What is Skin Purging?

What is Skin Purging?

Have you ever noticed sudden breakouts after starting a new skincare routine? Chances are, you’re experiencing skin purging. But before you freak out, let’s take a closer look at what skin purging is, why it happens, and how to deal with it.

Most of us have experienced the dreaded “pizza face” phase during our teens. You know, when your skin is an unpredictable disaster and you just want to hide away until it clears up. For some of us, that phase never really ends. We can find ourselves in our 20s, 30s, and even 40s still struggling with breakouts. But there’s hope! With the right skincare routine and some patience, you can achieve clear skin. However, before you get there, you might experience something called skin purging.
What Is Skin Purging?
Skin purging is when your skin suddenly breaks out after starting a new skincare routine. It is different from typical breakouts because it is a result of your skincare products working too well. Your skin is going through an accelerated rate of exfoliation, which brings all the gunk (sebum, dirt, dead skin cells) to the surface faster than usual. Skin purging typically lasts 4-6 weeks as your skin adjusts to the new products and sheds the layers of dead skin cells. After that initial purge period, you should start seeing an improvement in your skin’s texture and clarity.

Why Does It Happen?
It happens because your new skincare routine is stimulating your skin’s cell turnover rate. This means that yourskin cells are shedding at a faster rate than before, which can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. If you’re using active ingredients like retinoids or AHAs/BHAs, you’re more likely to experience purging because those ingredients are known for increasing cell turnover rates.

How Do I Deal With It?
First things first: don’t freak out! It might be tempting to give up on your new skincare routine when you see a sudden outbreak of pimples, but that would be a mistake. Remember that this is only temporary and it will eventually pass. In the meantime, here are some tips for dealing with purging:
-Don’t pick or pop your pimples! This will only make them worse and could lead to scarring.
-Stick to your regular cleansing routine but cut back on exfoliating since your skin is already exfoliating at an accelerated rate.
-Make sure you’re using non-comedogenic products so as not to further clog your pores. And avoid using any other products that might irritate your skin like harsh scrubs or astringents.

If you suddenly find yourself breaking out after starting a new skincare routine, don’t worry—you’re probably just experiencing skin purging. It happens when your new products cause an acceleration in your skin cells’ turnover rate, bringing all the dirt and gunk to the surface faster than usual. While it can be frustrating to deal with breakouts, remember that this is only temporary and it will eventually pass. In the meantime, stick to your regular cleansing routine but cut back on exfoliating, use non-comedogenic products, and avoid anything else that might irritate your skin.


If you are new to Vasseur Skincare or need help choosing the right skincare for you, click here to look at our helpful skincare guide or here if you wanted to schedule a consultation with our Vasseur Skincare team members and they will help you find the right products for your specific needs.

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