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How to Know if Your Skin is Purging vs Reacting – Episode 16 


Episode Title: How to Know if Your Skin is Purging vs Reacting Ep-16 

Episode Description:

Today, we are exploring the difference between your skin purging and reacting and how to know whether your skin is just adjusting to new products or whether it’s time to ditch them.


Episode Summary:



Purging is a term commonly used to describe an adjustment period when you start using a new product, when your skin gets worse before it gets better than before. This is completely different from an adverse reaction, when your skin is straight-up irritated or allergic to something in the product, and no amount of time will change that. Purging is caused by “actives”:

  • Vitamin C; 
  • Anti Acne Medication (i.e. Roaccutane)
  • Hydroxy acids (glycolic, lactic, malic, mandelic, salicylic, lactobionic acids; gluconolactone; fruit acids)
  • Retinoids (retinol, tretinoin, adapalene, tazarotene, isotretinoin, retinyl palmitate)
  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Chemical peels, lasers, microdermabrasion
  • Other exfoliants (scrubs, brushes, enzyme exfoliants)


Signs of Purging:

  1. Quite common if you’re new to exfoliation;
  2. Occurs because skin cells are turning over quicker than usual; 
  3. The turnaround of the spots themselves should be quick; 
  4. In total, purging should only last around a month, because that’s how long the skin takes to renew itself



If your skin is having an adverse reaction to a product, the only way to stop it is to stop using the product.

Signs of Reacting 

  1. The product doesn’t contain any actives (NB. Hyaluronic Acid is not an active);
  2. Sudden breakouts in new areas;
  3. Spots get consistently worse over time;
  4. Spots may be accompanied by itchiness, rash, inflammation

If your skin isn’t getting better after around 6-8 weeks with the new product, ditch it. 


Tips to Deal with Breakouts from Purging 

1. Avoid Picking at Spots 

If it helps, try putting a hydrocolloid pimple patch over it like Subi Perfect Pimple Patch.

2. Prevent Your Skin from Drying Out

Skip spot treatments like Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid because they’ll dry your skin out. 

3. Stay Hydrated

Opt for pH balanced moisturisers that contain ceramides. Try APLB Derma Daily Repair Cream.

4. Use SPF

Whenever you’re using acids, this is a must.


 What to Do If You Like Today’s Episode 

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  • Leave a review for the podcast and go into the draw to win an AUD $100 STYLE STORY Gift Voucher. Competition closes 15 September 2020. 


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