Skin purging is described as a skin reaction when your skin sheds dead skin cells, oil, microbes, and buildup faster than normal. It is by no means ideal.
However, it does happen for a good reason.
In this article, we will cover the main cause of purging, how long it can last, what you can do about it, and more.
Table of Contents:
- What Causes Skin Purging? What Does it Look Like?
- What Not to Do During Skin Purging? How Long Does It Last?
- What Is the Difference Between a Purge and a Breakout?
- How to Make Skin Purging More Tolerable?
- Product Recommendations
What Causes Skin Purging? What Does it Look Like?
Skin purging begins in response to an active ingredient present in your new skincare product. The active ingredient speeds up the skin cell turnover rate and leads to increased cell formation, thereby increasing shedding. What this means is that all your soon-to-be breakouts get activated at the same time.
On the plus side, though, once your skin is rid of all the bad stuff, it will look glowy, beautiful, and overall, more youthful.
Skin purging is usually triggered by ingredients like retinoids, vitamin C, AHAs, and BHAs (glycolic, malic, lactic, and salicylic acid).
When you start using these ingredients, you will observe many tiny red bumps on the skin. It can be a mix of blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, cysts, and microcomedones. Your skin may also appear flaky and painful to touch.
On the bright side, the lifespan of these bumps and flaky skin is shorter than that of a full-blown breakout.
What Not to Do During Skin Purging? How Long Does It Last?
When you see all those breakouts, you may feel like stop using the product responsible for the purge.
It is better to let it run its course!
If you are wondering why that happens, it is because the product is tackling your skin conditions. So, if you stop using it, you will have gone through the purge without experiencing the benefits that follow.
Tempting as it may be to pick or scratch at flaky and bumpy skin, refrain, always.
By picking or scratching, your skin will become exposed to environmental pollutants and a whole host of other things. Plus, it may leave permanent scars on your face.
Purging usually lasts for no longer than 4 to 6 weeks in most cases. If your purge does not seem to get better over 1 cycle (28 days), make sure to consult a dermatologist immediately.
What Is the Difference Between a Purge and a Breakout?
First things first, a purge is more likely to happen in areas where you usually get breakouts. Breakouts due to a bad reaction to a product mostly happen in a new area on your face.
On the plus side, the purge has a shorter lifespan than that of a regular pimple. A breakout, on the other hand, may take 8 to 10 days to appear and resolve.
Also, if the new product you are using is not a retinoid, acid, or peel, then it may be a case of allergy or sensitivity to that product. In that case, you should immediately stop using the new product.
How to Make Skin Purging More Tolerable?
You may not be able to entirely prevent purging, but you can certainly minimize it in 3 simple ways. Here is how.
If you are considering adding retinol or other products to your skincare routine, here is what you should do.
- In week one, apply the product only once a week.
- In week 2, increase it to twice per week. And so on, till you can incorporate it into your daily routine. It will ease your skin into accepting the change.
- Start with only one purging product at a time. Your skin is already going through a lot, so you definitely do not need to aggravate it by adding more than one new product at a time.
- Keep your skincare routine simple. A gentle cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen are all you need to use daily.
- Add a gentle exfoliant once a week to remove all the peeling skin.
WOW Green Tea Foaming Face Wash is a gentle daily cleanser. It comes with a brush with hypoallergenic, soft-silicone bristles. It deep cleans your pores of all pollutants and buildup and leaves behind moisturized, even-toned skin.
I have a few product recommendations for you so you can prevent and better manage your skin to prevent breakouts.
WOW Tea Tree Essential Oil is 100% pure. With multiple properties like antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and others, this is the product you should choose if you have acne-prone skin.
It calms redness, swelling, and inflammation associated with acne and reduces scars.
However, make sure to mix it with a carrier oil as it is very potent on its own.
Always remove your makeup at the end of the day to prevent clogged pores.
WOW Coconut Clarifying Micellar Water is plant-powered with coconut water, cucumber water, and witch hazel extract to hydrate, balance, and tone your pores for a soothing, deep clean.
It traps impurities and removes pollutants, oil, and melts stubborn makeup without hurting the skin’s natural moisture mantle.
WOW Coconut Perfecting Cream is enriched with nourishing ingredients. It contains coconut oil, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, and tripeptides.
It protects the skin's natural barrier and boosts its ability to fight irritants.
Your skin will soak this moisturizer.
Use it daily to nourish your skin and bring back its natural, youthful glow.
WOW Ubtan Face Scrub is a gentle mix of natural botanicals to revive your natural glowy and supple skin. It makes your skin softer and smooth while protecting it from environmental damage.
This is an all-natural scrub containing almond, walnut powder, chickpea flour, rosewater, and other ingredients to exfoliate dead skin cells and nourish your skin from within.
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