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What you should know about Skin Purging

We’ve all been there. You’ve just started using that brand new skincare you’ve been eyeing for a while, and now you’re breaking out?!?! 

Chances are your skin wasn’t breaking out, rather it was purging. Purging is a somewhat necessary evil when introducing new actives (like vitamin c, retinol, AHAs and BHAs) into your skincare routine. Introducing new actives increases your skin cell turnover rate and as skin cell turnover speeds up, the skin starts shedding dead skin cells faster than normal.

For these healthy and fresh skin cells to make it to the surface, everything in between has to get to the surface first. So what is everything in between? That’s your dead skin, excess sebum, and buildup. As these layers make their way to the surface of your skin, they can clog your pores, forming pimples.
skin purging infographic


This is the point where most people will give up on that new skincare, throw it in the draw, and never let it see the light of day ever again. The downside of doing this, is, the purge has already started - and by abandoning the new product now, your skin isn’t going to get the chance to experience the incredible results this skincare can give you, once you’re on the other side.  

Throughout the purging process you need to make sure that you are keeping your skincare routine as routine as possible. Don’t treat your newfound pimples with yet another new product. Stick to your regular routine, and keep using that new active ingredient, at least once a week, as your skin will continue to get familiar with the product throughout the purging process.

The average skin cycle is 28 days, however mature and damaged skin may have a longer cycle period. Skin purging generally lasts the length of your cycle, so if your skin still hasn’t improved after 6-8 weeks, your skin likely doesn't agree with the product and now it’s time to gift it to your friends and family.

This doesn’t mean that you should avoid using new active ingredients, rather just be prepared for the potentiality that your skin may purge. If you’re looking at introducing these ingredients into your routine, here are some tips to minimise or potentially avoid purging:

  1. Only introduce one new active to your skin routine at a time, 
  2. Do your research because that new ingredient may not mix well with your current routine (e.g vitamin c and retinol - I’ve made that mistake so you don’t have to)
  3. Introduce new actives gradually. Start with once a week. Work up to twice, then three, then daily (if the product is recommended for daily use)
  4. Ensure that your skin care routine includes regular exfoliating, this will minimise the amount of dead skin cells, excess sebum and build up that the actives can bring up. 
  5. If you skin has started purging. Make sure to keep your skin hydrated and protected - moisturiser and sunscreen are going to help you through this, I promise!
  6. Avoid using actives after a facial treatment and consult your Aesthetician about the particular facial and post treatment care plan.

The moral of the story is; don’t give up on your new products too quickly. Skincare with active ingredients in them can do absolute wonders for your skin! You just have to give it a chance to really wow you!

If you are struggling with skin purging right now, the three products I would recommend for soothing and treating your skin are; the multi-vitamin moisturiser, the green tea cleanse kit and the revive face mist.

Big Love Always,
Kiah - Digital Marketing Coordinator here at Sabbia Co

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