All things exfoliation: How much to exfoliate and what to do if you over-exfoliate

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Has your skin been looking too glowy or ultra-shiny lately? We hate to burst your bubble but it could be a sign that you’ve been over-exfoliating your skin. Now, it may give you a radiant glow for a while but your skin will start to get drier by the day with rashes and rough patches. When exfoliation is done right, you won’t ever be able to notice it. Your skin will feel smoother, younger and cleaner for sure. But if you overdo it, the irritation can look waxy from wiping away your skin cells and natural oils. Hence, it’s very important to note that healthy skin will look plump, not slick or thin.

How often should you exfoliate: Your skin usually needs exfoliation once or twice a week. This is to improve and expedite skin cell turnover. If you’ve been slathering on retinol and acid on a regular basis, it will harm your skin in the near future. Even for people with overactive oil glands, it is advised weekly or fortnightly peels. When waxy skin is treated to even more acid, it starts to peel. This then causes burning, redness, inflammation, irritation, congested pores and pimples.

What should you do if you’ve over-exfoliated: If you realise that you’ve gone too far and too hard on your skin with over-exfoliation, stop right there and re-look at your skincare routine until your skin goes back to baseline texture. Leave your skin alone for a month and let it heal by itself. It sure needs time and proper care but you should only do the bare minimum to keep your skin hydrated at all times. You’ll want your skin to be more balanced before you add anything to it. And so, you need to let your skin heal the damaged skin, replenish the lost moisture and then re-build healthy skin cells. You should know that it’s not just acids that affect the skin, alcohol and fragrances can hurt too. So switch them out for the time being too. Use a gentle pH balanced cleanser, hydrating creams, SPF and repair creams to save your skin. You’ll start seeing the difference within a month as it takes time for your skin cells to regenerate again.

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