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Is it Purging or Allergy?

One time I broke out really bad from adapelene, I waited for a week to see if it was purging, it wasn’t, my skin just getting horribly worse by the day, I had to stop it. Otherwise other Retinols I use never irritate my skin like that, but that one from Proactive did. So waiting for longer wasn’t an answer, I got the worst skin I ever had. But how to know what is a temporary reaction to rapid exfoliation and what is serious allergy and irritation?

The end goal? To expose the fresh skin cells underneath and reveal clearer, younger-looking skin.

As the surface layer of skin is shed more quickly, our skin is expediting its recovery and pushing everything to the surface.

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 micro comedones.

Sticking to a gentle skin care routine to avoid further inflammation. That means just the basics: a sulfate-free cleanser, a soothing moisturizer, and sunscreen during the day. And, of course, the retinoid or exfoliator that’s putting you through the purge in the first place.

Dry, peeling skin is also common.

Your skin may react viscerally to retinoids and face acids

While the purge isn’t ideal, it is to be expected with certain skin care ingredients.

The retinoid family includes everything from retinol (a common prescription for acne-prone and aging skin, which can also be found in over-the-counter products) to topical tretinoin and the oral medication isotretinoin (both of which are prescription only).

You may experience skin purging from exfoliating acids, too.

I personally have experienced it form Salilylic acid of 10%.

Thats why I rather dilute them to use lower in concentration concentration more often over longer period of time that hit skin with very strong new ingredient at once. But it depends on the skin type, and how sensitive your skin is.

Certain facials that involve a chemical peel component may also trigger this reaction.

What should you do if your skin is purging?

Sticking to a gentle skin care routine to avoid further inflammation. That means just the basics: a sulfate-free cleanser, a soothing moisturizer, and sunscreen during the day. And, of course, the retinoid or exfoliator that’s putting you through the purge in the first place.

That’s right: It may be tempting to stop using said retinoid or exfoliating acid altogether, but resist.

Stick through this ‘it gets worse before it gets better.

What should you do if your skin is purging?

How to tell if it’s purging or a breakout

There’s a difference between purging and having a bad reaction to a new topical product.

Purging from a product Breakout or reaction from a product
happens where you frequently break out happens in a new area where you don’t break out
disappears faster than a normal pimple typically takes 8 to 10 days to appear, mature, and shrink

Irritation from a new product that’s not from retinoids, acids, or peels is likely a case of an allergic reaction or sensitivity.

If you’re seeing breakouts [or dryness] in an area of your face where you don’t normally break out, it’s probably a response to a new product you’re using.

In these cases, it’s best to discontinue use of the new product ASAP — because, clearly, your skin isn’t into it.

In these cases, it’s best to discontinue use of the new product ASAP — because, clearly, your skin isn’t into it.

There’s one good thing about purge pimples, though: “Pimples that arise from purging will appear and disappear faster than a ‘normal’ pimple.

Think of purging as the terrible twos of skin care: Your skin may be throwing temper tantrums left and right, but it’s only a phase.

Since purging occurs when an ingredient attempts to speed up the skin’s natural pace of shedding and renewal, it should only take one full skin cycle to get through the worst of it.

Everyone’s skin is unique, so that time frame can differ from person to person. Generally speaking, dermatologists say purging should be over within four to six weeks of starting a new skin care regimen.

If your purge lasts longer than six weeks, consult your dermatologist. It could be that you need to adjust the dosage and/or frequency of application.

You can’t speed the purge, but you can help make it tolerable

Tips during the purge

  1. Don’t pick acne.
  2. Don’t use drying products, like exfoliating acids.
  3. Get a hydrating facial or use a hydrating mask, if possible, to help remove impurities.

How to Avoid purging:

If you’re considering adding a retinol, acid, or peel to your routine but don’t want to deal with the side effects, you can minimize purging.

The ease in method.

For example, during the first week, apply the retinoid two times a week. Then for week two, apply it three times that week, working your way up to daily use.