Exfoliation is a healthy way to remove dry skin by creating new skin cells. Unfortunately, over exfoliation can cause problems such as redness, dryness, peeling and even burning. Exfoliating too much also damages your skin barrier which means that you could end up with blemished or damaged skin that is prone to infection.
1. It can cause irritation
Exfoliation is a very effective way to remove dead skin cells, but it also removes the natural oils on your skin that keep it moisturized. When you exfoliate, you're removing that barrier between your skin and the environment too, so your skin is more prone to drying out and reacting to weather changes.
2. It can trigger skin acne.
The over-abundance of dead cells on your face can clog up pores and cause blemishes, especially if you have oily or combination skin, which tends to be more prone to breaking out in pimples due to its natural oil production levels.
3. It can make your skin flaky.
Over exfoliation can result in dry, flaky skin because it removes the outermost layer of your skin. This layer is made up of dead skin cells that have been shed from the surface of your epidermis. The dead cells are then replaced by fresh ones as they arrive, but if you're exfoliating too often or too vigorously, this process will be disrupted. Your skin will end up with more dead cells than new ones and it will look dry and flaky.
4. It can increase oil production.
Another reason why over exfoliating can lead to dry patches on your face is because it increases oil production in the process. Exfoliation increases blood flow to the surface of your skin, which encourages more sebum production (the oily substance that produces shine). When too much sebum gets pushed out onto the surface of your face, it can cause breakouts and redness or irritation due to its high pH level (which can also cause inflammation).
5. It can make your skin tight and dry.
Over exfoliating your skin can make it dry, flaky and more prone to breakouts. Exfoliation is a great way to remove dead cells that build up on the surface of your face in the form of flakes. The problem is that when you over exfoliate your skin, you remove too much of its natural oils and moisture barrier, which can leave it vulnerable to dryness.
Exfoliating your skin too often is likely to cause more harm than good. However, if you exfoliate correctly and carefully, you can reap the benefits of this age-old practice. Be careful not to overdo it, however.