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Are you purging or breaking out? Find out the difference here and what skincare products you should be using

Published 8 months ago

Now this is a common question. More often than not, some of us are unable to identify the difference between skin purging and breaking out. Both do sound similar in a sense, but the difference between them is that skin purging is a reaction to an ingredient that increases skin cell turnover to improve and control acne, where else breakouts can be caused by inflammation, bacteria or even excess oil and dead skin cells.


The best way to identify whether your skin is purging or having breakouts are the areas that it is detected in as well as its time of healing. Usually, skin purging can last around 4-6 weeks as it pushes out and detoxes excess sebum and buildup from the deeper layers of the skin, while breakouts can take a longer time to heal and sometimes can leave permanent acne scars if you are not careful.

Treatment Do’s and Don’t's

Skin purging does tend to clear up much quicker than pimples and breakouts, but there are different ways to treat both to minimize it from happening. Now the way how you would do this is that with purging, you would notice that it would be predominantly clustered in a certain area where you would have your usual breakouts. You may experience a little redness, dryness and itchiness at the beginning due to all the buildup of dirt, bacteria and more coming up to the surface, but after a few weeks of gentle exfoliation and cleansing, healthy new cells will surface to reveal refreshed and radiant looking skin.


As for breakouts, most of the time it is caused by genetics, hormones or even external aggressors like our humid weather, which in turn can cause the pores of your skin to become blocked with oil, dead skin cells and bacteria. So, upon treating it, you would have to keep in mind to avoid irritants, use a good acne spot treatment, wash the targeted areas with a gentle cleanser and above all, avoid touching or picking the affected area until your skin clears.

Healing Duration:

So as mentioned above, the healing progress is different for everyone, as understandably each skin type is different, so the duration of the skin’s improvement can vary, from some seeing better skin in less than 3 weeks to those that might have a slightly more severe condition that can take a little while longer. However, if you find that even upon doing the above routine consistently that skin isn’t clearing up after 4-6 weeks, we do recommend seeing a dermatologist to make sure everything is alright.

Understandably, the act of skin purging or even breaking out do tend to be surprising or a rather scary experience to some who are not used to it, but it is actually a common occurrence especially since nowadays a lot of us are wearing masks to keep safe. The only thing is that it would result in a lot of clogged up pores and maskne that would need to be attended to.

However, if you care for your skin well, you would be able to minimize the effects, and even when you are starting a new skincare regime or even introducing a new product to your routine, a recommendation from our end, would be best to start it off at a lower concentration or by a smaller amount. This would keep your skin in check and over time, you skin will adjust accordingly to the product.

So hopefully this helps you to understand the difference between skin purging and break outs, and while we understand that it can be a long process, we would always want the best results for our skin.

Favful's recommendations:

For acne clearing:

The Inkey List Succinic Acid Blemish Treatment - Buy Now

Revolution Skincare 2% Salicylic Acid Acne Serum 30ml - Buy Now

Pyunkang Yul Acne Patch - Buy Now

Cosrx AC Collection Blemish Spot Clearing Serum 40ml - Buy Now

For skin repair:

Cosrx Propolis Light Ampoule - Buy Now

To soothe & calm redness:

The Mineraw Glow Serum Face Oil 30ml - Buy Now

Dr Jart Mask Soothing Hydra Solution (5 Sheets) - Buy Now


Author: Shiv B

Instagram: @penmyblog

Profile: A beauty editor and creator who has been in the makeup industry professionally for more than 10 years+ . Shiv B has also written for multiple fashion, beauty and travel magazines and is the founder of beauty and fashion website, Pen My Blog as well. Known for her creative makeup artistry and bold colors, she was also the Top 6 for the NYX Face Awards Cycle 1 and loves to discover and explore all things related to beauty.