When you incorporate a new product to your skincare routine, your main expectation revolves around getting a new glowing and healthy look. But sometimes, that is the last thing to happen, and it is replaced with some not so welcomed pimples. Knowing if the reason behind the arrival of these uninvited guests is either a normal purge or a dangerous break out can be hard. Here are some tips that can help you find out.
Purging: What does it mean and why does it happen?
This typically happens when your skin is adjusting to a new product. This reaction to an active ingredient increases skin cell turnover rate, which causes the skin to start shedding dead skin cells faster than normal. Some products´ aim is to do just that, in order to reveal fresh younger-looking skin. But before that happens, sometimes these unwelcome visitors will pop up first, as a result of the excess sebum, flakes and buildup that clog pores coming to the surface.
Therefore, skin purging is pretty common. What is more, it is a necessary evil, and it doesn't mean that you have to stop using these new products at all, in fact, you have to resist through it. After the initial angry-volcano stage, your skin should achieve that glowing state you were looking for and those few purging weeks will have been worth it.
Regarding the length, how long should this purging phase last? The worst part should only take one full skin cycle, meaning, 5 to 6 weeks. But you always have to remember that every skin is unique, so that length can differ from person to person. The responsible products for this purging products are the ones that contain active ingredients that increase skin cells turnover. Although the term “purging” will probably not be found in their prescriptions, phrases like “exacerbation of inflammatory lesions at the start of treatment” may show up. The retinoid family is one of the most common ingredients with this characteristic, alongside with exfoliating acids and chemical peel components.
Breaking out: The other side
While purging might be a necessary evil after starting to use a new product, it is highly important to know the difference between this process and breakouts. The latter occurs when you are having a bad reaction to a certain ingredient that your skin is sensitive to. This reaction could result in clogged pores, an allergy or just irritation.
Either way, when you are experiencing a break out, continuing using the product will only make the situation worse, unlike the push-through purging process. But how can you determine whether your skin is purging or experiencing a reaction-type breakout?
The pimples resulting from purging are located in an area where they usually pop up, whereas the reaction-based ones appear in new areas where you don't tend to have pimples. What is more, purging clears up much faster than a breakout. Another thing to keep in mind to clearly spot the difference is to see if this new product has some of the active ingredients that can cause purging mentioned before.
Now, when some of these whiteheads, pustules, cysts or blackheads pop up on your skin, you'll know the reason behind it, and if you should stick to this new product to get that new younger look after, or drastically cut it out.