You need to watch out for these top 5 signs

How much is too much when it comes to exfoliation?

We all love instant gratification, and is there any one who doesn’t love exfoliating for exactly this reason? Your face feels clean, smooth, soft and fresh. Your skin looks even toned and has a healthy glow. Maybe you’ve even able to reduce your breakouts over time with regular exfoliation. Since exfoliation is meant to reduce dull skin, acne, or dry spots, the results are noticeable immediately.

Your skin does exfoliate itself naturally as part of the regeneration cycle, called desquamation. However, there are many things such as products, pollution, and weather which can mess with this cycle. Exfoliation is needed to help this process along to keep skin in its best shape.

Confession time – I was once an over-exfoliator. The benefits were just so good I thought that more would be better.
Exfoliators are either physical or chemical and can either be done by a professional or at home. Dermabrasion, peels, acids, scrubs, toners, etc., are more readily available in higher concentrations than ever before. But this past winter has been especially harsh, and I decided to add a chemical toner to my routine. Here’s what happened.

  1. Flakiness – I noticed that even though I was already using fairly rich moisturizers, my skin started developing dry spots and even the occasional tiny broken area. I figured that this was just the ‘breaking in’ period to get my skin accustomed to the new toner.
  2. Shiny face – I then noticed that the texture of my skin had changed as the micro-relief on my face was now gone. I was basically sanding down my skin, and skin should have texture. Since reflection at its simplest is based on the smoothness of a surface, The smoother the surface, the higher the reflection. The result was now skin that was super shiny instead of ‘glow-y’. My skin also seemed a lot oilier, too, as it tried to repair the damage I was inflicting.
  3. Tight and sensitive skin – I also noticed that some products that I had normally had no issues with now stung or caused a burning sensation when applied. My skin was also less mobile and seemed delicate and thin. Since I always experience very dry skin around my mouth and on my lips, I that if I smiled too widely my skin would tear. And while I do have some fine lines, I was starting to worry about premature wrinkles for the first time ever.
  4. Redness – My skin seemed so pink! As a woman of colour, I am not prone to sunburn, but my skin looked exactly as if I had taken in too much sun without protection. It also felt slightly raw, almost like I had gotten a windburn. The alarm bells in my mind definitely were ringing at this point.
  5. Breakouts – This was the last straw. My clear glowing skin was now breaking out! But this breakout consisted of small hard red bumps, very unlike anything I had ever experienced before. I finally had to admit I had a problem…

I was over-exfoliating!

Over-Exfoliation

How do you fix Over-Exfoliation?

Fortunately, repairing the damage from over-exfoliated skin is simple. You will need to stop exfoliating, start healing, and protecting your skin during this process. Cut out the exfoliating products, add a vitamin C serum, and use a physical sunblock every minute you’re not sleeping. You should follow this protocol for approximately one month to let your skin bounce back to its baseline texture.

So what’s the right amount of exfoliation?

As everyone is unique, so is your skin and you need to treat it as such. There’s no shortcuts, and you will need to experiment to find the right amount for you. While most people only need to exfoliate once or twice a week, some people will need to exfoliate everyday. Start with a gentle products or a cloth, and progress S-L-O-W-L-Y from there. You can increase frequency and concentrations once you know how your skin will react.

Skin care products and methods that are proven to work are the only ones that are available at Definition by Prameela. Call or text 905-330-9553, and prameela@defineyourself.ca to find your best skin in downtown Oakville.

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