Exfoliation is a tricky step in your skincare. Too little and you have dull and rough skin that your products can’t penetrate, too much and you’re left with sensitised skin. The delicate balance between too much or too little is unique to your skin — there’s no perfect formula other than learning how to read your skin to figure out what and when you should use your arsenal of acids, scrubs, and exfoliating tools. A good way to start is by actually adhering to the instructions on your exfoliant and go from there. Be cautious of how many exfoliating products you’re using in your regimen and pay attention to your skin. Here are some symptoms you should be wary of:
#1: Your acne is getting worse
Excessive exfoliation breaks down the skin’s barrier, allowing bacteria to come in creating the perfect breeding ground for zits galore. Don’t confuse it with purging — some products would purge your skin but note that if you have been purging for more than two weeks, it’s not a purge. It’s inflammation.
#2: Skin looks waxy
If your skin starts to resemble that of a mannequin, it’s not a good thing. A common sign with the overuse of Retin-A, the appearance of shiny, artificial skin is common from over exfoliating with acids or retinol. Light reflects easily off the because its natural texture has been completely stripped. Put the bottle down and walk away, girl.
#3: Skin is tight and dry
Does your skin feel like it’s going to crack if you smile, especially so after cleansing? When your skin has been stripped of its natural lubrication, you will experience dryness.
#4: Skin Is Dehydrated
Dehydration can often be confused with dry or rough skin, but if you suddenly have wrinkles, or the skin under your eyes look crepey, and your expression lines are more significant, don’t run head first to Botox, put down your Clarisonic, stat.
#5: Skin Is Extra Oily
Believe it or not, if your skin is oily, oily-combination, and even for some normal skin types, your skin can produce more oil than usual. The skin is trying to make up the loss of hydration by producing the excess oil to protect itself. The greasy bacon look doesn’t belong on your face, chica.