If you’re on a mission for clearer skin, you may decide to revamp your skincare regimen. From exfoliants to retinals, many skincare products promise to make your skin youthful, radiant, and acne-free.
Certain skincare ingredients can work wonders, but it’s important to note that your skin may get worse before it gets better. This phenomenon, known as “skin purging,” is relatively rare and only temporary. But if you’re experiencing it, you may be eager to find out how long it takes to clear up.
What is Skin Purging?
Skin purging occurs when active ingredients speed up your skin’s cell turnover.1 Some ingredients that have this effect are retinoids, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, vitamin C, and exfoliants.1
As your skin sheds and renews at a faster rate, it pushes any pre-existing congestion to the surface, potentially resulting in1:
After clearing out the gunk, you’ll ideally be left with clearer, smoother skin—you just need to exercise a little patience.
How Long Does Skin Purging Last?
Skin purging usually only persists for four to six weeks. That’s because your skin renews itself every 28 days.2 Once new skin cells have replaced the old ones (along with their congestion), purging symptoms should clear up. It’s only at this point that you can truly evaluate the efficacy of your new skincare product.
Skin Purging vs. Breakouts
Since skin purging can induce acne, it’s easy to confuse it with a regular acne breakout. So, how can you tell if your new skincare is causing your skin to purge vs. break out?
Here are a few tell-tale differences:
- Timing – Skin purging sets in shortly after introducing a new skincare product. Meanwhile, acne breakouts can arise at any time.
- Length – Skin purging should only last for a few weeks. If your acne breakout lasts longer than that, it likely has a different root cause.
- Location – Since the purge pushes existing pimples to the surface, it should affect the same locations where you’re already prone to getting acne. If you develop blemishes or irritation in brand-new places, you may be dealing with a sensitivity to the product instead.
Do CLEARSTEM Products Cause Skin Purging?
At CLEARSTEM, we design gentle skincare for acne-prone skin. Some of these products contain ingredients that may induce skin purging in some people, such as mandelic acid. However, skin purging is rarely reported among our customer base.
With our hormonal acne supplement, some customers report skin purging for around two weeks. This purging takes place as the body detoxes itself and optimizes its elimination pathways. But in most cases, if you use our products correctly and avoid over-exfoliating, skin purging is unlikely to occur.
How to Minimize Skin Purging
No matter what products you use, you can minimize skin purging by taking the following steps:
- Start slow – Some ingredients may irritate your skin if it's not used to them yet. By going slow, you can acclimate your skin gradually and prevent more severe irritation. For instance, we recommend our customers apply our "The Blackhead Dissolver" at night during the first week of their treatment. After that, they can start using it in the morning, as well.
Wear your SPF – The sun’s UV rays can exacerbate skin inflammation. What’s more, certain active ingredients can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.3 As such, it’s crucial to apply broad-spectrum sunscreen during the skin purging phase and beyond. Our YOUARESUNSHINE™ Sheer Broad-Spectrum SPF 50+ is an excellent option.
Moisturize twice a day – A nourishing moisturizer, like our HYDRAGLOW™ Stem Cell Moisturizer, can keep your skin hydrated as you try out new skincare treatments. To give your skin an extra boost of hydration, treat your skin to our HYDRABERRY™ Moisture Mask right before bed.
- Switching out your pillowcases – Throughout the night, pillowcases trap dead skin cells, sweat, sebum, and bacteria. This debris can build up over time if you don’t wash your pillowcases regularly. In turn, it could trigger new acne to develop while you’re purging out old pimples. With this in mind, make it a habit to wash your pillowcases on a regular basis.
Achieve Clearer Skin With CLEARSTEM
In summary, skin purging is a temporary condition that can occur with some types of skincare products. Fortunately, it should only last a few weeks.
If you want to avoid skin purging, stick to skincare that contains gentle ingredients. At CLEARSTEM, we provide just that. For instance, our hormonal acne supplement and non-comedogenic skincare products can help you heal your acne at the source and achieve clear, vibrant skin.
Ready for a skincare upgrade? Get your CLEARSTEM skincare today.
- Medical News Today. What to know about skin purging. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/skin-purging-vs-breakout
- Science Direct. The applied anatomy of human skin: A model for regeneration. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213909520300033
- Skin Cancer Foundation. Is Your Beauty Routine Making You Photosensitive? https://www.skincancer.org/blog/when-beauty-products-cause-sun-sensitivity/