Tips to Avoid Over-Exfoliation

One of the most important things to remember about your skin is that when skin cells die, they don’t necessarily fall off your skin. Instead, you may need to exfoliate, which uses a physical or chemical reaction to remove that dead skin. Exfoliating is an important part of keeping your skin healthy, but in this case, you can definitely have too much of a good thing. How can you avoid over-exfoliating and ironically harming your skin while trying to care for it? Here are four pointers.

1. Remember That Pain Is Not Good

The first pointer is incredibly simple. Especially when it comes to your skin, pain is not a good thing. Pain doesn’t mean you’re doing something right; it means you’re doing something very wrong. If you start noticing that your skin hurts when the exfoliant is on it, immediately after you put it on, or only on days when you exfoliate, that’s a sign that you’re probably over-exfoliating or that you may be allergic to an ingredient in your exfoliant.

2. Check for Redness and Irritation

Redness and general irritation are typically the first signs that you’re over-exfoliating. Even if you’re not feeling any pain yet, if you note that your skin is extremely red, especially more than 10-15 minutes after exfoliating, or that your skin is itchy and dry, you’re probably exfoliating too much. Redness and irritation is not a normal part of an exfoliant process, not even a chemical one.

3. Stick to Retail Exfoliators

DIY can be a great way to discover something new that you simply never would have discovered on your own time. However, in some cases, it can also be significantly more trouble than it’s worth. This is typically the case when it comes to DIY exfoliators and skin scrubs. Although there’s certainly a place and time for DIY options, if you’re worried about your skin health, don’t try to DIY your exfoliator. Instead, grab an Ulta coupon and buy one.

4. Keep Up Your Moisturization Process

Moisturization is critical when you’re exfoliating. Exfoliation will be a little bit irritating to the skin by default, but a strong moisturization process will help you avoid any issues with redness and irritation caused by lack of moisture. The best face moisturizers will help you avoid dryness and peeling while also keeping in mind your skin type, any issues you have with your skin in general, and soothing skin concerns.


Over-exfoliation can be as damaging as never exfoliating your skin at all, and if you do it significantly more, it can be even more damaging than you might assume. With these tips, however, you can more easily avoid over-exfoliation. Use these tips to continue to exfoliate without fear of harming your skin for good.