Too much of a good thing. Are you over exfoliating?

Sensitive skin? Are you over-exfoliating your skin? Victoria BC

We all know it's super important to exfoliate the skin, and keep the cellular turnover occurring, bringing fresh glowing skin to the surface. But did you know, some of the most common skin sensitivities may actually be caused by over exfoliating the skin and causing it’s natural barriers to be compromised?

The skin’s own natural barrier protects skin from environmental damage, bacteria, and excess UV exposure. When we compromise our skin’s ability to protect itself, we encourage infections, sensitivities and of course premature aging to occur.

Many of today’s skin care products contain some form of physical or chemical exfoliant. Pair this up with clinical treatments, such as microdermabrasion, and your setting your skin up for some angry redness, and troublesome sensitivity. Irritation / redness, crepiness, dry scaly patches,   and increased sensitivity may all be signs that you need to pull back a little and let your skin have time to recover. Some people may also experience “telangiectasia” or a permanent reddening of the skin as well with prolonged skin trauma.

Signs you may be over exfoliating?

  • Small "pimple like" bumps forming on skin
  • Sensitive, red & irritated skin
  • Scaling & rough patches

So what’s the happy medium? We definitely believe in exfoliation. The key is to limit the number of products you use on a daily basis that contain acids or retinoids. Be sure to check everything from your cleanser to your moisturizer to ensure they are not packed with exfoliants.   Most importantly, we strongly suggest avoiding any physical exfoliating products that contain things like “crushed walnut shells” as these create tiny scratches in the skin, creating a wonderful environment for bacteria to thrive. We suggest using a “chemical” exfoliant, such as AHA’s, and then, only a couple of times per week.

If you’ve already reached a place where your skin is angry and unhappy, it really needs time to heal.   Stop any exfoliating at this point, and also avoid cleansers with Sulfates as they are drying, and look for a healing products containing ceramides our other protective compounds. Let your skin relax for a couple of weeks to reestablish its protective layer, and you’ll be back to your glowing self in no time.

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