Skin Purging vs Breakouts

Skin Purging vs Breakouts

When it comes to acne and blemishes, it may be challenging to find the exact reasons you are suddenly breaking out. We have acne for various reasons (and not just because of hormones or because "it's just how your skin is").  

Additionally, if you are following your favorite influencers and celebrities online, you have seen what they use in their skincare routines or viral skincare trends. Although some of these trends are beneficial and helpful, they could explain why you are having flare-ups and blemishes. 

Consistency is critical in skincare products, especially as you age! Your skin must adjust to the new element if you constantly apply and use different skincare products or ingredients. Thus, causing skin purging. 

Below, we will go over the differences between skin purging vs. breakouts, what causes them, and which products are best for your skin type and concerns! 



What is skin purging? 

Skin purging refers to your skin adjusting to new products or ingredients you incorporate into your skincare routine. Skin purging helps draw out dead skin, oils, and acne-causing bacteria underneath the skin's surface, resulting in acne, blackheads, or whiteheads. 

Furthermore, since skin purging means that your skin is adjusting and getting used to new skincare products and ingredients, it also refers to increased skin cell turnover. It is typically a cluster of cystic pimples (or whiteheads) that pop up a week or two after using a new product. 

Many ingredients that increase cellular turnover and promote cellular renewal are actives such as vitamin A, salicylic acid, beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs), and alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs). 


Which ingredients cause skin purging? 

As stated, certain active ingredients in skincare cause possible skin purging. As a caution, some active ingredients may be too harsh depending on your skin type. 

Alpha-hydroxy acids and beta-hydroxy acids are chemical exfoliants that work to dissolve dead skin cells, leaving the skin smooth and soft. In addition, they reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and unclogging pores. 

A few common AHAs in skincare are glycolic acid, lactic acid, and mandelic acid. These AHAs are known for their ability to balance the skin's pH levels, slough away dead skin cells and debris, prevent acne, and significantly minimize aging signs. 

In comparison, a few BHAs are salicylic acid and citric acid. Both BHAs work to calm inflammation and redness, as well as even pH levels in the skin. They also reduce clogged pores and minimize excess sebum production. 

Moreover, retinoids are another ingredient that may lead to a skin purge. Retinoids (or vitamin A) work to increase cellular turnover, reducing acne and clogged pores over time. Another side effect of retinoids is possible dryness, peeling, and redness to delicate face areas around the mouth and nose. On the other hand, if you are looking for a retinoid alternative, read our article: Gotu Kola vs. Retinol! 

Although, if you start incorporating any actives into your regimen, skin purging may be possible. As stated above, skin purging regularly occurs when using new ingredients! 

Skin purging is entirely regular, especially with active ingredients that target specific concerns such as acne, hyperpigmentation, and textured skin. 


Can I prevent skin purging? 

In short, no. You cannot completely prevent or stop skin purging from happening, but you can minimize the harsh side effects. 

By introducing new products or ingredients one at a time, you can figure out how to adjust the specific component to your skin type and needs. For example, if you apply salicylic acid serum five times in one week and irritation occurs, you will know to limit your salicylic acid application to 3 times a week. 

Likewise, with retinoids, AHAs, and other BHAs, it is advisable to start slowly incorporating products and ingredients into your skincare routine. Skin purging lasts about 4-6 weeks, but it is different for everyone's skin type. 

After six weeks, if your skin is not calming down from irritation or clearing up from acne, it is best to consult your doctor to find possible allergies to certain ingredients. We also encourage and recommend doing a patch test on a small skin area before applying a new product all over the face. 



What is a breakout? 

So, you may be wondering, "Why am I breaking out?"  

A breakout occurs when a hair follicle or pore is clogged with dead skin cells, excess sebum, or bacteria. The impurities clogging the pores make their way up to the skin's surface, causing a whitehead, blackhead, or another form of acne. 

In addition, breakouts usually occur near the area with the most oil glands. This is typically the face, chest, back, and shoulders. Other than bacteria and dead skin cells, stress, skincare products, diet and ingredients, and environmental stressors are also common causes of breakouts. 


Can I prevent breakouts? 

The bottom line: yes. You can take measures to prevent and treat breakouts. If you are applying and using comedogenic products, it may be time to switch to alternatives. By swapping your skin and body care products with breathable, non-pore-clogging products, your skin will thank you. 

Moreover, getting enough sleep and eating a well-balanced diet contributes to clearer skin. As we sleep, our bodies and skin take time to renew and recover from the long days of sweating, free radical exposure, and our hair and hands touching our faces. 

Thus, it is crucial to thoroughly cleanse the skin of makeup and other impurities sitting on the skin every night. Building a skincare routine that targets your specific skin concerns is also essential. Please read our article here on how to build a skincare routine in 4 steps. 


The different skin types 

As we all know, there are different skin types and, therefore, different treatment measures and methods depending on your skin type. 

  • Normal skin – is balanced, where it does not feel too dry or too oily. This skin type is also not prone to many breakouts and does not feel greasy or tight. Skin texture is smooth and less prone to sensitivity or blemishes. 
  • Sensitive skin – this skin type is more reactive to particular products or ingredients, especially when trying new ingredients. The skin also may be red, dry, and prone to breakouts. In addition, stinging or a burning sensation may occur frequently. 
  • Oily skin – produces excess oil or sebum on the face and persistently has a shiny or greasy appearance. The shininess typically occurs on the nose, forehead, and cheek area. To combat oily skin, it is best to moisturize and cleanse the skin regularly, making your skin feel as though it does not need to "make up" for the loss of natural oils. 
  • Acne-prone skin – occurs when acne breakouts are frequent. This skin type is more susceptible to breakouts and blemishes due to clogged pores of white and blackheads.  

No matter your skin type, knowing which products and ingredients work best for you is essential. Do not worry if finding the correct regimen for your skin type takes trial and error. 

As a rule of thumb, 100% vegan, cruelty-free, and botanical skincare products are the best bet. Due to these products containing only natural and clean lab-made and botanical ingredients, they will not cause skin sensitivities or adverse reactions.  


The best CLEANSERS to combat breakouts and skin-purging reactions 

Luckily, Flora & Noor products are 100% vegan, cruelty-free, halal certified, and Leaping Bunny Certified, making them all truly clean and free of harmful chemicals. Flora & Noor also has products that differ for different skin types, concerns, and purposes. 

Properly and thoroughly cleansing the skin is crucial; thus, opting for a gentle but deep cleansing cleanser is essential. The Boost & Brighten Vitamin C Cleanser is perfect for washing your face in the mornings! It clarifies and provides hydration while unclogging pores, removing impurities, and fixes your skin barrier. 



Furthermore, this cleanser contains nourishing ingredients such as Gotu Kola, horsetail, vitamin C, aloe vera, and borage to feed your skin the nutrients it needs to stay healthy! Vitamin C and Gotu Kola are this cleanser's main stars due to their ability to protect your skin from free radicals, fade hyperpigmentation, and stimulate cellular renewal. 

Also, it is essential to cleanse your face at nighttime to wash away the sweat, oils, and grime you encounter daily. The Hydration Station Aloe + Green Tea Cleanser is excellent for balancing your skin's pH and sebum production levels, clearing clogged pores, and gently exfoliating the skin! 

Cleansing your skin is a crucial step in your regimen because it gives you a clean and clear base to apply your other skincare products. It also helps immensely to utilize a cleanser to unclog pores further, regulate oil production, and fortify your skin barrier. 



Additional products to minimize breakouts 

After cleansing, applying toner is essential. Toners help hydrate and prepare your skin for the skincare products you use afterward.  

Flora & Noor's Vitamin C Resurfacing Toner gently exfoliates and hydrates the skin while reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines at the same time! Furthermore, this toner contains vitamin C, niacinamide, pomegranate extract, licorice root, and glycerin, which moisturize, clear debris from pores, and promote collagen production! 

The best part? The Vitamin C Resurfacing Toner is suitable for all skin types, and it is safe and nourishing to apply morning or night! 

Next, after the toner, is serum. The Bright Side Vitamin C Serum contains vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, Gotu Kola, vitamin E, and jojoba oil, nourishing and brightening skin. It also boosts collagen production, resulting in fewer wrinkles and fine lines, softer and bouncier skin, and helps protect your skin from environmental stressors.  

The Bright Side Vitamin C Serum is best applied in the mornings, primarily if you use an active ingredient at night. We recommend applying vitamin C in the morning and a different active ingredient at night to prevent elements from reacting to each other. 

Although, if both ingredients are 100% vegan and have a botanical derivative, applying them at any time of the day is completely safe. 



Additional products to minimize breakouts 

Lastly, apply moisturizer to "lock in" your previous skincare steps. For mornings, the Super Glow Gel Moisturizer soothes and calms the skin while fading away dark spots, reducing aging signs, and promoting healing and cellular renewal.  

For nighttime routines, the Rose Renewal 24/7 Ceramide + Tri-Peptide Moisturizer profoundly hydrates and nourishes the skin for up to 24 hours! It infuses aloe vera, rose water, shea butter, glycerin, ceramides, and peptides. These ingredients help strengthen the skin barrier and promote a more robust moisture barrier function. In addition, it is also anti-inflammatory and restores the skin's elasticity and firmness. 


Key Takeaways 

  • Skin purging is a temporary side effect when introducing new skincare products or ingredients to your routine. Skin purging is regular and should disappear in about 4-6 months. Although, if your acne and blemishes are not improving, it may be time to stop using the product. 
  • In comparison, breakouts occur when there are bacteria or build-up in the pores, resulting in acne. To reduce breakouts, we recommend utilizing clean and vegan skincare products, which will not cause adverse reactions due to their natural and anti-inflammatory properties. 
  • Furthermore, Flora & Noor is a halal-certified and vegan skincare brand and company, making their products 100% safe and suitable for all skin types and concerns! By thoroughly researching and integrating clean skincare into your regimen, your skin will be clearer and brighter. 
  • Lastly, you can shop all Flora & Noor products on Ulta, Amazon, and Thirteen Lune! 
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