Over-exfoliating your skin can seriously dim its glow - trust us, we'd know. Even when we lay-off the scrubs, overdoing it can still happen - but does it happen as often as you think? Suffice to say, some of us have experienced symptoms of over-exfoliation such as dry and itchy, irritated or blotchy skin. However, the insistent fear of over-exfoliating may very well be a lot of hype. Most day to day skincare users are actually more at risk of under-exfoliating, that can be just as bad.
How could that be? Imagine having a major buildup of dead skin cells on the top layer of your face and body. Now, every time you apply your thick moisturizers and expensive serums, those dead skin cells block any formulas from actually doing their job. Without removing those cells or the superficial layer of skin, your skincare products are merely sitting on top of your face, not working nearly as hard as they can as they can't penetrate deep enough into the dermis.
It's important to understand that exfoliation is your friend and is crucial to keeping your skin healthy, especially during the colder months. But, as with everything good in life, do so in moderation. Don't be afraid to get in there every so often and shed those skin cells, but try not to overdo it. Going hard with your sonic cleansing brush day in and day out will put you on the path to over-exfoliation, especially when you mix in a harsh scrub. Exfoliation is a serious balancing act!
Now that we understand the pros and cons of exfoliation, let's review its two methods: physical and chemical.
Types of Physical Exfoliants:
- Gentle scrub
- Facial brush
- Body brush
- Dermaplaning (hello Miracle 10 Facial Peel!)
Types of Chemical Exfoliants:
- AHAs (Glycolic, Lactic Acid)
- BHAs (Salicylic, Citric Acid)
Depending on your skin type and sensitivity, each one of these options could be an appropriate way to exfoliate your skin. Everyone's skin is different and your body and face will also vary in tolerance. This means that you'll most likely need to experiment to find out how often you should exfoliate your skin. Word to the wise, take your time during this experimental phase and find what works right for you and your skin type.
Do you have oily, acne-prone skin? Try a physical exfoliant, like our Enzyme and alternate days with our AHA Gel for a mega-watt glow. Mature skin? Allow us to introduce you to your new best friend, Renewal Complex. Sensitive-skin folk, don't fret. If merely the thought of a physical exfoliant is already irritating your skin, our gentle AHA Cream made with Lactic Acid is as mild as it gets but will still deliver a great result. Once you begin an exfoliation routine that fits your skin's needs, you will notice brighter, better hydrated and more youthful-looking skin. Remember that when we exfoliate we are encouraging cell-turnover. This allows other active ingredients and moisturizers to penetrate into the lower levels of the skin to improve its overall function!
So, are you over-exfoliating? Probably not. That being said, if you've been using that sonic brush every.single.day or accidentally got into that irreparable apricot scrub, fear not. Thankfully we have a foolproof method to help bring your skin back to life:
- First, chill out on all exfoliation.
- Use a gentle cleanser without any harsh ingredients like our Cleanser I - perfect for the most sensitive skin.
- Your skin may be dry, itchy and flaky and for that, we love to reach for Stem Cell Serum. Its regenerative formula will help to normalize your hyperactive skin and calm it down. For extra hydration throughout the day, keep a Rejuvenating Mist in your purse or at your desk for a mid-day spritz. Or pair it with our Botanical Oil, packed with 12 amazing flower, seed and fruit oil extracts to help heal any irritation.
- Vigorous SPF application should be a no-brainer and already at the top of your skincare routine. Over-exfoliated skin is hypersensitive and seriously irritated. You will want to protect your damaged skin from the sun's rays more than ever!
What's your favourite way to exfoliate? Our current fave would definitely have to be Enzyme. Not only does Enzyme smell delicious, but its fine texture is also gentle enough to use on sensitive skin yet still gets the job done. It really is a winter-skin saviour. We recommend following a schedule to avoid the possibility of over-exfoliating. Two to three times a week is a good rule to follow, however, everyone's skin is different and it's important to do what feels right for you.