Suspect you've overexfoliated? Check out our skin healing guide here.

Treating Overexfoliated Skin

Exfoliation is key to glowing skin, but it’s easy to overdo it. When it comes to using exfoliating skincare products, less really is more.

How do I know if I have overexfoliated skin?

Symptoms of overexfoliated skin are hard to spot at first. Monitor your skin and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is my skin shiny even though it’s not oily?
  • Does my skin feel tight?
  • Does my skin feel more sensitive than usual?
  • Are there any new areas of dehydration or dryness?
  • Are there any new areas of peeling or flaking?

If you’ve answered YES to any of these, it’s time to put the exfoliating products down. Yes, even for the last question — exfoliating away those new peeling or flaking areas will only make matters worse!

Shiny skin is different to glowing skin. Think of the harsh shine of glass compared to the soft, subtle sheen of silk. Shiny skin is a sign of overexfoliation because you’ve revealed too much of that young, new skin, which is too fragile to protect itself from the elements.

As for tight feeling skin, exfoliation removes the excess dead skin, which acts as a protective layer. If you’re exfoliating too much, you’ve removed your skin’s natural protection, leaving your skin feeling exposed, tight and sensitive. This lack of protection also means that your skin is more prone to infection and breakouts.

New areas of dryness, dehydration or peeling and flakes is a tell-tale sign of overexfoliation, but also the most confusing. Good at-home exfoliation will never cause excess dryness, dehydration, peeling or flakes. When you remove layers of dead skin, you’re also thinning your skin, which makes it more difficult for your skin to maintain its hydration.

While a professional chemical peel can result in peeling or flaky skin, this is not an effect you want in your home skincare.

Treating overexfoliated skin

The key to healing overexfoliated skin is time. Put down the scrub or at-home peel and allow your skin to rebuild its defenses.

Soothe irritated skin with extra hydration. A lightweight, refreshing product like our After Sun Moisturiser is perfect for soothing dryness and introducing much-needed hydration back into the skin. For an extra boost of healing antioxidants, use our Hydrating Face Mask before your moisturiser.

Once your skin is healed, slowly introduce exfoliation and monitor your skin for its reaction.