Skin 101: Purging

What is Purging?

Purging is when your skin is adjusting to a new skincare routine, treatments and products (just like starting a Blemish Bootcamp). It is a sudden crop of pimples that pop up while you are letting your new regime get down to business - purging means that what we are doing is working, and we need to hold tight and keep going. We know this sounds easier than it might feel in the moment.

The term 'skin purging' refers to the reaction to active ingredients in your skincare that is working to increase the turnover rate of your skin cells. As skin cell turnover speeds up, the skin starts shedding dead cell and dull layers faster than normal to expose the fresh skin cells underneath - to reveal healthy, clearer looking skin. As this surface layer is shed more quickly, our skin is speeding up its recovery and pushing everythign to the surface. This is what can prompt the extra pimples.

Each person is different, you may get a mixture of whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, cysts and even those tiny 'pre-pimples' that aren't quite visible to the eye called microcomedomes.

How does Purging happen?

If a product speeds up the skin cell turnover then the entire cycle is accelerated - microcomedomes can turn into whiteheads, blackheads, pimples or cysts more quickly. This is when it feels like everything has erupted all at once - a rush of blemishes.

Those microdomedomes started as dead/dull skin cells that didn't quite come to the surface to be removed properly. Products designed to treat blemishes and breakout prone skin increase skin cell turnover to avoid this happening!

So as you new skincare starts to work, less microcomedomes should form, and after what feels like an initial angry volcano stage your skin should become clearer than when you started your new regime.

One good thing about the pimples you get during a 'purge' - they should appear and disappear faster than a 'normal' pimple.

How long will it last?

Because purging occurs with a change of skincare regime, it should only take one full skin cycle to get through the worst of it. On average a skin cycle is 5-6 weeks. At the age of 19-21,the process can take 14-21 days compared to a middle-aged adult where it is estimated to be 28 days. As we grow older, this skin cycle slows to about 45-60 days in our 40's and 50's. It can further slow to about 60-90 days in our 50's and 60's.

Everyone's skin is unique, so the time frame can differ from person to person. Generally speaking with a consistent skincare regime purging should be over within 4-6 weeks of starting to use the new products. At Caci our team are on hand to guide you through this time and to reveiw and adjust any products, how you use them and their dosage.

Think of skin purging as a detox process for skin. It removes and eliminates bacteria, dirt and acne underneath your top skin layer, so that your skin can heal and regenerate to form healthier and naturally glowing skin.

Skin purging is a normal skin reaction when you introduce your skin to a new skincare product.

But the good news is that this period of purging is temporary - so keep calm... and carry on with your skincare regime!

If you're really struggling with lots of breakouts, visit us at Caci to chat to us about Blemish Bootcamp—our newest membership focused on targeting acne.


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