Ways To Prevent Your Skin From Purging
You’ve probably heard of the term “purging” before. It’s a skincare buzzword that’s used to describe a period of increased breakouts when you first start using a new product or introducing a change in your routine. For example, if you switch from a gentle cleanser to an acne-fighting one, you might see more blemishes for a few weeks as your skin adjusts to the new routine.
We all know that acne isn’t fun, but what can you do to prevent it? Here are five tips to help keep breakouts at bay:
Avoid Popping Your Acne or Excessively Touching Your Face
Picking at your pimples can make them worse and cause permanent damage to your skin. When picking at your pimples, bacteria gets under your fingernails and can spread around your face — leading to more pimples and visible scars. Also, when you touch your face often without washing your hands first, oil from your fingertips can get trapped on your face and lead to more breakouts.
The first step in preventing purging is to cleanse right. Your goal should be to remove dirt and oil without stripping moisture from the skin. This means using gentle cleansers that don't contain sulfates or detergents (like sodium lauryl sulfate).
Cleansing oils and balms are also great options because they provide deep hydration while removing makeup and excess sebum without irritation. If you have oily skin, look for an oil-based cleanser that contains hyaluronic acid (like niacinamide) or glycerin as well as oils like jojoba and argan (which are non-comedogenic). For dry skin types, try a gel-to-oil formula or a cleansing balm with ceramides.
Go Minimal With Your Routine
It's tempting to want to fix everything at once when your skin is breaking out like crazy, but that's not always the best idea. If you're new to using acids and retinoids, then they might be causing some irritation and inflammation that could lead to more breakouts. You'll want to start off slow with these products until your skin has adjusted, which may take a few months.
Avoid Harsh Exfoliants
The last thing you want during this time is for your skin to be irritated further by harsh exfoliants or other abrasive treatments like microdermabrasion or chemical peels. These types of treatments can cause more inflammation and irritation on top of any breakouts you already have going on. It's best if you stick with gentle cleansers at this point — or maybe even just water!
Don’t Skip Toner
If your skin tends to break out after starting a new skincare routine, then toner may be the key to preventing a purge. Toners help balance pH levels and remove excess oil and dirt from your face before applying anything else. If you don’t have time for this step in your morning routine, try adding it into your nighttime routine instead! If your skin still breaks out after adding toner into your regimen, then try switching up what brand of toner you use or try skipping it altogether for a while until things calm down.
Use SPF Up
Sun damage is one of the biggest reasons that hormones cause acne. When you're on Accutane, you have to be extra careful about sun exposure because it's so powerful at increasing inflammation levels in your skin. It's also important to use a high-quality SPF. The active ingredient in Accutane makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so anything less than SPF 30 is not going to be enough protection!
Don't Stress About Pimples
When you start a new skincare routine, it's normal for your body to react by breaking out with pimples or having extra dry patches. But if you let yourself stress about these minor changes in appearance, you'll end up making matters worse! Instead of panicking over every blemish on your face, focus on preventing them from happening in the first place by avoiding stressors like diet changes and environmental triggers like pollution and cigarette smoke that can cause breakouts in people who are prone to acne.
Use Sun Protection
Sun exposure is one of the biggest causes of purging. If you're going to be spending time outdoors, use SPF 30 or higher sunscreen and a hat whenever possible. If your acne treatment contains vitamin C or retinoids, try not to expose those areas to sunlight for at least 15 minutes after applying them. Even though these ingredients don't increase sun sensitivity, they can make it harder for your body to repair damage from UV rays.
Don't Expect Perfect Skin In A Week Or Two
Some people expect dramatic results from their new products right away — but chances are good that won't happen unless you have extremely stubborn acne or a very quick-acting product on your hands (which probably isn't going to be available over the counter). It takes time for all those little clogged pores to unclog themselves and disappear into healthy skin cells; don't give up on a product just because it hasn't made an immediate change in your skin yet!
It’s best not to introduce new products into your routine all at once — instead, try one new product at a time over several weeks or months so you can monitor how they affect your skin. If everything seems fine after using a specific product for six weeks or longer without any adverse reactions, then it’s probably safe for you to use going forward.
Consider Consulting a Dermatologist If You Have Acne-Prone Skin
If you know that you're prone to breakouts and pimples on your chin or jawline, ask your dermatologist about using prescription medications like tretinoin and benzoyl peroxide. These creams work by reducing acne-causing bacteria on the skin's surface while also drying up oil glands inside the nose that contribute to breakouts.
Hopefully, this post has provided some basic information about purging, and what to look for if you do experience it. Purging is completely normal—a sign that something is working—and there's no reason to worry. If something seems off during the cleansing phase of your routine, stop using those products and try a different routine altogether. The point is to continue searching until you find a routine that works for you, and that includes purging.