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Medically Reviewed by Dr. Eva Simmons-O’Brien

Dr. Eva Simmons O’Brien received her MD from Yale University and is a board-certified dermatologist. With over 30 years of experience, she has worked for hospitals, established her own private practice, and consulted for organizations such as the FDA. Today, Dr. Eva runs her own practice in addition to serving as our Chief Science Officer.

Will Skincare Break Me Out?

Will Skincare Break Me Out?

Will Skincare Break Me Out?



Acne is a true pain in the arse. 

Throughout your life, you’re likely to experience acne in some shape or form. For most, acne worsens around the age of puberty due to increased hormones and therefore higher levels of sebum production (oil). For others, breakouts will happen on occasion due to a number of factors like increased stress levels, environmental effects, or using new products that can irritate the skin. Regardless of your skin type, tone, or age –  acne is truly an unpredictable disturbance. 

If your skin has recently broken out or acne has flared up, and you haven’t used any new skincare products, you should consider the following to clear up your complexion and get your skin back on the right track:

Quick Fixes: How to Remedy a Breakout/Acne 

  • Try an acne medication or spot treatment and apply it directly to the blemishes.
  • Use only non-comedogenic skincare products, makeup, and sunblock that will not block your pores.
  • Consistently wash your face every morning and night with a face cleanser. 
  • Consistently use a gentle, light face moisturizer every morning and night to repair your moisture barrier and manage excess oil.
  • Consider a face mask to detoxify pores and purify the skin. 
  • Never sleep in makeup or sunblock, and always wash your face before bed.
  • Avoid popping zits or touching your face throughout the day.

While we recommend always consulting your dermatologist, if your acne is consistent after 4 weeks, or has worsened, definitely consult a dermatologist for further acne treatment. 

Will Skincare Break Me Out?

If you’re new to skincare or have hardly used it before, it can be daunting to try new products for fear of disrupting already seemingly clear and healthy skin. However, everyone should be using skincare in order to protect their skin from UV light, keep bacteria and dirt away, and look younger for longer in the most natural and effective way out there. So if you’re scared to try skincare for fear it might break you out, we’re here to bust the myth of skincare causing acne to flare up. 

Skincare in and of itself will not cause breakouts, but certain skincare products can cause breakouts if they contain a lot of chemicals, sulfates, or parabens, if the product is not being used correctly, or if the product is not working well with your skin type. 

If your skin has recently broken out, and you’ve started to use a new product or skincare, then it’s time to deliberate whether your skin is truly breaking out, or if it’s going through a skin purge.

Acne Breakout vs. Skin Purging

At first glance, it can be difficult to differentiate between an acne breakout or skin purging as unexpected pimples can seemingly pop up out of nowhere at any time. However, the biggest distinguishing factor is that if your skin is purging, you have started using a new product or new skincare regimen. 

Acne breakouts, alternatively, will occur regularly as a result of stress, inconsistent diet, hormonal fluctuations, and environmental factors. This type of breakout can be treated with a spot treatment or blemish serum. The best way to relieve a typical acne breakout or unexpected blemish is to use a pimple patch, like the Overnight Pimple Sticker.

What Is Skin Purging? 

A skin purge is a short-term period in which the skin will break out, ridding pores of oil, dirt, and bacteria, and is a result of integrating a new product into your skincare regimen. 

You can think of skin purging as a similar process to detoxification. For instance, when you undergo a change in your diet and cut out processed foods and start to eat healthier, whole foods without processed chemicals, the body will tend to undergo detoxification in the form of fatigue, hormonal changes, and even stomach aches. However – this is all temporary, as the body is flushing out the toxins that have been built up over a longer period of time due to eating processed foods. We can think of a skin purge as a similar process.

Skin purging may seem scary, but it’s a good sign that the body is paving the way for clearer skin. Most products out there never truly get to the root of the problem. When you start using an organic, all-natural product designed to truly detoxify the skin, pores emit oil, dirt, and bacteria, resulting in a temporary breakout. This is always a short period, however, and if you continue to stay consistent with the new product or regimen, the skin will clear up in no time and you’ll see lasting results.

Exfoliating products are the most common type of formula that can lead to skin purging. Exfoliation effectively sheds dead skin cells and deeply detoxifies pores. Think of getting a chemical peel, for example. The skin purges the dirt, oil, and bacteria, leaving you with a clear, bright complexion in a matter of days or about a week. Some of these at-home detoxification products can look like face masks, chemical exfoliants, face scrubs, or even serums. 

For adequate detoxification, we recommend a Rejuvenating Face Mask, Exfoliating Face Scrub, and even a daily Face Cleanser Stick to regulate oil levels, clear out pores, and brighten overall complexion.

Final Thoughts

Skincare will not directly cause a breakout unless you’re integrating a new product or regimen specifically designed to detoxify the skin. Focus on building a skincare regimen with organic, all-natural products that use paraben-free, sulfate-free, and cruelty-free formulas to ensure you’re putting the most natural and effective ingredients on your face. 

If you do happen to experience a skin purge, remember that the detoxification process is temporary, and if you stay consistent, a clearer brighter complexion is just around the corner.


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