So you've started using a new skin treatment that’s proven to reduce acne, but after a week or so of applying the product your skin actually looks worse. New pimples and acne lesions are popping up everywhere, you suddenly have whiteheads where there were none before, and your skin is somehow oilier than ever and so dry that it’s flaking off.
Before you give up and bin your brand-new skincare, wait! You could be experiencing purging, the phenomenon that means your new skin treatment is working just as it should.
‘Purging’ occurs when our skin starts getting rid of all the comedones and pimples that were forming underneath the top layer—pimples that might’ve taken weeks to emerge, but are now appearing at a rapid rate.
When our skin’s purging, it might suddenly break out in acne or become dry, oily, or flakey (it may even do all of these things at once!). It can be tempting to think that this means your new skin treatment doesn’t work—after all, we want to reduce acne, not cause it. But don’t stress. Purging is common, and it doesn’t last forever. It’s your skin clearing out all of its impurities, and it means that your treatment is working.
How long will it last?
Purging is definitely not permanent—it generally lasts around a month to six weeks. But can occur anywhere between Week 2 & Week 16 of your treatment. It also depends on the severity of your acne, so please don’t be disheartened. Good skin is usually around the corner.
What can I do?
It's a difficult time but here are some helpful tips to manage this process:
- ☀️ Sun protection Avoid the sun and make sure you're wearing a high SPF.
- 💦 Moisturise Make sure you're using a good amount of hydrating moisturiser.
- 🚰 Drink plenty of fluids Drinking water can help hydrate and remove the toxins from your system.
- 🙅♀️ Avoid touching your face Try as hard as you can not to touch the affected area outside of applying the treatment
- 📉 Decrease number of applications You may like to reduce the frequency of application, however this will only prolong the purge
If your purging is lasting longer than six weeks, or if you are particularly concerned about it, please submit a request through the link in the top right hand corner and our team will be in touch.