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Is Skin Purging Real? The Truth Revealed.

Big topic this one!

There is quite a bit of misinformation surrounding this. Skin purging is not entirely a myth. It does happen but how it happens and why is where a lot of the misinformation comes from. 


You may have experienced purging when using retinoids. I have and it's not a fun process for anyone. Skin purging occurs when a product you use speeds up the rate of turnover of your skin cells. This is the speed at which your skin cells shed and are replaced. This cycle then repeats.

Now if you have a layer of dead skin on your face, this excess skin is sloughed off during the turnover process and this is where you can start to see clogged pores that were hidden beneath the surface of your skin. These clogged pores would usually have developed into surface whiteheads, blackheads or spots over a number of weeks. As the rate at which your skin turnsover is accelerated, you will start to see these appear on your skin quite quickly. The clogged pores were always there, they're just now being made more visible at a quicker rate.

Products that increase cell turnover aim to bring these clogged pores to the surface and this is how acne is essentially treated.

This process usually last for a few weeks. 


1. Retinoids - Tretinoin is an example of this and it's one I use

2. Salicylic acid - a BHA that also causes skin cell turnover.

3. AHAs - these include lactic acid and glycolic acid.

4. Benzyl peroxide - I heard it's possible with this but I'll need to look into it more

Only chemical exfoliants will cause skin purging.



As a lot of you already know, I handmake all of the natural products in my range.  I love natural ingredients and they absolutely have their place in your skincare routine and as  a small business owner who formulates and creates skincare products, I need to be careful about the information I provide so as not to misinform you all.

Which is why it's important for me to state the following...

Natural skincare products that do not contain any of the active ingredients listed above, should not cause any skin purging.

I really want to make this clear as I know how upsetting it can be to start using a natural product, have a breakout and then told to keep pursuing it as your skin is just purging. Skin purging can be quite stressful, and for some, even distressing. The likely cause of your skin breaking out from using a natural product is that one or more of the ingredients are irritating your skin. 


As mentioned above, if you are using a product without any active ingredients and you are finding spots and acne in places where you normally wouldn't, then your skin is breaking out and not purging. Purging should only happen in areas of your skin where you would normally have breakouts through using an active ingredient.

I like to be fully transparent with you all, and if any of my products were to cause cysts, acne or what looks like purging then I would advise that you stop using it, strip down your routine and give your skin time to breath. Advising that you continue using a product (that didn't contain actives that could be causing the purging) would be irresponsible of me to do so and could cause more upset as your skin may be reacting to an ingredient it simply does not agree with. 


Skin purging can cause your skin to become dry and dehydrated and so it's important to use products that will keep your skin hydrated and healthy as the process takes place. One product that I absolutely swear by to keep the skin hydrated is the Skin Barrier Repair Cream. I specifically formulated this product to prevent transepidermal water loss in order to prevent dehyration. If you're unsure on how to use this in your routine, I have a clear and concise guide on how to do this on my blog post "How To Layer Your Skincare: Game-Changing Routine To Transform Your Skin"

I hope this was insightful and I'm currently working on a number of blog posts to tackle a range of skincare topics. Don't forget to share this blog post with a friend you think this will be helpful for!


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