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How to Survive the Skin Purge

Diverse woman cleansing her face with lathered facial cleansing product

So you just started a new product. You did your research, triple-checked customer reviews, investigated each ingredient and finally settled on THE product you think is going to be the answer to your skin woes. Now, all you have to do is sit back and wait to see the expected results. Right?

In an ideal world, yes. But maybe shortly after you introduced the new product to your skincare regimen, you noticed you were breaking out more than usual. The product seemingly is having the opposite effect than what you expected. Is this normal? What you may be experiencing is called skin purging, and yes, it's normal.

Continue reading to learn more about skin purging and how to deal with it.

What is skin purging?

Skin purging is the process that can occur after introducing a new product into your skincare routine that can lead to active and dormant breakouts, all surfacing at once. In other words, after adding a new acne-fighting product, your breakouts may get worse before they get better.

The most effective acne products contain ingredients whose sole purpose is to increase cell turnover, reducing the opportunity for dead skin cells to form layers on the skin trapping sebum (oil secreted by glands beneath the skin’s surface), dirt and other oils inside. In acne-prone skin, dead skin cells tend to remain glued to the surface of the skin rendering the skin unable to slough off these skin cells naturally which leads to an increase in breakouts.

Skincare companies have formulated products with ingredients such as Salicylic Acid, Retinol, Retinoids and Benzoyl Peroxide to give your skin the extra push to shed dead skin cells. If your skin is not used to these ingredients; however, you may notice an initial increase in whiteheads or pustules.

The good news? If the product is a good fit for you and your skin, this increase in breakouts won't last forever.

How long will the purge last?

While you may feel like you're in a horror movie wondering how long the purge will last or if you'll be one of the ones to survive, there's light at the end of the tunnel.

One of the most popular questions we receive from our customers is, "I'm using your products, and I'm not seeing results, what am I doing wrong?" The answer is two-fold.

First, give the product and your skin time

We get it; no one likes to play the waiting game. But if you've been struggling with acne or dark marks for a long time, your concerns aren't going to disappear overnight. After incorporating new products into your skincare routine, we recommend observing your skin for at least four to eight weeks for the beginnings of visible results.

Second, ensure you have a full skincare routine

When dealing with troublesome acne, your first instinct may be to only focus on one product. You know, try one product, see if it works, then try another one. However, we always recommend a full skincare regimen to produce the best results. You should always cleanse, moisturize and apply SPF daily while incorporating treatments and correctives into your regimen that caters to your skin type and concerns.

A full skincare routine is the most effective approach to improving your skin's overall appearance and will also protect you from environmental stressors and the sun's harmful rays.

(Note: In addition to these recommendations, it's also essential to pay attention to your eating habits, water and alcohol consumption and smoking, among others, which may also play a role in your skin appearance. It's also essential to only introduce one new product at a time, don’t start an entirely new regimen.)

When it comes to treating skin challenges, no product is one-size-fits-all. There is no universal rule for every skin type or skin concern, and 100% results may vary. But don't give up right away. Skin purging takes time.

Talk to the customer service experts who work for the skincare brand you’ve chosen about your experience. They should be able to tell you how long it will take to see any results. If you continue to experience issues after that allotted time, you should discontinue use and seek an alternative that works better. (You should also discontinue use if you notice excessive redness, itching, stinging/burning, rashes, are pregnant or breastfeeding. And if you’re really having difficulty or have serious skin issues, consult a physician.)

For other information, education and resources on how to maintain your melanin-rich, even-looking and ageless glow, check back on The Glow-Up Guide often! And don't forget to utilize our Customer Experience team if you have questions about your experience with our product line.