Exfoliate. Exfoliate. Exfol...Hold on a sec.
Oh to have baby smooth skin again.
With the recent advances and popularity of at-home exfoliants, one would think this is easier to achieve than ever before. However, more and more people seem to be encountering adult acne and inflamed skin.
The problem, over exfoliating.
There are a ton of options nowadays that go beyond the old drug store apricot scrub, from acids to enzymes to serums and everything in between.
And this is a great thing, if you know how to find the right option for your skin and use it correctly.
3 signs you are over-exfoliating
Super shiny skin. Wait, isn’t that the point of exfoliating? Not if you’re as shiny smooth as a dolphin and your skin isn’t even wet. And this is that feeling that everyone (myself included) gets addicted to and feels like “it’s working”. However, you’ve mostly likely gone touch too far and polished off the natural texture of your skin.
Your skin feels tight. [insert reference to MatthewMacconaughey’s favorite bongo drum.] It may feel like you got the added bonus of a face lift, but if your skin is that tight, it may also be red and sensitized and the natural barrier compromised.
Peeling and flaking. This is usually the part where we tend to reach for the exfoliant again to try to polish away the flaky skin. RESIST THE URGE.
As a skin care junkie myself, I get it, so many options and so many pretty packages and youtube tutorials, Instagram stories, etc. If you even think about Sephora near your laptop, your social media feed and internet searches are exploding with bubbles of suggestions. It can get overwhelming and confusing.
Your best option: K.I.S.
Keep it simple. Have a good skin-healthy daily regimen of cleanser, toner, *serum optional, moisturizer, and adding a gentle exfoliant once or twice a week. Our skin cells go through a complete life cycle roughly every six weeks. It sheds naturally, but this shedding process slows as we age (yay- *sarcasm), so exfoliants are there to assist with this process. Key word, ASSIST.
Every skin is different, and every skin goes through different stages in life due to hormonal fluctuations, changes in diet, environmental factors, stress, etc. What worked for you in your teens may not in your twenties, or you may need to change up your routine seasonally. Whatever the case, there are options for you to explore.
Here are some of our beloved favorites
Alcohol free, Paraben free, gentle combination of Papaya extract and Prickly pear cactus extract with salicylic acid. Super gentle yet effective, and a Llumier favorite.
Acne prone/ oily skin
Easy pre-soaked pads you just swipe across your face after cleansing. Added bonus, it works to relieve ingrown hairs post waxing treatment (popular for the bikini area.)
Mild gel cleanser with gentle microbeads (NOT the plastic ocean-damaging kind), with aloe and citrus oils.
IMAGE skincare- ILUMA intense brightening exfoliating powder- Gentle polishing powder with natural botanicals, enzymes and antioxidants. You can even mix it into your cleanser on days you want to save a step.
*Julie Andrews style “These are a few of my favorite things”
There is a ton out there. You don’t always need new products, maybe you already have something but you’re just not sure if you’re using it properly. Your next best bet is to consult with a skin care professional.
Skin is our passion, we love to learn what our clients are into and we thrive on sharing our knowledge and expertise. One last nugget of advice I would like to add is to “Just Have Patience”. Most people over exfoliate because they’re frustrated with the state of their skin, or paranoid it may get worse. Have patience, and be kind to yourself, and love the skin you’re in.
Love, Amy [Aesthetician at Llumier Wellness]