How to know the difference between a breakout and skin purge

Breakout or Skin purge?

How can you tell the difference between a breakout or skin purge? Image supplied.

Have you ever bought a new skincare product, used it for a few times, only to get a breakout? Because, same. If you are anything like me and your skin is more sensitive than a man with the common cold then any new product that varies from your usual skincare routine seems to send your skin over the edge. Although some products can cause your skin to have a bad reaction, there are also certain products that are meant to cause a breakout… say what? It’s called a skin purge. This is where the product is detoxifying the skin, eliminating a buildup of waste leaving behind clusters of pimples and it is actually meant to happen.

There are also other reasons why your skin may be breaking out, from poor diet to stress and gut health. But how can we tell if our skin is having a purge or a breakout? Well, we did some investigating and spoke to beauty therapist and Medik8 educator, Brooke Taylor from House of Camille, about the difference between a breakout and a skin purge and what to do when both occur. Here is what she had to say.

What is the difference between a breakout and a skin purge?
A breakout is a response of the skin showing that there is something out of balance. This can be due to a range of things such as medications, stress, bacteria, congesting product, poor gut health and hormones.

A skin purge is a controlled response from a treatment or product to help detox the skin and eliminate a buildup of waste in the deeper layers.

What is the best treatment for a breakout?
First off, we need to look at a consultation to investigate what is causing the breakout. Once this has been looked at, the correct ingredients, products and treatments can be prescribed. Always note that no two skins’ are the same and each problem is unique.

Treatments that can be great are – Blue light or a mix of near-infrared and blue light from Dermalux Blue light. This will help to remove the bacteria that causes acne and the near-infrared will help with healing. Another option/treatment is a Medik8 Clarity Peel which is designed to help with breakout-prone skin to decongest and help with the texture on the skin.

We would usually look at treatments that are focused on reducing bacteria on the skin, reducing inflammation and promoting healing.

What is the best treatment for a skin purge?
We would want to look at promoting a skin detox and helping with healing. Again, Dermalux LED light would be amazing to help with this. Near-infrared and red light can be beneficial to help with circulation to flush out toxins and promote healing.

What products would you recommend for both a breakout and a skin purge?
Vitamin A is key when looking after a skin that is prone to congestion or breakouts. It is a very normalising ingredient to help with oil flow and helps with cell turnover. Retinaldehyde found in Medik8 Crystal Retinal range is my favourite type of vitamin A as it is also antibacterial!

Medik8 Surface Radiance Cleanse is great as it contains a mix on Lactic, Mandelic and Salicylic acids that help to clear away congestion and impurities.

The Clarity Peptide Serum is also a must-have product. Containing 10% niacinamide this helps with any inflammation and pigment that is left behind post break out, while Crystalide peptide removes waste from the skin cells and Zinc PCA regulates sebum production, preventing the formation of blemishes.

What should we avoid doing with a breakout?
No at-home extractions! Invest in a spot treatment like Blemish SOS from Medik8. Avoid products that strip the skin like alcohols or sulphates. Avoid over-exfoliating or using abrasive scrubs like apricot kernels on the skin as this will just aggravate the skin further.

What should we avoid doing with a skin purge?
Similar to a breakout use products that support the skin, drink plenty of water and allow your skin to do what it naturally does. Sometimes the skin needs to go through a normal and natural process to eliminate waste.

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