What to Do If You’ve Over-Exfoliated Your Skin

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What you should do: exfoliate at least twice a week if you have normal or oily skin, and once a week if you have dry or sensitive skin.

What you shouldn’t do: exfoliate every day.

Exfoliating skin is essential to get rid of dead skin cells that could clog pores, revealing a smooth and soft complexion. But things go south when you overdo it by exfoliating too often, or worse, every single day. If you’ve over-exfoliated your skin, don’t lose hope. Here’s what to do to help your skin recover:

Stop using all exfoliants immediately

One of the first signs of over-exfoliating is irritation or inflammation. When you notice these skin reactions, take a break from exfoliating at once. Stop using all types of exfoliants, whether it’s physical or chemical, for at least a week or two.

Cleanse skin with a gentle cleanser 

When treating over-exfoliated skin, start with a gentle cleanser. Since your skin barrier is compromised, stick to a mild cleanser like TROIAREUKE’s PIT Cleansing Milk, which gently lifts away skin impurities without stripping skin of its natural oils. Formulated with hydrolyzed collagen and lactobacillus rooibos ferment extract, the cleansing milk works perfectly in removing all traces of BB or CC cream, while leaving you with hydrated skin.

TROIAREUKE / NATUREKIND / MAKE P:REM / NEOGEN

Use products designed to repair the skin barrier

While you wait for your skin to recover, use products that help repair and strengthen the skin barrier. Manyo’s Bifida Biome Complex Ampoule is packed with probiotics and hyaluronic acid to reinforce the skin barrier and deeply hydrate skin. Follow the ampoule with the Deep In A Barrier Cream from SIORIS to calm any redness and inflammation. The cream is formulated with green tea and centella asiatica extracts to instantly soothe skin.

MANYO / SIORIS / MIZON / PURITO 

Look for barrier-repairing ingredients 

In addition to using products containing centella asiatica extracts to calm skin, look for barrier-repairing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides and squalane. You can’t go wrong with incorporating any of these ingredients into your daily skin care routine, as they help fortify the skin barrier while providing skin with deep nourishment. 

Products with hyaluronic acid:

HARUHARU WONDER / ISNTREE / BLANC DOUX / TIA’M

Products with ceramides:

RNW / WISH FORMULA / AMPLE: N / COSRX

Products with squalane:

PURITO / DR. ALTHEA / NEULII / OLIVARRIER

Avoid stepping outside without sunscreen

Before you head outdoors, always apply sunscreen to protect skin from further damage. Sun exposure without any protection will delay the skin’s ability to heal itself. Make sure to use sunscreen every morning to protect your damaged skin barrier. Sunscreens from make p:rem, FRUDIA, Dr.G and Benton are great choices for all skin types.

MAKE P:REM / FRUDIA / DR. G / BENTON

Everyone’s skin is different. Some can recover from over-exfoliating in as little as a week, while it can take as long as a month for others. Take your time in nursing skin back to a healthy state and when you’re ready, slowly reintroduce exfoliants into your routine. Just make sure not to go overboard this time! 

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