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Breakouts vs. Purging

Skin purging refers to your skin’s reaction to a specific active ingredient that triggers your cell turnover, causing your skin to exfoliate and further bring congestion to the surface of your skin. This is not something to be wary of as it is normal for your skin to experience this.


Dec 16, 2020 11:24:03 AM / by Whitney Dickerson



Is my Acne a sign of Purging or a Breakout?


Have you ever been so thrilled to try a new product only to wake up to skin that isn’t clear? One of two things could be happening here: you could either be experiencing your skin purging, or a breakout is occurring. We are going to break down the difference between both of these to help inform you what to expect, how to help, and what not to do.

Skin purging refers to your skin’s reaction to a specific active ingredient that triggers your cell turnover, causing your skin to exfoliate and further bring congestion to the surface of your skin. This is not something to be wary of as it is normal for your skin to experience this. Typically, this is a reaction when using ingredients such as AHA’s, BHA’s, retinoids, or oxygen products.

Our skin cycle is typically renewed every 28 days but using these types of products sends a signal to speed up the exfoliation process which can cause a period of purging in your skin which allows your skin to reveal healthier skin cells.

A common question that is asked is “If this product is supposed to help my skin, why is it making me break out?”

There is a vast misconception between your skin purging and your skin experiencing a breakout. Purging typically looks like blackheads and flesh-coloured bumps on the skin while breakouts are typically red, irritated, and clogged on areas of the face where they don’t typically occur. A breakout differs from this because it is an indication of a few possibilities of things: clogged pores, an allergic reaction, or an irritation from the product itself. A breakout can be caused by irritation, stress, your cycle, or an incorrect product for your skin.

You will want to pay close attention to what your skin is doing to determine whether your skin is purging or experiencing a breakout. Understanding the difference between the two of these will help you to establish whether to keep using a product or if it is not suited for your skin type. Depending on the person, this cycle of purging typically takes 6-8 weeks for this to occur. If you are not seeing any resolution by then it would be best to seek further assistance from your licensed skin care professional.

Lastly, what you don’t want to do is further irritate your skin. Avoid adding more exfoliants to your skin until it has calmed down. Also, please resist the urge to pick or touch your face. We recommend keeping to a simple gentle skincare routine during this time and don’t forget to always wear your SPF!


Written by Whitney Dickerson


If you have any questions and would like to speak to one of our friendly Master Aestheticians in your area please email support@glymedplusaustralia.com.au


Breakouts vs. Purging
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