Hi it’s me, Michelle from Lab Muffin again with more science-based beauty advice.
Today I’m going to be talking about purging.
Sometimes when you try a new skincare product, your skin will break out
because the product’s working, and it has to get worse before it gets better.
That’s called purging.
But other times, the new product makes your skin break out and it never gets better.
That’s just a plain old breakout.
Should you keep going with the product, or should you ditch it?
Here’s how to tell the difference.
A purge happens when a skincare product causes pimple formation to speed up.
A pimple starts off as a clogged pore in the skin called a microcomedone.
If your skin is inflamed enough, it can come to the surface and turn into a pimple.
It can also go away on its own without ever becoming visible
Products that increase skin turnover can cause purging.
These products speed up how quickly your skin renews itself,
so the whole pimple cycle speeds up.
Any baby pimples already in your skin will grow up faster
and you’ll see a sudden breakout.
However, products that increase skin turnover
also help prevent new pimples from forming.
So once this part is over, your skin settles down and looks clearer than before.
If your skin is purging, that means
the product is working like it’s meant to.
On the other hand, what could be happening is a simple breakout:
when you’re sensitive to something in the
product and if you keep using the
product your skin just gets worse.
It could be blocking your pores, or you
might be allergic, or it might just be
too irritating. There’s a small chance
that your skin will get used to the
product after a while but mostly you’ll
just damage your skin more if you keep using it.
It’s hard to say for sure whether you’re
purging or breaking out but you can
narrow it down a bit by considering
these things. Keep in mind that none of
these are absolute rules.
First, what sort of product is it?
If it increases skin turnover
it could cause purging. Here are some common ones.
Vitamin A products containing ingredients like retinol,
vitamin C products, benzoyl peroxide,
chemical exfoliants like hydroxy acids
even physical exfoliants like scrubs and
brushes can cause purging if your skin
isn’t used to them. Most other products
like moisturisers, cleansers, and
sunscreens won’t cause purging.
Secondly, where are the breakouts? If you’re
purging it should mostly be pre-existing
pimples coming up faster so if you’re
breaking out in places where you don’t
normally get pimples, it probably isn’t
purging. Keep in mind that if the product
is irritating then your acne could be
worse than normal in the same areas
whether you’re purging or not.
For example, clogged pores can be replaced
with full-blown pimples. This can happen
with purging as well as non-purging breakouts.
Finally, how long have you been purging?
Purging should only last for
about a month: the time needed for your
skin to completely renew itself. If your
skin isn’t getting better after around
six to eight weeks ditch the product.
If you’re about to start a new product
that could cause purging such as an
exfoliant here are a few tips to make
the process less painful.
Make sure you introduce the product
slowly. This will help minimise
inflammation and slowly speed up your
skin renewal process. For example you can
start at a lower concentration of the
active ingredient or dilute the product
by mixing it with moisturiser at first.
You can also use it less frequently at
Be gentle to your skin to reduce
irritation and speed up recovery.
Keep your skin hydrated with moisturisers, use
a gentle cleanser and use anti irritant and
anti inflammatory products. Make sure you
keep your skin protected from the sun.
You can treat your purging breakouts
just like any other breakouts. I spot
treat with benzoyl peroxide and tea tree
oil and fade the scars with vitamin C
and hydroxy acid exfoliants.
And that’s the lowdown on purging! I hope you found
this useful. If you did, please comment
and let me know, and if you have any
suggestions for future videos please let
me know as well. If you’d like to see
more please subscribe to my channel!
Have you had that awful experience when you’re not quite sure if a product is purging or breaking you out? This video covers:
* the science of why purging happens with some products
* how to work out if you’re purging or breaking out
* tips to make the purging process less severe
Note: Most of the products featured are PR samples.
I’m switching to a slightly better video editor for the next video, baby steps!
Want smooth, glowing skin? Grab a free copy of the Essential Guide to Exfoliation! https://labmuffin.com/exfol
Purging vs Breakouts: https://labmuffin.com/purging-vs-breakouts-ditch-skincare/
Pinnable Guide to Purging vs Breakouts: https://labmuffin.com/video-skin-purging-breaking/
Essential Guide to Exfoliation: https://labmuffin.com/exfol
The Lab Muffin Guide to Basic Skincare is here! Find out more: https://labmuffin.com/skin