Posted on 10 Jul 2022
“If I exfoliate more, my skin will improve”.
That’s false. Over-exfoliating is a common mistake – sometimes unintentionally. Over-exfoliation can either exacerbate acne or lead to, cause sensitivity and redness, as well as unintentional flakiness and dryness.
Believe it or not, there are “good” microorganisms that live on our skin. These microorganisms play an important role in keeping us healthy. When you over-exfoliate, you disrupt this balance and can encourage the growth of bacteria that are detrimental to your skin.
The skin’s natural barrier function is an essential part of our skin health. It protects us from bacteria and other harmful substances that can lead to acne, redness, dehydration, micro lesions, and other skin problems.
Over-exfoliating can cause problems for your skin. You should only exfoliate in moderation, it’s best not to exfoliate more than once a week (especially if you have sensitive skin), and remember: think of your skin like a garden, not a field of crops.
So what are the signs of over-exfoliation? Redness and Irritation, this normally the first tale-tell signs of over-exfoliation. The area may be red for the next few hours or even days, you may even experience “burning” after applying other skin products. When this occurs, you’ll want to cut back on the exfoliation and stop applying these products for a few days. Dryness and Flakiness are the next signs, this is why you must follow up with hydrating products after exfoliation. Increased “greasiness” or oiliness – your skin is dehydrated and it’s your skin’s natural indicator to produce more sebum to re-hydrate. And finally, more breakouts in the form of pimples (Acne), your skin’s barrier is compromised and with a weakened defense it cannot fight against bacteria. Yes, you want to keep your pores free from dirt & debris, but exfoliating in moderation is key.
How to correct this? Stop exfoliation for at least 2 weeks, use a gentle cleanser and add more hydration to your skin, additionally, since your skin is very vulnerable to UV rays, make certain you are wearing sun protection daily – to include cloudy and overcast days!
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