Skin purging is where skin cells increase their turnover rate. It is the reaction of an active ingredient that speeds up the way skin cells reproduce. The goal is to expose fresh skin cells that are underneath that will give you that younger and clearer look. You should however note that it is not that easy. Before you can start seeing the new healthy cells on the surface, different things need to rise on the surface first. They include lakes, sebum, clogged pores, and even pimples.
Everyone has a different type of skin so the period may vary from one person to another. Think of skin purging as 28 days of skin cycle. Now that you know that skin purging occurs when ingredients try to speed up the skin’s natural way of shedding, it should only take you one skin cycle to complete the whole process. Dermatologists say that skin purging can take a maximum of 4 to 6 weeks before getting the new skin. In case your purge takes more than 6 weeks, then you need to consult with your dermatologist.
What Should You Do?
If you start experiencing skin purging, you need to stick to a gentle skincare routine. Stick to a soothing moisturizer or a sulfate-free cleanser which will help reduce the rate of inflammation. Do not use the exfoliator or retinoid that puts you in the purge face. It might not be easy to stop using retinoids, but if your doctor prescribed it, you should stick to it.
How to Differentiate Between a Purge and a Breakout
Different people will react differently to topical skincare products and sometimes it can be difficult to differentiate between a purge and a breakout. A skin purge will disappear faster than a skin breakout. Breakouts typically take 8 to 10 days before they fully shrink. If your skin experiences irritation after using a new product that is not retinoid, then that might be an allergy or sensitivity. You should stop using that product immediately because your skin is not responding well to it.
A purge will occur in areas of your skin where you normally experience breakouts. If you are always prone to having flakes or cysts under your nostrils or around your jawline, then purging will take full effect in such areas. Purge pimples however will appear and disappear much faster than the normal pimple. Breakouts will appear in a new area whereas a purge will appear where you normally have breakouts.
How to Avoid Purging
There are different methods that you can use to avoid purging if you still want to continue using retinol, acid, and a peel routine. You can start by applying retinoid for the first two weeks then the following week, apply it three times a week. Make it a daily routine and your skin will gradually start to adjust to the new ingredient. The same can be said about exfoliating acids. Just make sure you start it once a week as you graduate slowly upwards.