What is purging all about?

What is purging all about?

Have you ever experienced the surge of new pimples while discovering new skincare products? You initially bought the new skincare products with a dream of getting clear and flawless skin, however it seems like something is wrong with the products. By the way, is it so?

Well, it could be purging instead of breakout when you are new to any products with active ingredients in them.


Purging is a process where your skin is in the middle of adjusting to any active ingredients that is responsible to increase your skin turnover rate. In the process of removing your old, dead cells to be replaced with new and young skin cells, anything that clogged your pores will turn to whitehead/blackheads/acnes faster than before.

Usually it will take up to 8 weeks for a normal clogged pore to turn into annoying bumps on your skin. However, purging will make it faster in-order to deep cleanse your pores.

As the product starts to work wonder, you will realise that your tiny bumps are getting lesser compared to the early stage of purging. It will last for about 2-6 weeks or more depending on your skin condition. Pimples due to purging will appear very quickly and will also disappear very quickly within less than 7 days compared to normal pimples due to breakout.


Now, lets’ talk about what kind of ingredients that may cause purging?

1. Chemical exfoliators

  • Alpha-hydroxy-acids (AHAs) – Such as Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid. In our Alluskin Purifying Cleanser, glycolic acid is the active ingredient.
  • Beta-hydroxy-acids (BHAs) – Salicylic Acid. If you have sensitive skin or new to chemical exfoliants, it is advisable to not start with salicylic acid.

2. Retinoids/Vitamin A Derivatives

  • Retinol, adapalene, tretinoin, etc

3. Acne spot treatment – Benzoyl Peroxide

4. Vitamin C

Other than these active ingredients, if you experienced sudden surge of pimples, it might be breakout instead of purging.

Note: If you saw anyone is claiming that their natural product can cause purging, you might want to see the full ingredient lists before using that product.

Picture: Diana Grytsku