Written by

Chelsea Ellis

Published

Are you Over-Exfoliating?

The popularity of exfoliation has skyrocketed in recent years because of its promises to rejuvenate the skin by removing dead skin cells and reducing fine lines. But how much is too much when it comes to exfoliation? Spoiler alert: there’s a chance you are exfoliating too often. Many people add exfoliation into their skincare routines in hopes of achieving skin perfection when in reality, the harshness of exfoliating too often may be doing more harm than good. So you’ll be left asking yourself, ‘am I over exfoliating?’ 

WHAT IS EXFOLIATION

Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the top layer of your skin so new and healthier skin cells can surface. Think out with the old and in with the new 😊.  There are many benefits to exfoliation if done correctly: 

Unclogs Pores: Exfoliation can remove those dead skin cells, debris, and excess oil trapped in your skin. Exfoliation can also prevent the problem by scrubbing away those dead skin cells and debris before they can make their way deeper into your skin!

Prevents acne: Bacteria and dirt trapped under your skin are a couple of the main reasons blemishes occur on the skin. Exfoliation works to remove that gunk and stop acne in its tracks!

Increase cell turnover: Exfoliation helps speed the regeneration process for new healthy cells by ridding your skin of dead cells quicker than it would on its own.

HOW TO TELL IF YOU'VE OVER-EXFOLIATED? 

So you’ve just done your second peel of the week and asked yourself, ‘am I over exfoliating?’ Many dermatologists agree that if you do exfoliate, it should only be done one or two times a week, MAX. Anything more can be damaging to your skin. Here are some telltale signs you may be overdoing it when it comes to exfoliation:

Dryness and Peeling: Over-exfoliation strips your skin of its natural moisture and oils. This can leave your skin feeling dry and tight. Your skin may even start to peel in some cases!

Increased Oiliness: On the other hand, because over-exfoliation strips your skin of its natural oil levels, your skin may produce even MORE oils to compensate. 

Increased Sensitivity: Your top layer of skin acts as a buffer between you and irritants. When you exfoliate, you are removing dead skin cells from that top layer, but if skin is over-exfoliated, you may lose more skin cells (included healthy) than you bargained for and jeopardize your natural barrier! 

Redness and Inflammation: Exfoliation can be VERY irritating to the skin, even when done correctly. This can cause your skin to turn red for a short period of time, but skin may remain this way for longer and feel inflamed if over-exfoliated.

What To Do If You’ve Over-Exfoliated

Healthy exfoliation means exfoliating in moderation, but overdo it, and you may cause damage to your skin leading to a heap of unwanted reactions. But don’t freak out! There is still hope for your skin! There are many ways to heal your skin after over-exfoliating. Here’s some things you can do to help your skin after you’ve over-exfoliated:

Press a cool washcloth into the skin for immediate relief: This can alleviate any immediate irritation you may be experiencing after over-exfoliating.

Stop exfoliating!: Once you’ve realized you've over-exfoliated, it’s time to take a break! Do not exfoliate for at least 2-3 weeks to allow your skin time to recover.

Use a gentle cleanser: It is important to be very gentle with your skin in order to not irritate it any more than it already is. We recommend the Koope Gel Cleanser for a gentle, soothing cleanse that cleans away makeup, dirt and impurities without leaving skin feeling tight or dry.

Use a fragrance free moisturizer: Fragrances can cause skin irritation which you should definitely avoid during this time. We recommend Koope Moisturizers for fragrance-free hydration that does not feel heavy on skin.  Choose from Lightweight, Middleweight and Heavyweight Moisturizers, depending on your skin type and how deep hydration you like.  

Use sunscreen daily: Sunscreen should be applied daily, but it is a MUST after over-exfoliation. SPF can protect skin from further damage from UV rays during this extra-sensitive period.

Ingredients to Heal Over-Exfoliated Skin

The ingredients in the products you use will make a huge difference in the healing process of your skin. Look for products with the following ingredients to boost hydration, reduce inflammation, as well as strengthen and protect your skin:

Jojoba Oil: Jojoba oil moisturizes, replenishes, and soothes skin. 

Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera is a great anti-inflammatory that heals, hydrates, and calms skin.

Amino Acids: Amino acids work to repair skin by boosting cellular repair.

Ceramides: Ceramides are key to keeping your skin healthy and hydrated.

Peptides: Peptides work to rebuild damaged skin cells and regenerate healthy skin.

Luckily for you, Koope Moisturizers and Cleansers contain all of these ingredients so you don’t have to search long and hard to give your skin the extra love it needs 😉.

Overall, remember “exfoliation in moderation!” Over-exfoliation is common, but avoidable. If you choose to exfoliate, consult your dermatologist and follow their recommendation for how often you should be doing so, to ensure the best results.