It’s always exciting to try out new skin care, but it can also be nerve-wracking. Will your skin love it or hate it? Often, trying out a new product can lead to reactions from slight irritation to full on breakouts, we’ve all experienced it! What if I tell you that this is not necessarily a bad thing? A reaction could actually mean that a product is working amazing for you. Your skin could be purging.
Purging is something that happens when you use a new product that increases your cell turnover rate. This means that the skin cells on your face is regenerating at a faster rate, which is good! The reason that new pimples appear during the purging period is because all the clogged baby pores under the skin are rising to the surface as blemishes. These are basically pimples that will occur anyway at some point in the future, purging basically speeds up the process.
This often when introducing a high quality natural oil to your routine. This is because most high quality oils contain high amounts of fatty acids, retinols, and/or vitamins, all the good stuff that increases cell regeneration and skin turn over rate! Aside from the above reason, if you are using oils for the first time, the pH and microbiome on your face could also be rebalancing. These reasons often lead to breakouts when switching over to natural, oil-based skin care. Stick with it, however, and you could be rewarded with glowing, clear skin.
Purging can last from a week to a full skin cycle, which is 28 days on average. If it lasts longer than 6 weeks, then you are probably just breaking out.
How do I tell if I’m purging or simply breaking out?
You can find out if you are purging:
- The pimples or blemishes occur at areas where you usually have clogged pores or blemishes. This is because purging simply “uncovers” the baby pimples, and does not cause new ones to appear. If a breakout occurs at an area that is completely clear, then it is likely that you are simply experiencing a run-of-the-mill breakout.
- The blemishes or pimples that appear during purging will clear up faster than ones from a regular breakout. They should surface quickly and disappear quickly, at least relative to regular blemishes. Sometimes they could occur in clusters or all at once, in either case, you should see steady improvement after. If you continue breaking out and it does not get better after 4-6 weeks, then it is probably NOT the purge.
What about redness, burning or tightness after using a product?
These are common reactions when using a new product as well. If you are using a toner, face mist or facial mask, this could mean that circulation is improving or that the product is deep cleansing. If the redness persists after 30 minutes, then it is likely too strong or could be irritating your skin.
If the product is an oil, redness or tingling can happen when your skin is very dry. If your skin is well moisturised and redness or tingling happens, you might want to stop using the product as it is likely causing a reaction.
Tips on surviving the purge
The purge can be frustrating, but is often necessary in the search for products that are meant for you. Here are some general tips to make the process easier!
Do a patch test before introducing a product to your routine.
Doing a patch test is super simple, just put a small amount of the product on a thin part of the skin (the side of the neck is a great choice), then wait for an hour. If you experience irritation in such a short frame, you probably won’t want to introduce the product to your routine!
the side of the neck has really thin skin and does not usually have breakouts, making it excellent for patch testing
Introduce products gradually, and at night at first
If you are using a new product, especially if you are using a type of skin care that you are not used to, you can use less of it or do it on alternative nights. Introducing new products at night is a good idea as you will not be exposed to environmental factors in the day that could impact your skin.
Introduce products when you are sleeping and eating well
Your skin does not exist in a vacuum, your eating, sleeping,stress levels, and general health will affect your skin condition. This is true during a purge as well! Being healthy will help your skin in general, but will also ease the purging process, enabling you to make wiser decisions in the search for products that work for you.
after surviving the purge, only you will find your true product <3