You wake up one morning to find that the internet and all your friends are raving about this newfound product which promises to give the skin you only thought you could have in your dreams. Or maybe you just really want to impress that woman but your skin just isn’t allowing you to have the confidence that you so terribly need.
So, you go ahead and buy the product in an attempt to solve all your skin problems once and forever...only to find that your skin didn’t react well to it. You see your skin breaking out the very next day, covering everything from your temples to your chin.
“What on earth happened?” you wonder.
Lies, they’re all lies!
But are they really? Trust us; you’re not the only person who has experienced such a thing, if that gives you any consolation. Anyone who has been in the same boat would follow their first instinct to blame the product. Seeing the rapidly increasing breakout might even bring you to tears, especially if you had somewhere important to be at the next day. As difficult as it may be, stay calm, keep your cool and uncover the mystery with us.
Are You Breaking Out or Purging?
First things first, breaking out is different than simply purging. It’s not easy to distinguish because both cases give you the same amount and severity of stubborn pimples – some of which may even leave a mark if you’re not careful enough.
To really get to the root of it, you must understand why the skin purges or breaks out to begin with. Purging occurs when the condition of your skin is worsened due to a hastened rate of exfoliation. This happens because the product contains an active ingredient which is the main cause of it. The skin cells on our face are the most exposed part of the body. When you purge, it generally means you had clogged pores which turned into pimples or active acne –if you have existing pimples, they become larger.
However, when the skin is purging, it returns back to its state even better than before the purge started. The acne or pimples that occur as a result of the use of a product that contains an active ingredient go away within 2-6 weeks. However, if the acne does not go away within 3 months, then it’s a sign that you’re breaking out and not purging.
Moreover, a man’s skin and a woman’s skin are moderately different in nature. While women have skin that is soft and smooth, a man tends to have skin that is firm and thicker due to the facial hair and constant shaving, among other things. Thus, the products that are made for either gender also vary. Luckily, there are lots of unisex products that treat both skin types and minimize purging or breakouts.
It Isn’t Always The Product
As aforementioned, it isn’t always the product that’s at fault. Although the active ingredients present within the product may aggravate your skin condition, it almost always gets better. You must be familiar with the statement: “It has to get worse before it gets better”. This is exactly how it is with skincare products.
The active ingredients that cause purging or breakouts are AHA, BHA or retinoids. AHA and BHA ensure that the purging will come to an end within two weeks, and your skin will be visibly better than it was before the purge. With retinoid, on the other hand, it can take up to six weeks for the pimples to diminish completely. In any case, by the time your skin has renewed and restored the cells, your skin is better and you will see that the product has worked for sure.
Many people make the mistake of ditching their product at the first sign of a purge or breakout. Although it is wise to quit using a product because of the possibility that your skin might be rejecting an ingredient present in it, you should always try to wait it out before you really stop using the product completely.
Why the Skin Purges
You may not be aware of this, but a pimple doesn’t just occur out of nowhere. Before it forms, it’s actually a clogged pore that is tucked away under the exterior of your skin. At this stage, you won’t be able to see the clogged pore because it is within the skin. However, the clogged pore is actually forming way before you even notice it was there. In order for the clogged pore to go away completely, it has to become a pimple and inflame before it returns back to normal.
When a skincare product aggravates the rate at which a skin cell turnover occurs, it actually increases the speed of the entire cycle which causes a lot of pimples to appear – which we refer to as purging or breaking out. However, it’s always better to be aware of the active ingredients or treatments that have a tendency to increase skin cell turnover, especially so you don’t use the product the night before an important meeting. Here are some active ingredients:
- Benzoyl Peroxide
- Lasers Treatments
- Chemical peels
- Lactobionic Acids,
- Fruit Acids,
- Ascorbic Acid,
- Sodium or Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate,
- Ascorbyl Palmitate
- Retinyl Palmitate.
How to Tell If You’re Purging or It’s an Allergic Reactions
As abovementioned, when the skin is purging, you experience pimples all over the face. However, if you don’t normally get pimples on your forehead, you won’t purge on that part of the face either. An allergic reaction, however, is easily distinguished because the skin or parts of the skin will start to feel irritated with tiny red bumps appearing all over. You may also experience intensive itchiness. If this happens to you, discontinue the product immediately.
Which Products Should You Use?
Fortunately, there are plenty of products with ingredients that you can use without having to worry about your skin reacting differently, purging or breaking out. Products that do not have active ingredients and do not contain chemical exfoliants are safe to use.
For this reason, it is advisable to use products made out of natural ingredients, like our well thought out brand Fahari Naturals. Not only are our products designed for both men and women, the ingredients that are used minimize the chances of you having to face a horrible breakout.
Hopefully, this article helped you understand why new products might cause your skin to purge, so be safe and careful when you’re purchasing your next skincare product!