signs you're over-exfoliating

Exfoliating can be extremely beneficial for your skin. However, as with all good things, it is better in moderation. Knowing how often to exfoliate depends on your skin type and concerns, but it’s easy to go from exfoliating just enough to exfoliating too much. If you’re new to exfoliating, our Fort Morgan dermatologists can help you choose the right products and find the right balance for an exfoliation routine that will help you achieve the beautiful glowing skin you’re after. If you’ve already made exfoliation a regular part of your beauty regimen, here are some signs that you might be over-exfoliating.  

Your Skin Looks Red and Irritated

This is one of the most obvious signs of over-exfoliation, particularly for people who don’t normally have problems with redness. Immediately after any exfoliation, the skin will appear slightly red. However, if the redness and irritation lingers for hours or into the next day, you can be sure that you’ve gone a bit too far.

You Feel Itchy

With some products, slight itchiness or light tingling is a normal reaction, but it should be short-lived. Itchy, burning skin that remains even after you’ve removed products is a sign that your skin’s barrier has been broken down more than recommended. 

Your Skin Feels Dry and Tight

Dry, tight skin is a clear sign that you’re not getting the moisture your skin needs. Just as over-cleansing strips the skin of beneficial natural oils, so does over-exfoliation. Without some of these natural oils, the skin becomes dehydrated, tight and uncomfortable.

Your Skin is Rough and Flaky

If you exfoliate too much, your skin dries out, but it can also lose the ability to retain water as its natural protection barrier is compromised. If your skin can’t hold in moisture, it will develop dry patches that can quickly begin to peel or flake. Make sure that you never exfoliate flaky skin, as it will only make it worse.

Your Breakouts Are Worsening Instead of Improving

Skin that has been exfoliated too much creates an open door for bacteria leading to new, stagnant, or worsened breakouts. Over-exfoliation can weaken skin preventing it from fighting bacteria or infection.

Your Skin Becomes Oilier

For people with oily or combination skin, exfoliating can quickly cause the skin to produce even more oil than normal. As skin becomes dryer or weaker, it naturally responds with extra oil to help rehydrate and protect itself.

You’re Looking Shiny Instead of Glowing

Naturally radiant, glowing skin is one of the main goals for exfoliation, but if you’ve overdone it your skin will look shiny and artificial instead. Over-exfoliating will smooth your skin’s natural texture too much creating more of a waxy appearance.

What Do You Do If You Have Been Over Exfoliating?

When any of these issues begin to present themselves, the protective barrier of your skin has been affected so be sure to adjust your exfoliation routines before your skin’s condition worsens. You may need to exfoliate less often or switch to gentler products. You can read more exfoliation tips for great skin by clicking here, but here are a few tips that can help your skin recover if you over-exfoliated.

Check the skincare products you use to ensure that you are not using multiple products with exfoliating agents. This is one of the most common reasons for over-exfoliation. For example, don’t use an exfoliating facial cleanser in addition to exfoliating-specific products.

Also, remember to use gentle circular motions rather than scrubbing allowing the product to do the work rather than your strength or actions.

Click here for more tips on how to heal over-exfoliated skin or schedule an appointment with us at Front Range Dermatology Associates.