Why your Skin is Purging

Purging is an acne breakout you have after  starting a new skincare product that is increasing the cell turnover rate. It’s not usually a bad thing.

Products that cause skin purging:

  • Hydroxy acids (AHAs, BHAs and PHAs)
  • Retinoids
  • Vitamin C treatments
  • Microdermabrasion tools


So, purging occurs because your new skin cells are coming to the surface more quickly, which helps to excrete trapped sebum under your skin. Basically, any acne that you would have had will come up and run its course a lot more quickly. It can last a week to two months, so it requires some patience.

It can take months for acne to surface, so having it appear sooner is actually a good thing. It all would have shown up at some point anyway. If you do purge, don’t go trying a bunch of different treatments. Keep your skincare routine very simple. I typically only recommend introducing one new product at a time, anyway.


Signs that you’re purging:

  • The breakout is on the area of your face where you typically get acne. (Ex. I usually breakout on my chin and cheeks. If I notice a bunch of acne on my forehead, it’s more likely a reaction to the product, not purging.
  • You started using something that increases skin cell turnover


Did you know that I have an instagram account JUST about skin? Check it out here.





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