Exfoliating your skin feels amazing, but too much of a good thing can turn into a negative. Regular exfoliation helps keep your skin clear of dead skin cells, but too much exfoliation can cause a variety of unappealing and even painful symptoms. Most dermatologists recommend exfoliating no more than a few times a week, with one to two times a week being the average. Some exfoliating products, like the Sansetti daily exfoliating cleanser, are gentle enough to be used every day. 

For skin health, it’s important to be aware of the products you’re using and how frequently you exfoliate. If you think you might be over-exfoliating your skin, look for these signs:

Skin Breakouts

Exfoliation is great for your complexion. However, too much exfoliation can be the exact opposite. Exfoliating too often introduces bacteria into your skin that actually makes acne worse. It can even cause breakouts in skin types that aren’t usually prone to acne. 

If you’ve noticed that exfoliating is leading to breakouts, cut back on the number of days that you exfoliate your skin or switch to a more gentle product. 

Redness and Irritation

When you exfoliate too much, or use exfoliants that are overly harsh (like fruit scrubs), you actually destroy the protective layer of your skin. This can lead to pain, burning, redness, and other signs of irritation. Your skin might also be dry and flaky.

Uneven or Shiny Skin Tone

We all exfoliate to help improve our skin tone, but over-exfoliating can do the exact opposite. Too much exfoliating can make your skin tone look uneven or splotchy. It can also make it look unnaturally shiny. The shine means that you’ve sloughed away too much of your skin. This leaves your skin vulnerable and more likely to experience irritation. You might even notice cracks beginning to form in your skin. 

Skin Tightness

A feeling that your skin is tight tends to go along with the waxy skin tone that signals too much exfoliation. Healthy skin should feel elastic and well-moisturized. If your skin feels tight and inflamed, it’s a good idea to take an exfoliation break.

Difficulty Applying Make-Up

When your skin is over-exfoliated, it can be difficult to get make-up to look right on your face. You may have difficulty getting foundation and similar products to stay while your skin is less thick and more irritated. Your skin also might be more sensitive than usual to your regular products. 

Treating Your Over-Exfoliated Skin

If you’ve over-exfoliated, then giving your skin time to heal is essential. Take a break from any strong skin care products, such as retinoids, until your skin recovers. You should also take a break from exfoliating your skin. 

Some dermatologists suggest applying a cold cloth to your irritated skin, as well as a hydrocortisone cream. The cold cloth lessens the burning sensation on your skin, while the hydrocortisone cream can help reduce inflammation and protect the skin. Other products, such as aloe vera gel, can also make a difference.

As your skin heals, it’s important to start each morning and finish each day with a high-quality moisturizer. You should also apply sunscreen. After all, the last thing you want with over-exfoliated skin is the addition of a sunburn or potential sun damage.

Skin Care Ingredients You Can Trust

Knowing the ingredients in your skin care products is important. Whenever possible, avoid using harsh exfoliants on your skin. Food exfoliators, such as sugar or apricot scrubs, can cause small tears in your skin and lead to over-exfoliation. Instead, look for gentle products with non-abrasive ingredients. 

This cleanser and moisturizer set is ideal for sensitive skin. This combo is designed to fight acne, gently exfoliate, and leave your skin feeling nourished.