A purge period for skin products? Bad idea!

It’s been a couple of years since I moved back home after college, and 80 per cent of the time this feels like a delicious and wonderful decision.

Published: 14th March 2018 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th March 2018 12:24 AM   |  A+A-

It’s been a couple of years since I moved back home after college, and 80 per cent of the time this feels like a delicious and wonderful decision. The other 20 per cent though, can be kind of awful (but also equally delicious).

“Can I give you some constructive criticism?” an old acquaintance asks over dinner, waving her hand over my face in dramatic circular motions.“You know you should have just said no,” my mum says when I re-enact the conversation later at home. Yes, I know I should’ve, but I’m also trying to take what people say less seriously. (This clearly has not worked — as I’m still whining a month later.) Anyway, I nodded and meekly said, “Sure.”“Your lifestyle is just not working for you. You live on the Internet and are forgetting social niceties and etiquette.” Deep breath! Shanti.

It is clearly no secret that I thrive on my computer and rely on it for most of my skin care and product research. And in my years of avoiding human contact to learn new things — I am still riddled this question: Why does every review forum have at least one person (regardless of the product) explaining their initial “purging” phase; which usually goes something like this: “At first the breakouts were annoying, but 15 days later my skin cleared up and now its so great, and my skin is perfect and my life is perfect and I just got promoted and am getting proposals from strangers!!”

Why are people so damn smug about passing over from the purging stage — like they do Crossfit or drink a green smoothie for breakfast? You see, I come from a traditional School Of Zits: If my skin is having a bad reaction to a new product, I stop using it! I want you to see me glowing from a continent away after I smother beautiful products on my face. Not be greeted by rashy skin or pus-filled barnacles which feel like the corals you can touch at Sentosa Underwater World.

Most products also advice that you discontinue use post any adverse reaction, right? I know this is probably so they have a safe cover just in case someone decides to sue for a bad experience; but isn’t it… good advice? Isn’t a breakout an adverse reaction? Also, what if your skin just… doesn’t get better? What if what you assumed was a brief “breakout” period was actually you just welcoming the Wrath of Titans to acne-hell where acne-demons partake in a year-long eager on your poor pores?

Personally, I will stop using any product immediately if my skin starts acting crazy — this happens especially around moisturisers. My face also does this weird, creepy thing where it starts to feel very hard — like it’s a Pokemon that is physically trying to stop absorbing whatever shitty topicals I’m currently assaulting it with.

I’m hoping you snuggle bunnies are able to give me some answers. Why are people celebrating a purge and continuing products in hopes that on the other side, they’ll have better skin than ever? Have you ever had a positive purging experience? An unending purge? Or perhaps offended someone with your uncouth internet manners? Do share — I’m not a doctor; but I obviously play one here.

Saumya Chawla


The writer loves to over-share, drink wine & watch period dramas

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