what is the difference?
There is a massive difference between your skin breaking out and your skin purging.
You might not like the idea of your skin purging – but to achieve glowing skin – unfortunately this could be the difference between congested skin, and clear skin.
So, what even is skin purging?
The term ‘skin purging’ refers to a reaction to an active ingredient that is increasing the skin cell turnover rate. As skin cell turnover speeds up, the skin starts shedding dead skin cells faster than normal.
The end goal? To expose the fresh skin cells underneath and reveal clearer, younger-looking skin.
Before these new fresh, healthy skin cells can cycle up to the surface from the base of some other stuff has to rise to the top first, like the excess sebum, flakes, and build-up that clogs pores such as bacteria and all the makings of a pimple or two… or ten.
This not so glamorous process is known as “skin purging.”
But ever heard the saying, “The darkest hour comes before the dawn”?
As the surface layer of skin is shed more quickly, our skin is accelerating its recovery and pushing everything to the surface.
A purge period can prompt all kinds of pimples. It may look different from person to person, but you can get a mix of whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, cysts, and even the tiny ‘pre-pimples’ that aren’t visible to the eye, called microcomedones.
These microcomedones are small, clogged hair particles, and can take up to 8 weeks to surface! YUK.
But unfortunately – all this gunk – has to come out for your skin for it to clear up. Most skincare products for problem, congested and even ageing skin – dry out not only the surface skin cells, but also the new young fresh skin cells.
This means all of the nasty stuff dries into the dead skin cells and stays there giving your skin a matt, flat look.
The new cells are also dry and flat so are unable to push everything to the surface to shed.
Just to show you the difference so you understand – this is how breakouts work.
Breakouts and acne occur when the pores of your skin become blocked with oil, dead skin, or bacteria.
Each pore of your skin is the opening to a follicle. The follicle is made up of a hair and a sebaceous (oil) gland.
The oil gland releases sebum (oil), which travels up the hair, out of the pore, and onto your skin. The sebum keeps your skin lubricated and soft.
One or more problems in this lubrication process can cause acne. It can occur when:
- too much oil is produced by your follicles
- dead skin cells accumulate in your pores
- bacteria build up in your pores
These problems contribute to the development of acne. A pimple appears when bacteria grows in a clogged pore and the oil is unable to escape.
How is a breakout different from skin purging?
Breakouts can be caused by introducing any kind of new product to your routine, depending on what your skin may be sensitive to, whereas skin purging will likely be triggered by products with powerful active ingredients.
Breakouts may also appear in areas where you don’t usually have issues. For example, you could see breakouts on your cheeks, when you will usually only see pimples on your forehead. In contrast, purging will usually occur in the areas you do have skin issues already, as it pushes the problematic dirt and oil to the surface.
And the most important point of all, skin purging will not last forever, whilst acne won’t last forever – but for a extremely long time!
Depending on the product and your skin, skin purging can last between 4 – 6 weeks, and once it passes, your skin should emerge fresh and clear.
Breakouts, on the other hand, will most likely continue to occur with the ongoing use of the new product, and will result in worsening skin condition, not improved!
How to survive a skin purge!
Some of my customers, when first making the switch to the Everything Skin Range, report skin flare-ups before seeing improvements. When this happens, make sure you:
- Don’t pick at or squeeze any bumps or blackheads or whiteheads or whatever may appear. Aggravating your skin will only hinder the process, as touching your face or squeezing pimples will transfer bacteria from your hands to your face, and can cause mechanical damage to your skin, leaving it open to infection.
- Don’t use any drying acne products, eg. containing benzoyl peroxide or alcohol. Your skin is going through its process of clearing out the “junk” from your pores – further acne products won’t help.
- Don’t give up! Be consistent with your new skincare process and the results will speak for themselves, you may just need to patient while they do their work!
- Do wash your hands thoroughly first if you need to touch your face. Your hands do a million and one things in a day, not to mention what they have come into contact with! It is always good practice to give your hands a good soaping before applying anything to your face.
- Do try to limit your intake of sugar, processed foods, dairy, gluten and bad fats- they all affect our skin – dairy and sugar are the biggest culprits when it comes to problematic skin.
- Do try to use less makeup so that your skin can regenerate without further clogging of pores.
- Do get lots of good sleep! This is essential for your skin regeneration cycle.
- Do regularly use a mini mask – either the red, pink or green 2 x weekly to help regenerate the skin cells and draw the waste out! If your skin is very dry or flaky feeling use the enzyme exfoliating mini mask 2 x weekly!
If you need more help and or advice – book a glowing skin consultation with me.