Is Your Skin Purging Or Breaking Out?

Is Your Skin Purging Or Breaking Out?


Have you ever experienced sudden breakouts surfacing through your epidermis right after trying out a new skin care product? With bazillions of skin care trends and products popping up left and right, the yearning to try them out can be understandable. However, seldom times, the unexpected after-effects that these skin care products deliver in the form of so-called “pimples and breakouts” can leave behind a sour taste. Not only it devastatingly crushes your expectations but also impacts your appearance and self-confidence. If you have already searched through the internet for some theory behind these breakouts, then we are sure you must have come across a popular term - Skin Purging. 

What is skin purging?

Skin purging is basically your skin's reaction to newly introduced ingredients into your skin care regimen. These active ingredients slough off dead skin cells and regenerate new skin cells at a speed faster than usual skin cell turnover. They loosen up the dead skin cells, bacteria, oil, etc that are present beneath your epidermis and bring them to the surface of your skin. Ultimately causing tiny, red bumps that can be sensitive and painful when touched.  A study published by Clinical Interventions in Ageing reveals that certain retinoid creams, chemical exfoliators, acne ingredients are some of the main causes found behind skin purging. 

Is your skin purging or breaking out?

To put it simply, skin purging detoxes your skin from within whereas breakouts are the impurities stored and stuck within your epidermis (skin). Top dermatologists claim that a breakout is likely to cause an allergic reaction to ingredients present in your skin care products. However, skin purging cleanses your skin, instead. Another interesting fact to consider is that purging does not leave any blemishes or spots on our skin while healing. Whereas, breakouts, acne, and pimples usually leave behind marks and blemishes prominently noticeable on the canvas of your skin.

Major differences between skin purging and breaking out

  • Skin purging triggers in the same area where you usually get breakouts. So, if you are experiencing pimples in the new areas of your face, then it might not be purging.
  • Purge pimples disappear faster than normal pimples. It has been observed that your skin takes 6-8 weeks to adjust to any new skin care products. If your pimples persist for more than 6 weeks, it's better to stop using the product.

Tips to minimize the skin purge

  • Refrain constant touching 
  • Avoid using  skin care products that dry out  skin
  • Use a sunscreen 
  • Keep your pillow covers clean
  • Avoid harsh chemicals 

 Tips to minimize the skin purge

1. Refrain constant touching 

 Long story short, dirt and bacteria are present everywhere. When your hands come in contact with your mobile, doorknobs, and many other thing,  the bacteria, viruses, and allergens tend to get transferred to your fingertips. Touching your face constantly with unwashed hands that are full of bacteria and dirt can provoke the development of acne. What’s more, it can also exacerbate the flare-ups, thereby fostering an increase in skin purge. 

2. Avoid using  skin care products that dry out  skin

Purging is considered a good sign which means that a skin care product is working for your acne concerns. At the same time, it is important to keep your skin nourished and moisturized when you see purging. The process of purging promotes the exfoliation of the skin which may result in loss of moisture. It is better to avoid the use of skin care products that have the tendency to dry out your skin.

3. Use a sunscreen 

Purging tends to make your skin vulnerable and sensitive. A recent research article shows that harmful UV radiations can possibly aggravate your skin when coming into contact with it. This is why it is pivotal to slather on some broad-spectrum sunscreen on your skin before stepping in the outdoors during peak sun hours. A broad-spectrum sunscreen protects your skin from UVA and UVB rays of the sun while preventing your purged skin to flare up ever more so.  In addition, sun rays are identified as a major cause of sudden outbreaks.

4. Keep your pillows clean

A research study presented by the American Academy of Dermatology reveals that human beings shed between 30,000 to 40,000 dead skin cells daily. These dead skin cells along with oil, sweat, etc tend to get accumulated on your pillow covers during the course of a night. This can further aggravate your already existing skin purge while also resulting in the manifestation of acne, pimples, etc. Washing your pillow covers at least twice a week is pertinent to avoid unwanted flare-ups. Moreover, it will also help you achieve healthy and radiant skin.  

5. Avoid harsh chemicals 

Top dermatologists reveal that certain skin care products contain harsh ingredients such as sulphate, parabens, etc. These ingredients when coming into contact with your skin can successfully aggravate your already flared up skin. This is why it is crucial to always double-check the ingredients present in skin care products before investing in them. Doing so will not only shield your skin from harmful ingredients and products but also benefit your skin in the longer run. 

 Is Your Skin Purging Or Breaking Out?

Skin purging and acne breakout are two different skin conditions. In purging dead skin cells, bacteria,  excess sebum, and other debris start to surface through your skin. In simple words, purging is an indication that your skin is adapting itself to new skin care products. You can easily prevent purging with the help of these tips and techniques. Having said that, it is imperative to keep in mind that not all breakouts can be blamed on skin purging. It is why numerous experts suggest examining your skin concerns and woes before opting for any treatment. 



Skin purging is a temporary condition and usually lasts for 5-6 weeks. However, if it lingers for a longer duration then it is advised to visit a dermatologist.  Also, it is important to keep a check on habits like picking or scratching tiny inflamed bumps. As such habits can trigger skin irritations along with the increased risk of bacterial infection.