FAQs – Exfoliating

How do I know if I’m over-exfoliating?

Proper exfoliation leaves the skin refreshed, invigorated, smooth and soft. The aim is a radiant, glowing skin. Not blistered, red, dehydrated and sore skin.

My personal preference is for mild daily exfoliation via aha/bha’s as opposed to physical scrubs. I’ve found them to be more gentle – but if you prefer a scrub, carry on – just look out for the below…

Signs you could be over-doing it include:

  • Tightness
  • Flakiness
  • Uncomfortable stinging
  • Increased sensitivity to your normal products
  • Burning
  • Dehydration (more than the normal day-to-day)
  • Persistent redness
  • Milia (if they are new to you and you never suffered before)
  • Acne outbreak 
  • Increased pigmentation
  • Broken capillaries
  • If you have any of these conditions, have a break from exfoliating and treat the skin as sensitive and dehydrated until balance is restored. Use facial oils overnight and under your moisturiser during the day. Do NOT use a sonic cleansing brush during this period.

    Things to remember:

    • Cleansing brushes like the Clarisonic are exfoliators. Do not use these in conjunction with scrubs or ‘beady’ cleansers. Don’t terrorise your skin. Equally, a flannel/washcloth is an exfoliator. If you wash with a flannel, then use your Clarisonic, then a scrub, then an acid toner, then a retinol overnight product, your skin will in all likelihood, be stripped naked.
    • Try and stick to a maximum of 3 of the above at any one time. For example, a flannel cleanse, acid toner and retinol overnight treatment is more than enough to be getting on with. Equally. a flannel, mild powdered scrub and a retinol should be sufficient. Exfoliation is important, but so is maintaining a healthy acid mantle.
    • You need to treat the face, neck and decollete more delicately than the body.
    • What we take away we need to replenish, make sure you moisturise afterwards, whether it’s body or face.
    • If you have been overdoing it, please stay away from face wipes (more than usual) until the skin has had a chance to repair itself. Dragging and pulling on the face with most types of wipes will only exacerbate the problem.
    • If you have the symptoms of over-exfoliation, SPF is your priority. Your skin is compromised and in essence, has lost its security blanket. Protect it.