It’s no secret that exfoliating can be a great way to achieve healthy, smooth and flawless skin. Regular exfoliation helps to shed dead skin cells on the superficial layer of the skin to reveal a fresher and brighter base. Some exfoliants even work to clean out stubborn dirt and deep-seated impurities, allowing your following moisturisers to penetrate deeper into the skin.
When you consider adding an exfoliant to your skincare routine, it’s important to avoid over-exfoliation. While getting rid of skin impurities on a regular basis is good, doing it too much can aggravate the skin. Over-exfoliating can dry out your skin, cause irritated or inflamed skin, and can even be itchy.
In today’s article, we will look deeply into how often you should exfoliate your skin, as well as our favourite exfoliator to give your skin the TLC that it deserves.
How often should you exfoliate your skin?
The frequency of your exfoliation primarily depends on your skin type. However, two or three times per week is a general rule recommended by most dermatologists to improve skin cell turnover and to get clear skin. Of course, when it comes to exfoliation, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. Exfoliate once a week in the beginning and see how your skin feels before increasing the frequency to two to three times a week. Here are a few things to consider about exfoliating different types of skin.
- Oily skin: Oily skin requires more frequent exfoliation, as the oil causes your dead skin to shed more slowly than other skin types. The “trapped” dead skin exacerbates the oiliness as it absorbs sebum which is the oily secretion of sebaceous glands. At least two to three times a week is necessary to remove the excess sebum and dirt from the skin surface.
- Sensitive skin: Be wary if you have sensitive skin. you should pay attention to the type and concentration of exfoliating ingredients that are in the product you choose — and consult with your dermatologist if you have questions, concerns, or need help choosing the right product. To prevent worsening skin sensitivity, exfoliating once a week is generally recommended for this skin type.
- Dry skin: The roughness associated with dry skin is a result of excess scale, meaning skin cells are not turning over as quickly as they should, causing flaking and dullness. For this skin type, we suggest starting one to two times per week. But remember to choose products that contain hydrating ingredients (e.g. Urea or Glycerin) to avoid exacerbating the dryness.
- Normal to combination skin types: Normal skin can be dry in some places and oilier in others. This skin type can change with the seasons becoming drier in the winter and feeling oilier in the summer. Two to three times a week is ideal to keep the dead skin cells away without risking over-exfoliation.
What to do if you’ve over-exfoliated?
If you experience a burning or stinging sensation when applying your regular skincare products, meaning that you’ve over-exfoliated. Here are a few steps you can follow to avoid further irritating your skin.
- Stop all physical exfoliants and chemical exfoliants: The obvious way to heal your skin is to cut back on how much you’re exfoliating. For a few days, kick any chemical exfoliation products and physical exfoliation scrubs to the curb and rely on layers of hydration instead, like toner, serum, and moisturizer
- Stay away from harsh ingredients: The most important step to caring for over-exfoliated skin is to stop using potentially irritating active ingredients like Parabens, Formaldehyde, Fragrance, Sodium lauryl Sulphate, and Triclosan. The best thing you can do for your skin while treating it from over-exfoliation is to check all the skincare products you’re using. Even the products you’ve been using for years, your skin will undoubtedly react to them if it contains even a few harsh components.
- Keep your skin hydrated with restorative ingredients: over-exfoliating disrupts your skin’s protective barrier. When it’s damaged, the tight arrangement between the skin cells is lost. This allows external irritants to get in our skin a lot easier and leads to more water leaving our skin. The best way to protect your skin is to moisturise it regularly. There are several ingredients that you would want to look out for to treat your irritated skin. The ingredients that help restore the skin barrier are Ceramides, Probiotics, Natural Moisturising Factors and Niacinamide. While water-binding ingredients like Urea, Glycerin and Panthenol will support your skin’s ability to retain moisture.
Best exfoliating product on the market
Quality exfoliating skincare products can definitely restore softer and smoother skin, but it’s important to use them as directed. There are plenty of exfoliators on the market, but it’s important to look for options that are gentle on your skin if you don’t want to over-exfoliate and deal with irritated skin or a broken moisture barrier. Hydration is also key to supporting a healthy moisture barrier, so choose options that contain active moisturising ingredients: this will ensure that the products get the job done, but still leave our skin feeling nurtured and irritation-free.
DU’IT Tough Scrub is a multi-action moisturising hand exfoliator that works to clean and exfoliate your skin without stripping the skin of its natural moisture. Enriched with Walnut Shell, Vitamin E and Glycerin, it’s clinically proven to remove dead skin cells, dirt, and grease from your hands, leaving them refreshed, smooth, hydrated and glowing. 100% free from harsh chemicals or irritants, it is suitable for all skin types including sensitive and acne prone skin.
“DU’IT Tough Scrub comes in a soft plastic tube with a screw top lid on which it sits on. The scrub itself gel-like, semi-transparent white with brown-coloured exfoliant beads. It is great that the beads are made from walnut shells as you can be sure that you are not washing small plastic beads into the drainage system. The scent is mild and hard to define and does not linger which is great for most of the males that I know who would not want the scent to linger. This hand wash works well to remove grease, oil and scents from my hands and what is also great is that it is not too harsh or drying so you can use it regularly without being concerned about damage or needing to moisturise more frequently. I will buy this hand scrub again.” – Elunia
Tough Scrub 150g | 3-in-1 Hand Scrub & Cleanser
DU’IT Tough Scrub is a 3-in-1 moisturising hand scrub that works as hard as your hands. Unlike some other products, this hand scrub cleans, exfoliates and moisturises the skin and contains no harsh chemicals or irritants that dry out the skin.