Skin purging is a complicated topic. Most people believe it’s a myth, but the minority have experienced it. In this article, we’ll try to explain what purging is and how you can tell if your skin will get better with time or if you’re just experiencing a temporary worsening of your acne symptoms.
What is Skin Purging?
Skin purging is a term used to describe the phenomenon of skin getting worse before it gets better. It’s sometimes accompanied by breakouts and irritation or perhaps worsened redness and flakiness.
Skin purging is different from worsening acne symptoms due to other causes such as:
– Switching to a new product that causes your skin to reject it (i.e. you’re having a bad reaction to it) or causes skin inflammation (i.e. too much alcohol in acne treatment, using an oil-based product when your skin is already oily).
– Flare-ups are caused by lifestyle or dietary factors like eating too many dairy products, not drinking enough water, stress (physical, psychological, or environmental), sunburns, allergies, infections.
– The natural transition of the seasons (e.g. winter dries your skin to compensate for not having enough moisture in the air, summer makes your oil glands more active if you’re staying out longer in the heat).
The skin purging myth is all over cyberspace. If you’ve ever done a Google search on how to deal with pimples, chances are you saw the advice “use this product and your skin will purge for 2 weeks” or “if it gets worse before it gets better, give it more time and the purging effect will go away.” This couldn’t be further from the truth!. In fact, skin purging is real.
How Long Does Skin Purging Last?
Skin purging usually lasts from several days to several weeks. In most cases, you will need patience because the purging process can take a while for some people.
Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts or tips that will help skin purging last less long. A skin purging depends on individual characteristics, skin type, skin sensitivity, and the type of ingredients contained in the product.
However, keep in mind that skin purging is not always related to your skin issues or specific problems. As was already mentioned above, it’s hard to tell how long you will need to purge your skin and how long purging will take. Even products that cause nothing but positive effects on most people can irritate some, causing little discomfort or slight purging. Only time will tell what you can expect from a product – if any effects at all.
For example, many consumers complained that the use of retinol causes purging, however, it’s hard to say that retinol is always associated with purging. Retinol is known as one of the (if not THE) most effective anti-aging ingredients. It can be really irritating on some people, but on others, it causes nothing but positive effects – like deep cleansing action and a stronger cell renewal process. Time will tell what retinol can do for you, but in the end, everyone is different.
Skin Purging Process
This process is accompanied by the formation of blemishes and pimples on the skin, which could be unexpected to some people, especially if they are newbies in their acne treatment journey. The purging phase occurs when your current products (cleanser, toner, etc.) begin to remove all residue build-up that has been clogging your pores, so it’s only natural to see those blemishes and pimples on the skin as a result.
Don’t give up! The purging phase is actually a good thing as you will soon be on your way to achieving healthy and clear skin. As for the scars left behind by these blemishes, they should fade away gradually after the purging phase, don’t get impatient!
As long as you stay persistent with your current regime, the purging, breakouts, and scars will clear away in time so do your best to stay patient!
Skin Purging vs Breakout
A breakout is when a pore gets clogged, fills up with oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells. This mixture then seeps into surrounding pores, causing them to clog up, too. Your body responds by sending white blood cells to the area, which fight bacteria and release pus in an attempt to rid your skin of these impurities. This is how pimples are formed.
A breakout can come about in many different ways–stress, hormones, sensitive skin, oily skin, allergies, or even the food you eat.
Breakouts are a common part of many people’s lives, but there is a cure: acne spot treatments! But even once your pimples have been reduced or eliminated, they can leave behind pesky dark spots or red marks–you know what we’re talking about around here.
However, as we already mentioned, purging skin is a natural process that happens when your skin is trying to get rid of the bacteria causing the problem. It’s why you break out in pimples instead of cysts or scabs (that’ll happen later, usually when your body starts to realize there’s no fixing it).
Does Salicylic Acid Cause Purging?
Salicylic Acid is a member of the BHA family. Its most well-known benefit is its ability to exfoliate and smooth skin, but it has many other uses as well. It can be used to treat/prevent ingrown hairs, treat dandruff ( head /body/scalp), treat the itchy or flaky scalp, and as a wash-off mask to help clear clogged pores.
It’s important to note that Salicylic Acid is not an exfoliant. There are two main types of chemical exfoliants: Alpha Hydroxy Acids ( AHA s) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA s).
Salicylic Acid is one of the most commonly used actives in skincare today, but it has always been surrounded by controversy. After all, Salicylic Acid does have the potential to cause purging because it causes rapid cell turnover, which can reveal hidden blemishes that you weren’t dealing with before.
Skin purging is a natural process that involves the skin exfoliating cells to make way for newer, healthier ones. The length of time it takes for this process to occur varies from person to person and can take 1-2 months on average.
During this period, you may experience some discomfort or pain with your acne breakouts as well as redness in the area where your pimples are located. As long as you know what’s happening during these stages, there shouldn’t be any fear about how bad things will get; simply continue using gentle cleansers and moisturizers until all signs of active acne disappear. At that point, congratulations! You have successfully completed the skin purge stage of your journey towards clear skin.