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"Purging" vs. Breakout? And an AHA+ question

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I originally posted this in the Non-inflammatory acne board but I haven't gotten any responses so I'm reposting here. Technically my post does involve the regimen, bc my second question involves my decision to purchase Dan's AHA+!

When you try a new product or regimen and you break out, how do you know if the product is clogging or irritating your skin and making you break out, or if it's actually helping and causing your pores to "purge"? My skin doesn't usually break out in papules or pustules, but sometimes when I try a new product I'll break out and don't know whether to stop my new regimen or to wait it out in hopes that it is clearing out my pores. How do you guys tell? Is there any difference in the kinds of pimples you get when you're purging as opposed to bad-reaction-to-a-product breakout?

Also, I'm using (and really loving so far) the baking soda scrub and apple cider vinegar toner regimen. I'm thinking of giving an alpha hydroxy acid product a try, but I'm wondering if the baking soda might interfere with the AHA+, given that baking soda is basic? I know the ACV is supposed to balance the pH of your skin but I don't know if I want to use both acids every day (I'm adding baking soda to my nightly cleanser). I'm really in love with the baking soda scrub and I don't want to give it up, so I was wondering if any of you have used it effectively combined with an AHA+.


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Here's how I look at it. A purge is going to happen rather quickly, within a few days. But if a product is clogging pores, it's going to be a few weeks after starting it before you notice breakouts. It takes a few weeks for pimples to form and show up on the skin, so in my opinion, if a breakout is due to a product clogging your pores, it won't happen right away, it'll happen a few weeks after you've been using it consistently.

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