Skincare Quickies is our latest series, which gives you a short rundown on the key techniques, trends and ingredients relating to skincare. Consider this as your cheat sheet to an incredible complexion.
Purging or Breakouts
What The Terms Mean:
Purging is a process that brings clogged pores to the surface in the form of acne. It occurs when you begin using a product that accelerates cellular turnover, which in turn causes your skin to shed dead cells faster and loosens up any trapped sebum. Essentially, it speeds up the life cycle of a zit that would have otherwise lurked beneath the surface for longer.
Breakouts occur when your skin adversely reacts to an ingredient. This type of acne is triggered when your pores get clogged or when you have an allergic reaction to a product.
How To Tell The Difference:
Purging causes acne in areas where you usually get blemishes. The acne decreases after a few weeks of incorporating the new product into your skincare routine.
Breakouts usually occur in new areas i.e. parts of your skin that don’t normally have acne. These will only subside once you stop applying the formula to your skin.
Ingredients That Cause Purging:
Retinols, fruit enzymes, hydroxy acids (lactic acid, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, mandelic acid etc.) and vitamin C are common ingredients that cause purging. In addition, physical exfoliants like cleansing brushes, microdermabrasion treatments and facial scrubs can also trigger this process.
If you are getting acne when using non-active or comedogenic ingredients like oils or silicones, your skin is probably suffering from a reactive breakout.
How To Deal With Purging:
The best way to deal with purging is to persevere through the process, which lasts anywhere up to 6 weeks. To limit the severity of the purge, start by introducing the new product slowly and gradually into your regime. In general, it’s safer to start with lower concentrations and weekly usage before building it up to a more potent formula and daily application.
Since purge-inducing products are quite strong, you should use a gentle moisturizer and sunscreen to keep your skin’s natural barrier protected.