Are You Over-Exfoliating?
Posted on February 28 2018
Exfoliation plays a key role in healthy skin. It encourages cell turnover, minimizes wrinkles, and rids the skin of impurities and long-term buildup that a simple facial cleansing can miss. There are also so many great products on the market like sheet masks and tempting sugar scrubs that make exfoliation a fun ritual, even a treat after a long work day, though you could be over doing it if you’re not careful.
What is exfoliation, really?
The American Academy of Dermatology describes exfoliation as “the process of removing dead skin cells from the outer layer of your skin.” This can be achieved in a couple of ways, through scrubbing by hand or through a chemical reaction that dissolves away those excess cells and debris. The skin already does this naturally through a process called “desquamation”, seen very prominently after a sunburn, though our body goes through this process daily and it eventually slows down with age.
So what’s the harm?
The skin has a natural moisture barrier, which keeps out unwanted bacteria and toxins while keeping skin hydrated. When you overdo it, you’re removing that “safety sheild” and could be prone to even more breakouts, dryness, dermatitis and generally making your skin look aged ;(
How often should you exfoliate?
This can depend on your skin type, where oily skin gets the most attention, though the sweet spot lies between 2 - 3 times a week. Anything more and you’ll be more prone to the skin issues you’re aiming to fix.
Signs of over-exfoliation include
- Redness and irritation
- Flaking skin
- Shiny forehead (not oily)
- Burning or stinging
- Puffiness / inflammation
When exfoliating, dermatologists recommend using products from the same product line as they are formulated to work best together. Using a myriad of products that have conflicting ingredients can cause issues that make it hard to pinpoint what is causing an irritation.
To wash up your face in between your exfoliation routine try oil cleansing! It gently removes grime and makeup while leaving that moisture barrier happy and healthy. I highly recommend Crave's Oil-Based Cleanser + Warpaint Remover. The CBD oil helps cleanse the skin while balancing it's natural oil production. Lately, I've been pairing it with The Mitty Blackout, a really soft cleansing cloth that I came across at Indie Beauty Expo Los Angeles. It's a washable cloth designed for eye makeup removal but—truth be told—I use it on my entire face, wringing it out a couple of times 😜
It may sound like we’re totally just hating on exfoliating but, exfoliants and scrubs are still our friends! They can be so beneficial, and increase the effectiveness of other skincare products we use. For these reasons, I love treating myself to face masks and scrubs to get rid of the daily grind, but just don't actually make it daily. Remove the excess, keep what's needed. 🙌