Asked by: Dr. Kendall Lemke

What skin purging looks like?

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Skin purging typically looks like tiny red bumps on the skin that are painful to touch. They are often accompanied by whiteheads or blackheads. It can also cause your skin to become flaky. The flare ups caused by purging have a shorter lifespan than a breakout. Read more

  • PURGING OR IRRITATION? | Esthetician Explains How to Identify and Treat Both Conditions
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How do you deal with skin purging?

Here are some tips for you to follow while your skin is purging:
  1. Avoid popping any of those pimples or excessive touching of the face. ...
  2. Do your best to avoid harsh chemicals or exfoliants. ...
  3. Ease your skin into new products, especially those containing active ingredients. ...
  4. Avoid extended sun exposure during skin purging.

Is it a purge or breakout?

Purging is a sign that the product is working and you should continue with the treatment as prescribed. After a few weeks of purging, your skin and acne will have noticeably improved. Breaking out is when your skin is reacting because it is sensitive to something in the new product.

How long can skin purging last?

Generally speaking, dermatologists say purging should be over within four to six weeks of starting a new skin care regimen. If your purge lasts longer than six weeks, consult your dermatologist. It could be that you need to adjust the dosage and/or frequency of application.

Why does skin purge?

Skin purging occurs when you start using a new product that contains chemical exfoliants such as alpha-hydroxy acids, beta-hydroxy acids, and retinoids, all of which speed up the rate of skin cell turnover (the rate at which you shed dead skin cells and replace them with new cells), says Dr. Gonzalez.

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Most frequently asked questions

When does skin purge start?

How long does it take for skin to purge? Unfortunately, purging can be a lengthy process and it can take up to three or so months before results start to show, especially if the treatment is an acne medicated treatment.

Is it good for your skin to purge?

Ultimately, skin purging is not a bad thing – it's just a sign that your skin is getting used to a retinoid or skin acid. If you have skin purging, you may experience whiteheads, blackheads, dryness, or even flaking.

Is purging itchy?

Are they smaller and less irritated than usual? If so, you're experiencing a skin purge that won't last forever and will culminate in the best skin you've ever had. On the other hand, irritation will present itself as inflamed, itchy, burning, or just painful in general.

Does purging cause rashes?

Distinct, acne-like bumps may be purging. However, if you're noticing welts, diffuse redness, or anything resembling a rash, stop what you're doing. Inflammation is a sign of reaction and generally appears as all-over redness rather than individual, blemish-like spots.

How do I know if my skin is reacting to a product?

Your skin might burn, sting, itch, or get red right where you used the product. You might get blisters and have oozing, especially if you scratch. The other kind of reaction actually involves your immune system. It's called allergic contact dermatitis and symptoms can include redness, swelling, itching, and hives.



PURGING OR IRRITATION? | Esthetician Explains How to Identify and Treat Both Conditions

Can purging cause redness?

An allergic reaction will look red, bumpy, scaly and they are classically itchy. “Skin purging usually looks like your typical blackheads and whiteheads,” says Doyle. They may appear as small, red swollen bumps on your skin that are similar to a breakout.

Does your face purge after a facial?

"When doing a lot of extractions to clear out bumps, sometimes not all of the lodged oil will come out and because we don't force anything that doesn't want to come out, some purging can occur a day or two after a facial as the pore does its own self-cleaning," explains Rouleau.

What ingredients cause purging?

What active ingredients cause skin purging?
  • Retinoids (retinol, tretinoin, adapalene, tazarotene, isotretinoin, retinyl palmitate)
  • Hydroxy Acids (citric, hydroxycaproic, mandelic, salicylic, gluconolactone, glycolic, lactic, lactobionic, and tartaric)
  • Benzoyl Peroxide.
  • Chemical peels, lasers and microdermabrasions.

How do I know if my skincare is not working?

How to Know If Your Skincare Routine Is Working
  1. 1: Don't Give Up! ...
  2. 2: Flaking Skin Isn't Usually Good News. ...
  3. 3: Try for (and Maintain) Smoothness. ...
  4. 4: The Bad News About Breakouts.

How do you know if your skin is getting better?

Here are some signs that you already have healthy skin — even if you're not so sure yourself.
  1. Your skin is hydrated enough.
  2. You're practicing sun protection daily, no matter where you're going that day.
  3. Your skin doesn't feel like anything – it is just there.
  4. Texture is fine, as long as it's consistent texture.

How do you know if your skin is healthy?

8 Signs of a Healthy Skin
  1. You feel normal. ...
  2. You don't Have a Dry Skin. ...
  3. Your Face is not Red. ...
  4. You have an Elastic Skin. ...
  5. Your Skin Doesn't have Dark Skin Patches. ...
  6. You Don't have Wrinkles. ...
  7. You're Free from Acne. ...
  8. You Have a Smooth Skin Texture.

Is it normal to breakout when starting a new skin care routine?

When you start a new skin care routine or you incorporate new products into your current regimen, you may experience breakouts or skin flaking. This process is sometimes called purging. This is a normal, short-term condition where the skin will rid itself of underlying oil, bacteria, or dirt, according to Dr.