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Thread: Purging v a bad reaction

  1. #1
    Senior Member Carly1981's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Brooklyn, NYC
    Country: United States

    Default Purging vs. a bad reaction

    Is there an easy way to differentiate between a product purging your skin (i.e. it gets worse before it gets better) and a negative reaction (i.e. Stop Using This Right Now)?

    My cupboard is loaded with stuff that I gave up on as soon as my skin broke out, but even after using only Avène products for a week, my cheeks are breaking out at random. I think Avene is as gentle as a skincare line can get, yet my skin looks the same as when I was dousing it with acids and actives. I had two severe night flushes in a row (which led to breakouts) even though I've been super-gentle with my skin. This is so very frustrating because I thought if anything could calm things down, it would be Avène. It was my last safety net. I'm finally starting to realize "it's not you, it's me" when it comes to products.

    Since I'm reacting to gentle the same way I was to harsh, perhaps I should give things like The Ordinary's azelaic acid and niacinamide + zinc serum another chance...maybe use one on each cheek, every other night? When I tried these, months ago, I broke out right away but that could be because I layered them. :-/

    Both cheeks are pretty bad right now (as bad as when I used ACV last fall) so I feel like I might as well try anything. I'm just not sure how I'll be able to tell if skin is purging or if the products are just not right for me. How long does a purge last? And should I wait for things to calm down again (if they ever will) before trying? Who knows, maybe I should stick it out with Avène and stop switching things up so often??

    I'm so confused. :p

    I'm doing everything I can think of, even silly little steps like washing my hands before washing my face, using only bottled water, and letting my skin mostly air dry.
    Last edited by Carly1981; 5th June 2017 at 08:51 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Country: UK


    I know what you mean it's a complete nightmare. The trouble is our skin can take a long time to heal so as long as a product doesn't make your skin itch, burn or sting I would give it at least two weeks. I have a bin full of discarded products, i feel like Charlie from Charlie and the chocolate factory waiting for the golden ticket- my skin changing product is out there, just got to find it!

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