So you've started using a new skin treatment that’s proven to reduce acne, but after a few weeks of applying the product your skin actually looks worse. New pimples and acne lesions are popping up everywhere, you suddenly have whiteheads and your skin is somehow oilier than ever.
Before you give up and bin your brand-new skincare, wait! You could be experiencing purging, the phenomenon that means your skin will get worse before it gets better.
‘Purging’ occurs when a product accelerates skin turnover. This means pimples forming underneath the top layer of your skin are now appearing at a rapid rate instead of taking weeks to emerge.
It is important to note that there is a difference between purging and having a reaction to a new product. When our skin is purging, it usually causes pimples to appear in areas where you usually normally break out. Pimples that occur as a result of purging also tend to disappear more quickly than a usual pimple.
On the other hand, a reaction ****occurs when a product is ****clogging your pores without improving how your skin is functioning, this can occur due to a sensitivity to the ingredients. Pimples occurring in areas where you don’t normally break out can be a sign of a reaction, as clogged pores result in widespread blemishes. Pimples that occur due to a reaction can take longer to appear and shrink.
How long will it last?
It can be tempting to think that this means your new skin treatment doesn’t work—after all, we want to reduce acne and 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. It generally lasts around 4-6 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 just around the corner.
What can I do?
It's a difficult time but here are some helpful tips to manage this process:
- Make sure you're wearing SPF50+ daily to protect your skin from the sun
- Use a hydrating moisturiser to keep your moisture barrier healthy
- Drink plenty of water to help maintain hydration from the inside
- Try as hard as you can not to touch the affected area outside of applying the treatment - Software’s Pimple Patches are really helpful to help heal breakouts and prevent picking
- Consider double cleansing at night to help remove sunscreen and keep your pores clear. This involves using a non-comedogenic oil cleanser followed by a gentle cleanser
If your purging is lasting longer than 8 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.