Exfoliation can benefit your skin by removing dead cells and lifting the plugs off acne breakouts. The result is brighter, more vibrant skin with less dryness and fewer breakouts.However, it is possible to exfoliate skin too much. Experiencing any of these symptoms could be a sign that you’re damaging your skin and need to take a break from exfoliating.
Scrubbing your skin sloughs off expired cells and stimulates circulation. Bringing more blood to skin cells delivers more nutrients and promotes a tighter complexion. Overdoing the process can tighten skin too much and leave it feeling uncomfortably taught rather than healthy.
Losing a layer of skin cells every time you exfoliate is okay if those cells need to go because they’re dry or damaged. On the other hand, removing too many surface cells can actually cause a loss of skin texture. Instead of looking youthful, skin begins to reflect more light and take on a shiny appearance. You may not be able to correct this by wearing makeup because the same cells that prevent the shiny look are also necessary for holding foundation and powder in place.
Dry skin is one reason to exfoliate, but if you use body scrubs too often, you may wind up experiencing more problems with itching and flaking. The dryness can be widespread or appear in patches and may be due in part to the fact that exfoliating strips natural lipids from the skin’s surface.
These fats are meant to hold moisture in, and skin will easily become parched without that protection. Your innate response to this problem may be to scrub more to get rid of the dryness, but doing so will only make the situation worse.
Your skin provides a natural barrier between you and potential invaders from the outside world. This inherent defense becomes compromised when you strip away the protective outer layer by over-exfoliating. Microorganisms that are already present on the skin and others you come in contact with can then get in and cause skin problems and other types of infections. You may also find that you’re more sensitive or more reactive to other skin treatments.
Inflammation or Irritation
Excessive use of exfoliating products for body can shorten the life of skin cells, meaning that you begin to literallyscrub the life out of your skin. The body’s natural reaction to this kind of damage is inflammation. Redness, burning and stinging are signs that your skin is trying to heal itself from the constant assault of chemical peels and irritating scrubs. If any of these symptoms appear, give you skin a break and treat it with a product that contains soothing ingredients such as aloe vera. This helps cool the inflammation and gives your body a chance to recover.
The combination of inflammation and bacterial invasion that can occur with too much exfoliation is a recipe for acne flare-ups. When your skin becomes irritated, it naturally produces more oil in an attempt to moisturize itself. This may lead to clogged pores that develop into acne blemishes when pathogens breach the compromised skin barrier, and these blemishes can require even more chemical treatment in order to clear up.
To avoid falling victim to over-exfoliation, choose exfoliating products for body without harsh chemicals or jagged scrubbing agents. Use these body scrubs two or three times per week at the most. If you have a specific skin condition such as acne, you may benefit from exfoliating once a day. Talk to a dermatologist to determine the best care regimen for your skin type.