Skin purging versus breakouts: What’s the difference?

Skin purging and breakouts might sound very similar, and it’s easy to get them confused. But there are actually some pretty crucial differences that can have major consequences for your skin. It’s useful knowledge to have in general, and it’s particularly useful if you use face acids, antioxidants, or other active ingredients.

Here at AP Skincare, we have years of knowledge, experience and practice, which means we can help you understand everything that your skin could be going through. This week, we’re using our expertise in skincare treatments to give you a simple, straightforward explanation of the difference between skin purging and actual breakouts.

Ready to get started?

The whole deal with breakout ordeals

Before we move on to skin purging in detail, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of what breakouts really are and why they happen (at all!)

Acne is a common skin condition which develops when the natural oil of your skin gets mixed with dead skin cells, and the combination ends up inside your pores, clogging them. That can result in those prominent whiteheads or blackheads (which you may or may not be familiar with!). Sometimes, the pores can be become inflamed, causing pustules and cysts that more likely leaves stubborn scars on your face.

So that’s breakouts – now on to skin purging.

What is happening with skin purging?

Now, if you’ve suffered any breakouts before, you might wonder why those promising products that were supposed to solve your problem only seem to be aggravating it. Well, it might not be a negative sign in itself – it might be that your skin is purging itself.

Essentially, acne and skin purging are different types of reactions. Acne is the result of excess oil, as we’ve covered above. Skin purging, on the other hand, is what happens when your skin is trying to adjust to a new skincare regime. That often results in minor breakouts, dryness, as well as occasional peeling.

What’s basically happening is that your skin is trying to increase the pace of your skin cell turnover. Skin cell turnover, as you may already know, is a natural and continuous process which consistently replaces dead skin cells with younger cells. That’s what makes your skin looks refreshing, healthy and youthful.

So, while acne breakouts hinder and decrease the pace of your cell turnover, any active serums you use can do the opposite and speeds it up – which is how you can start to experience those skin purging symptoms. Don’t worry though – they’re generally a lot more short-lived than acne!

How long does skin purging take?

Generally, skin purging only takes between 8 to 10 days, or sometimes even less. Patience is the key!

Of course, one important thing to keep in mind is how everyone’s skin is different, which is why the products your friends swear by might not suit you. It’s a big reason why treating your skin with serums and actives that are too harsh for your skin type is dangerous – trust us, it’d be entirely another mess! Figuring out what works for you is tricky and it’s exactly what we can help you with.

Here at AP Skincare, we have a team of experts who can provide you with tailored solutions that will help to repair your skin. We first take the time to understand your skin type, and only then do we recommend more specific skincare treatments. If you have got any concerns or queries, feel free to call us on 01254 297 000, or drop by our skincare clinic in Blackburn – we’d always love to see you!