Many magazine articles about skincare repeat the same command: exfoliate regularly. But can you exfoliate your skin too much? Let’s take a closer look.
Exfoliating is anything you do to remove dead skin cells. Anything. A wet face cloth or microfiber cloth rubbed over your face exfoliates. Rubbing your skin dry with a towel also exfoliates your skin.
Let’s move on to grit creams and cleansers. The grit might be ground up almond bits. Apricot kernel bits are popular too. There are various forms of grit and they’re used like a scouring powder for the bathtub – on your skin.
There are exfoliating serums. Glycolic acid – also known as alpha hydroxy acid – is an exfoliant. So are salicylic acid and lactic acid. Fruit acids and enzymes are other words you’ll see on skincare labels. They all feel silky, creamy and smooth – not gritty – but they all exfoliate your skin. Some of them do so very aggressively.
But why use any of these? Manual labor is so passé! Just kidding. If you wish, it’s now possible to eliminate manual labour by purchasing oscillating brushes to ‘polish’ the face.
So, if you use a smooth, creamy cleanser with an exfoliant in it with a face cloth and then vigorously rub your face dry with a towel, you’ve exfoliated three times. If you follow that up with a toner (most have exfoliant in them) or an exfoliating serum, that’s four times – in less than 10 minutes. Maybe you wash your face twice a day. You’re exfoliating up to eight times a day. Then once or twice a week you might use a grit cream or maybe you have the oscillating face polishing brush. Now you have exfoliated your face up to 57 times this week.
As we age our collagen production drops. Cellular growth slows. We make less skin. Over exfoliation can thin skin. Thick skin is young. Healthy.
Here are the signs of over exfoliation:
~Small broken blood vessels on your cheeks, chin or around your nose.
~Skin sensitivity, itch, burning and aching.
~Overly shiny face (like a waxed apple).
Ease up. Treat your skin like an antique silk. Don’t rub. Pat dry. Use gritty creams and cleansers sparingly. Reduce facial brush frequency. Read all skincare labels and if your products have exfoliant in them, alternate with products that don’t.
Build up. Build up skin health and beauty by using products that have a little bit of vitamin C and lots of peptides in them. Green tea will reduce redness and speed healing. And, of course, sleep on a pure silk pillowcase. Baby your skin so it looks like a baby’s skin.