Can You Exfoliate Every day?
Nothing makes your skin feel more refreshed and clean than exfoliating. It leaves your skin feeling renewed and treats it to a healthy glow. But should you exfoliate every day? If you have been, you may find yourself experiencing one of the signs of over-exfoliation.
The Signs of Over-Exfoliation
Extra oily skin
Has your skin been more oily than usual? It’s time to look at how much you’ve been exfoliating. Over-exfoliated skin means a compromised barrier between your skin and the environment.
Skin will go into overdrive to protect itself resulting in the overproduction of oil.
Continuously breaking out or worsening breakouts
If your top layer of skin is stripped, toxins and pollutants have a way of entering your pores.
Bacteria can spread on your skin and may trigger acne.
Dry, tight skin
You may notice an increase in oil production from over-exfoliation, but the opposite can also occur. Tightness and dryness are both signs of over-exfoliation.
This can occur because stripped skin means your skin lost natural oils it needs to defend against pollutants.
Dryness/tightness from over-exfoliating can occur in all skin types, including oily.
Over-exfoliating your skin can cause inflammation and even a burning sensation. Over time, it can destroy your skin’s natural lipid barrier if you continue to damage your skin by exfoliating too much.
Peeling, flaky skin
You may experience extreme dryness as well as peeling, flaky skin. This happens because your skin has no protective layer and is losing moisture.
Healing Over-Exfoliated Skin
If you think you’ve over-exfoliated, keep your skincare routine gentle and soothing until the inflammation is gone. Avoid any products with alcohols or fragrances (they aren’t good for your skin anyway!).
Stop exfoliating until your skin is healed, and make sure to cleanse daily to reduce the risk of infection. Add an oil or soothing serum before you moisturize to aid the skin’s healing process.
Avoid products with ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. They’ll cause even more irritation.
It’s very important to moisturize every day while healing your skin. It creates a barrier your skin needs to protect itself from pollutants.
Once healed, exfoliation should be done 2-3 times weekly to ensure your skin stays in good health. Removing dead skin cells routinely will allow for cell regeneration and kick acne to the curb.
If you’ve been over-exfoliating- don’t panic! It’s not too late to restore your skin’s natural lipid barrier. You can treat your skin by moisturizing and using sun protection so it can properly heal.
How Often Should You Exfoliate?
There are a few different types of exfoliation. They are either mechanical (scrubs) or chemical (acids and enzymes). Whichever one you use will depend on how often you should exfoliate.
As a general rule for scrubs or any other mechanical exfoliant like a dry brush, exfoliate 2-3 times a week. This rule applies to face and body exfoliation.
A chemical exfoliation treatment will depend on the type of acid used, your skin type, and how deep the exfoliation.
Discuss with your esthetician or dermatologist about chemical exfoliants for at-home use, and they’ll guide you on what type and strength to use.
A lot of people want to start at the highest concentration of acid because they think they’ll get the best results this way. You risk a lot of damage to your skin if you go this route.
Highly concentrated products usually require your skin to go through a series of lower-concentrated products so that the skin can work itself up to handling a stronger concentration. To avoid damage, it’s important to always consult with an esthetician or dermatologist before trying out a chemical exfoliant to see what’s right for your skin
What’s your favorite exfoliating product? Let me know in the comments below!
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