Skin Purging

Written By SkynSin

Skin Purging vs. breakouts. Do you know the difference?

Yes. The Purge was an extremely scary movie. Likewise skin purging can be frightening and annoying, but it’s actually a good sign! You might experience skin purging when you start using a new product or a type of sheet mask because it increases skin turnover rate. So a sudden crop of pimples means the product is working as intended!


Gunk = residue of flakey dry skin and/or excess sebum buildup.

Why Does This Happen?

To reveal healthier & glowing skin, your skin will start purging all the gunk & congestion that was hidden underneath it.

It may seem like the product is “making” your skin break out, what often happens is that acne symptoms that were already forming under the surface simply pop up sooner than they would have due to the speed up process.

On the other hand, breakouts happen when your skin is reacting because it's sensitive to something in the product.



  • An indication of clogged pores, irritation or allergic reaction towards a certain product that is not suitable for you. 

  • Bacteria in your skin feeds on all the gunk that will lead to inflammation of the skin. 

  • Comes in the form of red, irritated, pus-filled angry-looking pimples.


  • Unlike breakouts this will benefit your skin in the long-term. 

  • When you notice flesh-coloured bumps or blackheads rising, it means the product is working it’s magic to speed up the process of skin cell turnover. NOT a reaction to the product. Good news - it’s temporary!

  • Ultimately a sign that the products you just introduced to your face are working, and persevering with the product will eventually make your skin better.



If you’re getting acne or redness after using products such as moisturiser or hydrating oil, sunscreen, or something that can clog pores like comedogenic makeup, you likely have a traditional breakout on your hands rather than a purge.

If you start a new product that is known for purging, but the breakouts are lasting longer than 4-6 weeks, then it may be a sign that the product is not working for you.

If at the 6-8 week mark you do not see that your skin is starting to improve, it’s time to either stop using the product or seek advice from a skincare professional.


They get rid off that top layer of dead skin cells, allowing new ones to regenerate sooner, which can bring blockages to the surface and cause irritation and breakouts.. a good thing!

Some known chemical exfoliants that can cause purging are retinoids, tretinoin, salicylic acid & benzoyl peroxide.

Always keep an eye out for purging when changing up your skincare routine or adding a new product!



  • Change your pillow case every 2-3 days & keep your pillow case clean

  • Resist the urge to pick or pop any inflammation

  • Hydrate your skin with suitable products that do not clog your pores further

  • Pimple/acne products are extremely drying for your face, so it’s important to keep it hydrated which will speed up the healing process


  • Your skin is more sensitised so do not use products that aggravate your skin further (e.g strong acids or acne products)

  • Use soothing & calming products suitable for sensitive & combination skin during this period

  • Centella, Green Tea & Tea Tree extracts are ingredients that could help with your redness & irritation