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How To Tell If Your Skin is Purging or Breaking Out

I often get messages from people detailing how a product (or ingredient, especially in terms of coconut oil) makes their skin "purge" before it improves. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about our skin and purging versus breaking out, so I hope to put those to rest today once and for all, and help you decipher whether or not your skin is actually purging, or if it just plain ol' doesn't like the product you're using.

First, purging is not a myth. Your skin can and does purge.

But, not how you might think.

A lot of companies that boast being "all-natural" or "chemical-free" (see my blog post about the chemical-free myth here) also like to claim that their products cause purging due to some kind of a skin "detox". This is false, plain and simple. Essentially, these companies are using the guise of purging to mask the fact that it likely has less-than-ideal ingredients. That way, if your skin breaks out, they'll just tell you that it's normal, and that it's just purging and if you stick to it, it will get better. Your skin does not and will not "purge" unless there is some kind of ingredient in the product you're using which increases skin cell turnover, which we will get into next.

How Can I Tell If My Skin is Purging or Breaking Out?

Although it may seem so, the difference between purging and breaking out is unfortunately not always very clear.