May 18, 2012


The Acne Purge: Why a Big Breakout Can Be a Good Thing

If you’ve been researching acne treatment solutions, then you’ve certainly heard people mention “the purge.” What exactly is an acne purge? It’s the period of time after you begin using new acne products when your skin breaks out more intensely than it did before you started using them. But why would you use an acne treatment or other acne-fighting products that actually cause you to break out? Isn’t the point to get clear skin, not more blemishes? While clear skin is the ultimate goal, purging is one of the most important steps to getting clear skin for the long term.

Acne Purge ExplainedWhat Exactly Is an Acne Purge?
Acne blemishes occur when sebum (oil) and dead skin cells clog pores and trap acne-causing bacteria. Most of this process happens below the surface of your skin, and you only see the end result when a blemish surfaces in the form of a whitehead, blackhead or inflamed acne blemish. Since new skin cells take weeks to migrate to the surface, the breakouts you see now may be weeks old. Many acne treatments that claim to “get rid of” acne address the symptom instead of the cause, drying up oil and sebum as blemishes form. However, if you want clear skin for the long term, you need to purge these buried breakouts and get rid of the oil, skin cells and acne-causing bacteria below the skin’s surface. This purging process brings blemishes to the surface more rapidly (and often more intensely). During this time, it may seem like your skin isn’t getting any better, but don’t worry. Purging is a natural part of getting clear.

Dr. Murad recently answered a customer-submitted question on acne purging. See his full explanation in the video below.

Which Acne Medication Helps to Unclog Pores and Purge Skin?
As noted above, some topical acne medications treat acne by drying blemishes as they form. These products may reduce the symptoms of acne (the actual blemishes), but they won’t prevent clogged pores. Murad’s Acne Complex® products contain Salicylic Acid, an Alpha Hydroxy Acid that works to exfoliate away dead skin cells beneath the surface of the skin to unclog pores and prevent future breakouts. When choosing an acne product, look for one that contains Salicylic Acid. When your skin starts to purge, you’ll know that it’s working!

Acne Treatment GelRecommended Product: Murad Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel
Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel’s patented Hydrogen Peroxide delivery system enables Retinol, Glycolic and Salicylic Acids to penetrate deeply for maximum effectiveness. Cell turnover is stimulated, breakouts are controlled, pore-clogging impurities are eliminated and clarity is restored.


Customer Review: Murad Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel
“This product made my skin so soft and clear! I think it even helped lighten some of the brown spots on my face. I have used SEVERAL acne products and this surpasses them all by far! It doesn’t stink or dry out your skin like other products!” Maddie07, NorthernCA


How Long Will an Acne Purge Last?
The amount of time that it takes your skin to purge will vary. However, many people report that purging takes between three and six weeks. No matter how long the purging period takes, just keep in mind that it means that your product is working properly. You need to clear your pores before your skin can become breakout-free!

The acne purge is one of the hardest parts of getting rid of acne, but don’t get discouraged. Like many things in life, your acne will need to get worse before it gets better.


Related Information

Tips to Get Rid of Acne

Murad Acne Products

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