August 3, 2018

Should You Worry About Over-Exfoliating?

Exfoliating is an important part of any skincare routine, especially the skincare routine of us self-tan addicts! It helps remove dead skin cells while increasing cell turnover. Healthy amounts of exfoliation keep your skin looking fresh and healthy and is an imperative step to achieving the perfect skin finish, but how do you know when it’s too much? Is over-exfoliating actually a thing? Well, yeah, it actually is.

Over-exfoliating is a simple lil’ mistake to make (and we’ve all been there in our endeavours for perfect skin). A few basic facts may help you realize how much is too much. What if your skin is already damaged from over-exfoliation? Not to worry, we’ve provided some helpful tips, facts, and remedies to help quell your fears.

A Guide to Exfoliation

Over-exfoliating can lead to inflammation and damage. Healthy levels of exfoliation will increase cell turnover, while over-exfoliating will do the opposite. This can cause premature wrinkles and lines.

The temptation to over-exfoliate is all too strong. We see those skin imperfections and feel like we can scrub them away. Additionally, many of us aren’t aware of how often to exfoliate our skin, and what to do if we cause damage from over-exfoliation.

How Often Should I Exfoliate?

Your answer will be personalized. Everyone has a different skin type; therefore, we each need a unique amount of exfoliation. First, decide your skin type. Follow this guide to know how often you should exfoliate.

Skin Types

  • Dry
    – Dry skin can be ultra-sensitive. Only exfoliate once a week if you have this skin type. Try using a sugar-scrub or acid exfoliant. They are usually gentle. However, don’t use acid exfoliants if you’re using a cleanser or moisturizer with retinol, glycolic, or salicylic acids in it. This may cause imbalances in your skin’s chemical levels.
  • Oily
    – If your skin is naturally oily, try only exfoliating twice per week. However, over-exfoliation often causes excess oil build-up. Your skin may be over-compensating for the moisture it lost during exfoliation. If this describes you, try exfoliating only once per week.
  • Combination or Normal
    – Exfoliate two to three times each week for optimal results. Focus on your most problematic areas. Be gentle with yourself.

How Do I Fix Damaged Skin?

Did you go overboard while exfoliating? Damage can easily happen when you remove too many layers. It can be painful. Your skin may be raw, red, and rough. Fortunately, there are remedies for these issues.

Steps to Healing Damaged Skin

  • Give your skin a break.
    – Wait two weeks to a month before exfoliating again. Even then, make sure your skin feels ready for it.
  • Use gentle cleansers.
    – Keep your skin clean by using a simple cleanser. Your epidermis has lost its protective barrier, so you must keep your skin clean to prevent infections. However, be gentle and don’t over-cleanse.
  • Moisturize your skin.
    – If your skin is overly dry from exfoliation, try adding a good level of moisture. Apply gentle moisturizers each morning and night to help heal it.
  • Use ointments to avoid infection.
    – This step is only for severe cases of exfoliant damage. Your skin may be bleeding, raw, and could have open sores at this point. Use an antibiotic ointment to prevent infectious bacteria from entering your skin. When the damage is extensive enough, it may be time to see a doctor.

A Better Future with Healthy Skin

Skincare is essential. It plays a vital role in your skin’s function and appearance. Over-exfoliating is possible. Understanding your skin type is important to help realize how often to exfoliate. This will help your skin look its best, and prevent unnecessary damage. Is your skin is already damaged from over-exfoliation? Remember, your skin has a natural way of healing itself. However, there are always steps you can take to help. Moving forward, try using this guide to help heal your skin, or keep it looking healthy and bright.

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