What Is Skin Purging, How Do You Treat It? We Got A Dermatologist To Dish All The Deets


When it comes to skincare, there are so many products available in the market. Retinols, Vitamin C, Hyaluronic acid, Glycolic acid, Niacinamide, AHAs and BHAs, etc; the world of skincare is amazing. Each of these has nothing but good intentions for our skin...unless your skin reacts badly to one of these.

Skincare is all about hit and trial-- testing out multiple skincare products to find out which ones work the best for you and then incorporating them into your skincare regimen. Just like every other skincare product, our skin needs time to adjust to certain products that we might have recently introduced to our skincare regimen, even something as basic as a Vitamin C serum. And if your skin has shown some signs of distress after you've experimented with new ingredients, chances are that your skin is purging and needs immediate action.

We got in touch with Dr Sushant Shetty, MD Medical Operations at Kaya Skin Clinics who gave us his insights on skin purging and how to avoid it.

What Is Skin Purging?

"When you use active ingredients in skincare, you increase the skin cell turnover rate. This makes the skin shed dead skin cells faster than normal. While fresh, healthy skin cells appear to the surface, along with it you will find impurities also surfacing on your skin. These impurities include excess sebum, flaky skin, or any other build-up that may have caused your pores to be blocked."

He also says that the elimination of these impurities is what is skin purging. "You will know it is skin purging if you have introduced active ingredients like retinoids, salicylic acid, lactic acid, glycolic acid, or vitamin C in your skincare", adds Dr Sushant.

Skin purging doesn't scar the skin and it usually starts a few days after you started using a new skincare product. It happens uniformly all over the face and then suddenly disappears very quickly, unlike acne.

How Do You Know That Your Skin Is Purging?

Now that we've established what skin purging actually is, it is very important to know what makes it different from a regular breakout. Learning to identify the difference between these two conditions will ultimately help you treat them effectively.

"Skin purging lasts for a few weeks. When this happens, don’t try to stop it by changing your skincare regime. Instead, continue using it so that the ingredient works deeply and gets rid of all impurities effectively. If you still have concerns, you may speak with a dermatologist", Dr Sushant says.

He also says that retinol, lactic acid, salicylic acid, glycolic acid are the most common skincare ingredients that can cause your skin to purge. So if you've recently introduced any of these ingredients to your skin and your skin is *reacting*, then you know what to do.

How To Treat Skin Purging?

Unlike a pimple or acne, skin purging can last for multiple weeks (ouch!). Just do not stop using your product but instead, allow your skin to adapt to it and work in favour of the skin.

Tips To Avoid Purging

Believe it or not, purging is actually good for your skin! " It pushes out excess sebum and other impurities from deeper layers of your skin to expose fresh, healthy skin" Dr Sushant adds. He also says that purging is a normal result of using actives and while it may seem worrying in the beginning, your skin will improve. If you are still concerned, then speak to your dermatologist to understand better.

Breaking out badly? Chances are that your skin might be purging! Good thing that you know how to deal with it properly!

Featured Image: Pexels.com