Have you heard of skin purging? Any idea what it means? Nope, us neither. But we’ve found out. In a nutshell, it means that when you buy a new skin product and your skin breaks out, it might just be that it’s adapting to the product (purging) or it may mean your skin doesn’t like it (breaking out). But how do you tell the difference? And how do you know how long to wait it out? We spoke to skincare and wellbeing expert Abigail James to clear up the confusion…

Abigail James

How do you know if your skin is purging?

Your skin will often purge if you’re trying out a new product or have changed your diet. For instance, a clay and charcoal mask can cause your skin to purge as it draws out impurities.

What’s the difference between skin purging and breaking out?

They can look very similar, so it can be hard to tell the difference. Breakouts can be larger than pimples and are usually connected to hormones, stress, lifestyle and genetics.

Skin purging is when you come out in small spots following the application of a new skincare product. It can happen if the cream you’re using is too rich for your skin type, or your skin is going through a process to get rid of bad stuff before it rebalances and looks fabulous.

Your skin might also purge if you’re going through a detox. The skin is one of your detox organs, and the body will be getting rid of all the toxins in your skin, which will come out in the form of spots. They will disappear eventually as the body rebalances.  

If you’re using a new product and your skin starts to react, how long should you wait before giving up and trying a different one?

If it’s a cleansing product, give it 7–10 days. By day 10 the skin should have done its thing cleansing out the impurities. If it’s a rich hydrating product, it may just be too rich for your skin.

If you’re cleaning up your diet and doing a detox, using a cleansing mask will really help your skin through the process, which could be over two to four weeks.

If you’re looking to get rid of all those nasty impurities in your skin, try out these magic prods…

L'Oreal Paris L'Oreal Paris Pure Clay Detox Face Mask 50ml £7.99 Buy Now
Eucerin Eucerin Sensitive Skin Cleansing Lotion £8.59 Buy Now
Wunder2 WUNDERTOX Cleansing Detox Mask 40ml £19.95 Buy Now
Bootea Bootea 14 Day Teatox £19.99 Buy Now