One of the top issues we see with clients visiting for initial consultations? Skin that's been over-exfoliated.
Exfoliation is an important step in our skincare routines, as it helps remove dead skin cells and reveal a fresh, glowing complexion. However, like anything else, too much of a good thing can have adverse effects. Over-exfoliating can disrupt the delicate balance of your skin and lead to various issues.
Here's our top four list of things that can happen to your skin when you over-exfoliate.
Increased Sensitivity and Irritation: Over-exfoliating can strip away the protective barrier of your skin, leaving it vulnerable and prone to sensitivity. This can manifest as redness, dryness, and a stinging or burning sensation. The excessive removal of natural oils can disrupt the skin's moisture balance, leading to a compromised skin barrier. As a result, your skin becomes more susceptible to environmental aggressors, causing further irritation and discomfort.
Dryness and Dehydration: One of the primary functions of the outermost layer of our skin is to retain moisture. Over-exfoliating disrupts this natural moisture barrier, resulting in excessive dryness and dehydration. This can make your skin feel tight, flaky, and rough. Without sufficient hydration, fine lines and wrinkles may become more noticeable, and your skin may appear dull and lackluster.
Breakouts and Acne: Ironically, over-exfoliating can actually trigger breakouts and acne flare-ups. When you strip away too many layers of skin through aggressive or frequent exfoliation, it can lead to an overproduction of sebum (natural oil) as your skin tries to compensate for the loss of moisture. This excess oil, combined with dead skin cells, can clog your pores and contribute to the development of acne, blackheads, and whiteheads. Furthermore, the irritation caused by over-exfoliation can exacerbate existing acne, making it more inflamed and difficult to heal.
Increased Sensitivity to Sun: Over-exfoliating can make your skin more vulnerable to the harmful effects of the sun. When the skin's protective barrier is compromised, UV rays can penetrate more easily, leading to increased sunburn risk and potential long-term damage. This sensitivity can result in hyperpigmentation, sunspots, and an acceleration of skin aging signs like wrinkles and fine lines.
Exfoliation is undoubtedly beneficial for our skin, just remember moderation is key. Over-exfoliating can have detrimental effects on the health and appearance of your skin. It's important to find the right balance and frequency of exfoliation that suits your skin type and condition.
For most people, we usually recommend exfoliating 1-2 times per week using a chemical product such as an AHA. We don't recommend exfoliating with most granular products as they often scratch the skin (walnut shell, apricot scrub, coffee grounds, etc) leading to a compromised and damaged skin barrier function.
Listen to your skin and pay attention to signs of irritation or dryness.
If you suspect that you have over-exfoliated, give your skin a break, focus on gentle, hydrating skincare products, and allow your skin's natural rejuvenation processes to restore its balance. Remember, taking care of your skin should be a gentle and mindful process to achieve the best results.
Want to find out more? We offer complimentary skin consultations. Call 250.590.5459 Today!