How Do You Know If Your Skin Is Purging?

Hey hey!

I can’t believe I haven’t talked about skincare in so long. If you don’t follow me on social media, I recently just came back from New York from a week long visit and my skin was flourishing! I was very proud of my skin the whole trip and I only used 4 products the whole time (with the exception of my Peter Thomas Roth 24K gold eye patches.) I felt like my skin was unstoppable. Fast forward to a week later and now my skin is out of control. I may be exaggerating just a little bit, but if you look at these pictures I have about 4 pimples and a lot of little bumps. I rarely have acne, so I had to look at my skincare routine a little deeper.

Purging skin
purging skin

When I got back to LA I started using Dermalogica Gel Cleanser and the Dermalogica Exfoliant again. I saw so many beauty gurus talk about how amazing their products are, so when I got a hold of them I was very excited to really incorporate them in my skincare routine. After using them for a few days my skin was not happy. I went to IG and ranted about how the products did not work for me since they caused me to break out. Then one of my followers said “Maybe your skin is purging.” I’m not even going to lie I said “wtf is purging?” Ran to google, looked it up and this is what I found. I broke down the everything so you guys can better understand it.

Purging is when you start using a new product (usually a medicated treatment) and your skin “breakouts.” What is happening to your skin is not necessarily a bad thing. Your skin is producing cell turnover and shedding dead skin cells faster than normal. It’s called purging because there are certain ingredients in some products that are actually working for your skin, but it brings the breakouts you already have to the surface of your skin faster. I did some research and it says that if you keep using the products your skin will hopefully, eventually clear up. It may take up to 8 weeks to have that flawless skin, so you must be patient. You just have to pay attention to your skin and determine if it’s a breakout or just your skin purging.

Ingredients that normally cause purging are: Retinoids (including isotretinoin, retinol, retinyl palmitate, tretinoin, tazarotene, and adapalene), hydroxy acids (such as malic, lactic, glycolic, lactobionic, mandelic, gluconolactone, and fruit acids), exfoliants (such as enzyme exfoliants and scrubs), benzoyl peroxide and some anti-aging products. Pay close attention to the ingredients and your skin.

You can decrease you skin’s purging process by these few steps.

  • When introducing a new product to your skin with any of those active ingredients, use less product than normal. Try using it ever other day instead of everyday to get your skin use to what it happening.

  • Do NOT touch or pop your pimples. Our hands are so dirty and we carry so much bacteria in our nails. Touching the pimples are not helping your skin recover from its purge.

  • Do NOT use scrubs, harsh chemicals, or soaps on the effected area.

  • ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS use sunscreen. You want to protect your skin from sun rays especially when your skin is purging.

Remember your skin is purging if your previous breakout area flares up. Meaning that the acne was already going to come to surface the ingredient sped up the process. If you’re experiencing new breakouts and rashes then your skin does not like that product. I hope that makes sense and make sure we’re taking care of our skin!


Yvette Corinne