Understanding Skin Purge When Switching to Natural Skincare

By Jordaan B.  
July 17, 2020

What is skin purging and what does it look like?

Have you ever tried a new product, expecting miraculous results, but found that it made your skin break out more than usual? You probably gave up on the product, assuming it wasn’t right for you. But give it another try, what you experienced may have been your skin purging.

Skin purging is the temporary process of your skin releasing toxins deep in the pores while it adjusts to new treatments. It is the reason you may have more acne than usual when you use a new product. It is very common and there are a few reasons why it happens.

Skin Purge Offender #1: Clogged pores are unblocked

Conventional products may leave the top layer of your skin squeaky clean, but often leave behind the gunk that’s deep in your pores. They dry out your skin, so that it responds by sending more oil than necessary.

Impurities slowly come to the surface as pimples, but products like our Prickly Pear Seed Oil help to balance oil production and efficiently reach deeply into your skin, so anything that has been trapped can be released more quickly.

As Dr. Yoram Harth, MD explains, “The pimples that would otherwise have come to the surface in future weeks and months, start to come out much more quickly and seemingly all at once.”

Skin Purge Offender #2: Clay draws out toxins

Our Cleansing Powder is made with kaolin clay, an ingredient known to absorb impurities that are stuck in the pores, while organic oats boost cell turnover through gentle exfoliation. These ingredients together can very commonly lead to skin purging when first using them.

“Essentially your new products are causing the upper layers of the skin to shed off while ‘pushing’ all the gunk and bacteria in your skin out to the surface.” explains Dr. Harth.

How to tell if your skin is purging or breaking out

When your skin purges, you may experience heavier breakouts, but you should not have extra sensitivity or irritation to go with it. If you are noticing this, it is likely due to an allergic reaction.

Another difference between skin purging and breaking out is the duration with which it lasts. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Deanne Mraz Robinson points out that “Since purging occurs when an ingredient attempts to speed up the skin’s natural pace of shedding and renewal, it should only take one full skin cycle to get through the worst of it.”

Have patience before giving up

Your skin needs a full skin cycle to push those toxins out from deep in your pores to be cleared from the surface. Wait at least 4-6 weeks to start seeing that glowing complexion.

Skin cycles vary and slow down with age, but on average, a full skin cycle (where a skin cell develops and is released at the surface) takes roughly 28-42 days. If you are breaking out for longer than six weeks, it likely is not due to skin purging.