We all know that chemical exfoliators can work wonderfully well to improve skin tone, texture, and overall appearance. However, did you know that even too much of a good thing can be bad for you? Yes, over-exfoliating could have terrible consequences for your skin, and all that hard work and money you're spending on your skincare regime could actually backfire.
While experts agree that exfoliation is a key step in your beauty regime, they differ in what kind of exfoliants should be used and how often.
Sometimes when your skin feels sensitive or irritated, it could be because of over-exfoliation.
When you see that your skin looks too shiny and almost artificial, it could be because you're over-exfoliating with retinol or acids. This sometimes happens when you're an ardent retinoid user, which creates a smooth and unnatural appearance.
Red, reactive, itchy, burning skin may be the most obvious out-of-over-exfoliation symptoms. This is basically because the barrier of your skin has been tampered with and so protection from irritants and allergins gets limited. Be careful when you're working out because sweat can cause irritation too as can rough towels and washcloths. Your skin is also more prone to dermatitis during this time.
Exfoliating too much could cause your skin to feel too dry or dehydrated because you've stripped it off its natural oils and lubricants. Whether you have dry or oily skin, natural face oils are important to maintain the pH level of your skin.
The other sign could be that your skin is overcompensating its oil production in an attempt to protect itself due to water loss. So your thirsty skin could actually be going into overdrive and countering dehydration with more oil. Yup, compromising your skin's barrier can get extremely detrimental.
Another way to know that your skin's barrier has been compromised is when your skin becomes the breeding ground for pimples. This is because of all the bacteria that's been allowed in creating an atmosphere where your old breakouts and acne don't heal and new ones keep forming.
Now that we know how harmful over-exfoliation can get, knowing how often to exfoliate is crucial. No matter your skin type, you need to exfoliate only once or twice a week. So, don't use your acids and retinol on a daily basis at all. Even for people with acne-prone skin, peels once a fortnight is enough.
Once you've used a strong chemical peel, calm your skin by doing a cold compress. Use ice cubes or an ice pack to cool down the heat emitting from your skin. You can also use aloe vera or blended cucumber to soothe your sensitive skin.
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