Exfoliation is one-third of the basic skincare regimen. Clearing out dead skin is a key to a clear complexion and uniform skin tone. But over-exfoliation can be a big problem.
How much should somebody exfoliate? Because going overboard comes with some pretty severe, painful consequences: “Over exfoliation may lead to redness, irritation, sensitivity, and flaking,” warns board-certified dermatologist Dr. Ryan Turner, of Turner Dermatology in NYC.
There is no one answer-fits-all.
But maybe we can nudge you in the right direction….
There are two types of exfoliators: chemical and mechanical.
Chemical peels gently dissolve dead skin cells while also accelerating cellular turnover in the skin.
Mechanical peels buff away dead skin cells, only to encourage the healthier, brighter ones to surface. This keeps skin smooth and also plays a part in preventing pore clogging. Exfoliating scrubs are also a terrific way to remove dead skin cells prior to a shave, to prevent razor drag and ingrown hairs.
Excessive exfoliation will result in redness lasting for days, combined with sensitivity and a burning sensation.
If you made this mistake you should discontinue using the offending product. Use a calming, soothing moisturizer and a good nourishing night cream.
In order to avoid such mishaps, try the exfoliator on the inside of your wrist. If it feels fine go ahead and use it on your face, but do not overdo it or you’ll end up with sensitized, red skin.
Both chemical and mechanical peels come with instructions and tell you how many times per week it is safe to use them. Frequency of use varies with skin type.
Avoid peels while using products containing Retinol.
Chemical Peels we recommend: France Laure Enzymatic Fruit Exfoliant
Mechanical peels we recommend: Desquacream by Sothys
If your skin is irritated consider replacing the product if you think its formula is to blame—but not if your excessive use is the actual culprit.
Try again once the skin has healed, but this time test the product first .
Products that help heal over-exfoliated skin: