Have you ever given up on a new skincare product because you broke out after using it? This doesn’t actually mean that the product isn’t for you – in fact, it could just be a sign that it’s working its magic.

Is it a Purge or a Breakout? | The Skincare Dealer

Skin purging is a reaction to an active ingredient, that increases the skin cell renewal rate. The average turnover rate changes during your life, but is usually around the following:

  • For babies – two weeks
  • For teens – three to four weeks
  • For young adults – 30-40 days
  • For adults over 50 – 45-90 days

As your new skin cells arise, they bring a whole load of other stuff to the surface, including excess sebum and flakes, which clog pores. During this time, the skin expedites its recovery and pushes everything to the surface.

When your skin begins to purge, you should continue to use the product causing it for at least 28 days (around one skin cycle). If you suddenly stop using it, your skin won’t be able to adapt to the active ingredients. However, if you want to try and avoid the purging stage, you could ease in new products. Start by using them every other day, and slowly build up usage to twice a day.

But, is it a purge or a breakout?


– Happens where you would usually experience a breakout
– Disappears much more quickly than a normal pimple

– Occurs in new places
– Takes eight to 10 days to appear, mature and shrink

Skin purging is caused by retinoids and exfoliating acids. It may be frustrating and unpleasant but, if you wait it out, I’m sure you’ll be happy with the results.