Any good skincare routine begins with the all-important cleansing process -- but how much scrubbing is too much? According to celebrity skin expert and registered nurse Jamie Sherrill, any exfoliation that causes your skin to adopt certain changes means you're likely exfoliating more than you should. Here are three changes that Sherrill says are surefire signs that you've been overdoing it.
1. Shiny forehead
"You know you've over-exfoliated when your forehead can double as a mirror," Sherrill says.
The reason? "Light reflects easily off of over-exfoliated skin because you've smoothed out the natural texture to your skin too much," she explains.
Over-exfoliation can also cause your skin to look a little "puffy" or swollen, Sherrill says.
"It doesn't matter whether you're doing it via physical or chemical means," she clarifies. "This can cause inflammation, which over time can damage your skin's natural lipid barrier."
You'd think that scrubbing your face would keep it clean enough that acne wouldn't be a problem, but doing it too much can have the opposite effect.
"When you do exfoliating correctly, it can help to rid acne by clearing out dead skin cells that clog pores. But when you're overdoing it, you're also getting rid of all those healthy skin cells, which protect your skin's natural barrier," Sherrill explains.
The result is the very thing you've been trying to prevent. "This can lead to hypersensitivity that can then cause breakouts," Sherrill says. "You may be the cause of your own acne."
What to do if you've over-exfoliated: If you notice one or any of these signs, Sherrill suggests you stop using your exfoliator immediately. "Wait until the unwanted shine, the swelling or the acne goes away, then slowly re-introduce exfoliating back into your routine, no more than once every other day," she says.
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