Picture this: You want to start taking better care of yourself and are ready to upgrade your skincare game. You do some research and treat yourself to a nice, retinol-based skin product because you’ve heard so much about how retinol is great for the skin.
But then, after a few days of using your retinol, you notice that your skin is breaking out and you have more acne than usual. How fun is that?
If you’ve found yourself in this situation, like I did a few weeks ago, don’t panic. You may just be experiencing ‘retinoid purging.’ Don’t be quick to throw away or stop using your retinol products – it’s only temporary!
Dermatologists have said that retinol is one of the best skincare ingredients for fighting against acne and has many anti-aging benefits.
But here’s the thing – retinol and retinoids are famous for cell turnover production, meaning they bring healthy skin cells to the surface, which is why retinol often gives your skin a more youthful texture.
But because of all the cell turnover that occurs when you first start using retinol, this also means that your skin will begin ‘retinoid purging,’ which means that all the gunk that has been clogging your pores and hiding beneath your skin will come to the surface, which can cause an increase in breakouts like whiteheads and blackheads.
When your skin is retinoid purging, you may also have to deal with peeling, redness, and other forms of irritation. But don’t panic! While this may all be super annoying, it’s simply a sign that the retinol is doing its job, and it won’t last forever.
If your skin begins retinoid purging after you start using a retinol product, don’t quit or stop using it. If you stop for days on end and then decide to pick it back up again, you’ll just have to start the purging process all over again.
Of course, if your skin is heavily irritated, starts becoming painful, and you notice really intense burning or peeling, you should stop and consult a dermatologist.