taken 7-8 days days to make themselves visible suddenly do it in 2-3 days. You get clusters of new pimples. However these new pimples should heal quicker as well. Since skin normally takes around 28 days to renew itself you should really see results after a month if the product is actually working for you.
I once used an “Isotretinoin” cream for a year. It was prescribed to me by my dermatologist. Each time I told her it was not working she said I was purging or it was the time of my month. Don’t be stupid like me. Keep an eye on your face and if you feel something is not right stop.
Here are a few things you should keep in mind when using a new product to know if you are purging or the product is not working and instead making you break out.
- Purging should last maximum for a month. If you do not see any improvement after a month it is time to stop using the product.
- You should not be breaking out in places you don’t normally break out. This means the new product is causing breakouts rather than purging.
- Please use only one new product at a time so you know which one is working. Give each product a chance and don’t hinder things by throwing another product into the mix.
- If your new breakouts look much different than your normal breakouts please stop using the product. For example if you normally do not have cystic acne but start getting it after using a new product, please stop.
So yes skin purging is an actual thing. But all said and done please use your judgement wisely when it comes to your face. Whatever anyone says, let your feelings have the final say in the health of your skin. A few days of not using a product will not do any harm to your face. You can always restart a product but cannot undo damage to your face.