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?
You can breathe a sigh of relief, because purging is definitely not permanent—it generally lasts around a month to six weeks.
If your purging is lasting longer than six weeks, or if you are particularly concerned about it, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org