5 Quick Facts About Skin Purging

You found yourself drawn to a product shown on TV. Because of all its promises, you were so excited to buy one, and apply right away because of the promise to fix all your worries about your skin. Suddenly, you found yourself facing the mirror – with your face covered with new blemishes and spots!

What is happening? You may wonder. Is this a reaction to the product you just started using? Is it an evidence that the product is not working at all? If you have experienced this before, then it is time for you to learn more about skin purging.

Here are 5 quick facts about skin purging that you may not know.


1. Purging – What is it?

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Skin purging is a condition characterized by the changes that happen to your skin during the adjustment period when you begin to use a new skin care product. Usually, your skin may get worse compared to the time before you used the product. This condition is easy to confuse with a reaction. A reaction, on the other hand, happens when the skin is irritated to an ingredient in the product. The difference between these two will be explained later.

In detail, purging happens as a result of the skin’s action which involves removing excess ‘gunk’ or sebum in the skin. This is generally done through the process we usually describe as breaking out. While the initial breakouts that happen after trying a new product may indeed come as a result of the products actually working to remove the gunk, it is just the natural way of getting used to the new products.

Video Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyCcTBjRlFo

2. Products That Cause Purging

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Generally speaking, purging may happen with any product, depending on the quality of your skin. However, there are products that are known to cause purging. These are the products that usually contain topical acne medications, as well as products which are supposedly designed to help with acne treatment.

For example, a new toner, or a new scrub that contains salicylic acid. Moisturizers which contain benzoyl peroxide may also be a candidate to causing skin purging. However, this does not mean that you stop using the product when your skin starts to purge. Once the period is done, you may start to see the actual benefits of the product.

Video Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wp51GwslQwQ

3. Purging vs. Reaction

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As already mentioned, the specific type of product that is causing the experience can give you the clue whether you are dealing with skin purging or just a reaction. For some, it always end up playing the wait-and-see game to observe whether their skin heals after a period of time.

At times, you can tell according to the reaction of your skin in the past. You need to know your skin very well so that you can tell whether your skin is just reacting to a new product, or your skin is indeed working now to clean the mess up. For example, for some women, a breakout would mean a reaction, while the appearance of clogged pores and whiteheads/blackheads is a sign of skin purging. Knowing your skill well will also help you differentiate these conditions.

Also, you can have an idea whether it is skin purging or a reaction depending on the type of product that you are using. If you are using a product with active ingredients such as AHA, retinol or salicylic acid, you are more likely to experience skin purging. These ingredients are known to speed up the turnover of skin. This is a common side effect of using products that serve as acne medication.

Video Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGzjEJcKkoc

4. How long it Lasts

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There is no specific answer to this question. The period of time expected for skin purging to last differs from one person to another and other factors. In fact, it also depends on the sensitivity of your skin, as well as the type of products that you are using.

Most often, you are likely to experience reactions to new products. At times, it can just be a single breakout, or with others, worse. Some only have to wait for a couple of weeks before experiencing a ‘cleared out’ skin status, while others may have to wait longer.

There are also some ‘hacks’ which shortens the period of skin purging. Check this video for more information.

Video Sources: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thOqpPdb1Is

5. Dealing With It The Right Way

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Now the question – should you stop using your new skin care product after noticing your skin purging? If you do so, and you have qualified that it is indeed, skin purging, you may not be giving the product a chance to work and show its powers. It is often recommended to try giving it around 3 months. However, you need to see some improvements within 3 to 4 weeks of use.

If the breakouts still continue even after 3 to 4 months, and you see no improvements at all, you may try switching to another product. Three months is enough for the skin to breathe and renew itself and push the extra sebum out of the clogged pores.

You can also limit the severity of skin purging by introducing a new product gradually to your skin. This means that you may want to start with a lower concentration first, a smaller amount, or even use less frequently before gradually starting to increase to the amount recommended. You may also want to do a patch test first to make sure.

Video Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpyA_lU6ayc


Yes, skin purging can be confusing – only if you have no idea what it is. With the right knowledge about it, however, you have the edge. Now, you have an idea how to deal with it. When it comes to skin care, knowing everything that you can is a powerful weapon after all!

Did you like the article above? You may have your fair share of experiences about skin purging. Share them in the comment section below! You may also share this article to your friends if you liked it!