Are you over-exfoliating?

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I wanted to follow up on my post on how often you should exfoliate with this post, because, although mild and regular exfoliation IS great for your skin, you may experience symptoms of over-exfoliation, especially if you combine several types of exfoliating products, or ingredients, or concentrations. It's always best to stick to one type at a time, and make sure your products work well together. 

Symptoms of over-exfoliation: 

  1. Red, itchy and tight skin.
  2. Dry skin
  3. Acne breakouts
  4. Rough or bumpy skin
  5. Wax like skin
  6. Skin irritation and sensitivities
  7. Eczema like breakouts 

Common exfoliating products:

  1. Products labeled anti-acne, anti sebum, or pore cleansing.
  2. Anti-Ageing products. Often containing glycolic acid or retinol.
  3. At home peel pads and exfoliating masks. 
  4. Scrubs and facial brushes.

What to do when you've over exfoliated

  1. Take a break. This is the most important step. The moment you notice the slightest irritation, redness or itch on a day to day basis, take a break from the product or products you've been using. 
  2. Have a look at the ingredient list of your products. If you're using a cleanser, toner, day serum, and night cream all with different exfoliating ingredients you most probably are over exfoliating. Try to have a thorough look at the ingredient list, and limit deeper at home peel masks and pads to 1-2 a week. 

Remember, acids when combined often do more harm than good. Retinol and AHA's f.ex should never be used together or consecutively, as that could lead to irritation and loss of effect of all products involved.  

I write a lot about skincare ingredients and how to combine them in my book, Frisk Hud. If you're a Norwegian reader, it might be worth your while to have a look in that. I've also written a little post on how to combine skincare products earlier, have a look at that here

Good luck exfoliating! Remember, a little goes a long way!