BREAKOUT OR PURGE? HERE'S HOW YOU CAN TELL THE DIFFERENCE
I’ve been a skincare and makeup addict for as long as I can remember, so it should come as no surprise I that I’ve had my fair share of breakouts and allergic reactions to some of the most notable products on the market. Still, it doesn’t deter me from doing what I love: reporting on the latest and greatest in beauty.
So how exactly do you determine whether or not that new moisturizer, cleanser, or whatever else promised you flawless skin is the cause of that enormous zit on your face? Or could it be that your skin is simply going through a purge and/or a detox? The following tips will help you differentiate the two.
TIP # 1
The skin will purge if the new product you’re using contains ingredients that increase cell turnover. What exactly do I mean when by cell turnover? Our skin goes through a ‘shedding’ cycle that eliminates dead cells on the skin’s surface. But as we age, that shedding cycle progressively slows down, which causes one’s complexion to look tired, dull and flat out lifeless. We seek out products coined “fountain of youth”, “anti-aging”, or my favorite: “the miracle broth” to combat those issues. What we don’t recognize however, is that we have to rid the skin of the old to reveal the new. Retinoids, AHA’s and BHA’s such as Benzoyl Peroxide, Salicylic Acid, Glycolic Acid and others increases cell turnover, which will cause the skin to purge. The purge could come in the form of multiple blackheads, whiteheads, or even cysts in areas where you’d normally experience a breakout.
I know that’s a lot of drama, but there is good news, you guys! Okay, there’s bad, too. The good news is that the purging cycle only lasts for about thirty days, and then you will start to see significant improvements. The bad news is that there isn’t much you can do during this period except to wait it out.
TIP # 2
If you start to use a new product that suddenly causes breakouts on the skin where you’ve never broken out before, then it’s probably directly related to the new product. Check out the ingredients on the packaging to see if the product contains any AHA’s, BHA’s or Retinoids. If it doesn’t, then it’s a tell-tale sign that your skin doesn’t like the product. Bye, Felicia. If the sudden breakouts don’t improve within 4-6 weeks, then of course I’d advise you to discontinue the product and call your dermatologist. Don’t have one? Start here.
TIP # 3
I’ve gotten caught up in the “all-natural” skincare hype just as much as the next person, but it’s so important to recognize that not all natural skincare products are created equally. Unfortunately, some of these products might contain synthetics, or other junky ingredients that can jack your skin all the way up. Certain plant extracts can irritate the skin – causing pimples to become more inflamed and aggravated. Do your research on the so-called “natural” products before subjecting your skin.
TIP # 4
Sorry folks, but patch tests for acneic skin do NOT work. You’re going to have to roll up your sleeves, get down and dirty and research the products to decide if it’s a good fit for your skin. That’s why it’s so important to get to know your skin before you spend a considerable amount of time and money on products that have zero benefits for your unique concerns. And if all else fails, I’m always here to help!
Have you ever stopped using a product because you assumed it was a simple breakout? Share your experiences in the comments below!