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How to heal over-exfoliated skin

Exfoliation is a valuable step in any skincare regimen. It works to give you bright, healthy skin by sloughing off dead skin cells to make room for new ones. This leads to a healthy skin cell cycle and, ultimately, a clearer complexion! 


That said, exfoliation only benefits your skin when it’s used in moderation. Over-exfoliating your skin can cause damage, leading to sensitivity, burning, redness, and inflammation.


It’s all too easy to go overboard with exfoliation. If you made the mistake of over-exfoliating, you’re not alone! So, here, we’ll give you a breakdown on how to heal over-exfoliation and restore your healthy skin. Believe us, it won’t be long before your well-balanced complexion is back!

How to Know That You’re Over-Exfoliating

Everyone’s skin is unique in some way. So, with an individual tone and texture, how can you know when you’re over-exfoliating?


As a baseline, exfoliating twice per week is the maximum that most everyone’s skin can healthily handle. For many people, a once-weekly exfoliation session is the cap for their skin. 


If you’ve been reaching for the scrub or exfoliating acid every single day, you can be pretty sure that you’re going overboard. But, as far as physical signs of over-exfoliation, here are the most common ones:


  • Inflammation
  • Redness and discoloration
  • Dryness, flaking, or peeling
  • Irritation or a burning sensation
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Breakouts, often in the form of clusters of small bumps

Our Tips For Healing Over-Exfoliated Skin

So, you’ve gone too far with the exfoliation. What’s next? It’s time to shift gears and focus on healing your skin so that it can return to its regular tone and texture. Here are our best strategies for doing just that:

Use Only Mild Skincare Products. 

To heal your skin as quickly as possible, you’ll need to put down the retinol products, acne spot treatments, and exfoliators. As your skin recovers, use only a mild, non-toxic cleanser and deep moisturiser. Look for soothing natural ingredients like aloe vera and green tea to ease inflammation as quickly as possible. 

Soothe Irritation.

Use products designed for healing damaged skin, such as aloe, hydrocortisone cream, and topical emollients. These products can stop the burning sensation that often stems from over-exfoliation, as well as bring down redness and swelling. 

Practice Patience. 

A skin cell cycle lasts for approximately one month. So, it’ll probably take longer than you’d like to get your skin back to normal after over-exfoliation. In that time, you’ll need to be ultra-gentle with your skin.


But, that doesn’t mean that it’ll take a full month for your skin to start looking and feeling better. If you follow the tips above, you can ease signs of irritation like burning and redness overnight.

Once You’ve Healed, Keep Being Gentle With Your Skin. 

When your skin has healed, make sure that over-exfoliation doesn’t happen again! Exfoliate just once or twice per week and stick to natural, chemical-free products. We’re particularly fond of soothing scrubs, which will give you all of the benefits of exfoliation without the dryness and irritation.  


By being gentle with your skin, you can enjoy a consistently healthy and well-balanced complexion. 

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