If you’re using a product that speeds up how fast your skin cells are shed and replaced, then the product may be “purging” your skin of pimples that were already waiting to form. When a product speeds up skin cell turnover the entire skin cell cycle speeds up as well, giving clogged pores the chance to turn into pimples much quicker than they otherwise would have. This means that the early stages of pimples were already present in some form and will generally surface all at once or in clusters.
-Salicylic Acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, mandelic acid
If your skin is breaking out more than normal and you're using a new product with ingredients that stimulate cell turnover - it's likely that your skin is purging. If it does not improve after 6-8 weeks, your skin is likely breaking out. Purging typically happens in normal areas where you typically experience breakouts.
If your skin is breaking out, your acne will get worse, and won't improve until you stop using the product. It's also common to start breaking out in new spots on your face, and the breakout may be atypical. Breakouts due to new products typically occur in areas where you do not typically experience breakouts.
Product types that cause breakouts:
If your skin hasn't cleared up in 8 weeks, you are most likely breaking out from your new product.