Exfoliation and Peels

Your Exfoliating Products Could be Damaging Your Barrier

Think twice before you over-exfoliate
Because you can get too much of a good thing

Do you find yourself scrubbing your skin into oblivion?

Maybe you’re addicted to that coveted lit-from-within glow.

But instead, you end up with inflamed, irritated skin.

As skincare experts, we understand the desire for radiant, youthful skin.

But how you exfoliate is really important.

As you can permanently damage your skin’s protective barrier.

Read on to understand how your exfoliating products could be causing your sensitive skin.

How Exfoliation Damages the Skin

Exfoliation, whilst promising smooth and healthy skin, can quickly become problematic if not approached with care.

Harsh exfoliants or irregular grains can compromise your skin’s protective barrier, leading to inflammation and microscopic tears.

These micro-tears damage the barrier function, allowing bacteria to penetrate and threaten your skin’s health.

This is why how you exfoliate your skin makes all the difference between a vibrant glow and irritated inflammation, which is at the root of all premature ageing.

8 Side Effects of Over Exfoliation 

Did you know that even a simple scratch can remove a significant portion of your outer layer of skin?

Why? Because it is only about two-hundredths of a millimetre thick.

Yet even though the skin is so fragile, many of us obsessively scrub away at our skin.

As skincare specialists, us folks at the Naked Chemist feel it is essential to address the widespread misconception that the surface of your skin isn’t just dead cells.

Your skin naturally sheds and renews skin cells every 4 to 6 weeks; the keratinocyte cells continuously move to the surface and shed to keep your skin healthy.

When you exfoliate, the fresh, pink, moisturised cells that emerge may seem appealing at first glance.

However, these cells aren’t ready to face harsh elements like oxygen, UV rays, and environmental pollutants.

Despite that initial fist glow, exposing the newly revealed cells to any of these conditions can shock them, disrupting their natural function, leading to excessive moisture loss and causing your skin to become inflamed and sensitised.

The temptation to over-exfoliate to remove these sluggish cells is common, but it’s a trap many fall into.

Let’s look at how over-exfoliation can damage your skin:

#1: Diminished SPF protection: Thin, fragile skin cannot protect itself well, making it more susceptible to UV rays and environmental pollutants damage, as this article suggests.

#2: A compromised waterproof barrier: Harsh exfoliation can strip away precious skin-identical ingredients that provide a waterproof layer over your skin, leading to dehydration.

#3: Impaired chemical signalling: Exfoliating chemicals and UV rays penetrate deep into this dermis, confusing your skin cells. they then go into overdrive and create a thick, protective layer of skin. Think sun-damaged skin.

#4: Inflammageing: Excessively scrubbing your skin can cause chronic, low-grade inflammation, leading to premature ageing.

#5: It can dry your skin: Overzealous exfoliation can dry your skin, causing it to become flaky and irritated.

#7: It can impair the barrier function: Harsh exfoliants break down your skin’s protective barrier, leaving it vulnerable to bacteria, leading to breakouts and other troubling skin concerns.

#8: A compromised acid mantle: Over-exfoliation disrupts the delicate microflora that protects your skin, affecting the pH balance and overall skin health.

Our article on over-exfoliation is also an interesting read.

So, how Often Should You Exfoliate?

This depends on your particular skin type, which you can read here.

It’s essential to listen to your skin’s cues and adjust your exfoliation routine accordingly, especially if your skin shows sensitivity.

A balanced approach to exfoliation is essential for maintaining healthy, radiant skin.

To conclude. The naked truth

The allure of smooth, healthy skin can sometimes lead to over-exfoliation, which can quickly become addictive.

Yet, while exfoliation plays a vital role in skin care, it must be approached intelligently and in moderation.

Excessive exfoliation can compromise your skin’s health, damaging the barrier function and leaving it vulnerable to dryness, inflammation, breakouts, and premature ageing.

Rather than using abrasive exfoliants and harsh peels, opt for gentle powders or hydrating enzymatic gels and light lactic peels instead.

These gentle exfoliating products will help to support your skin’s natural processes without causing irritation, helping you to achieve that youthful glow naturally without compromising your skin.

2 replies on “Your Exfoliating Products Could be Damaging Your Barrier”

good morning, I have atopic dermatitis in face area I am looking for skincare regimen that will not irritate my skin can you recommend a product to use surfactin free skincare my skin is dehydrate combination/sensitive, I am currently using Rosewater, carrot oil, dr. Dennis gross hydrating serum, shea butter, Kiehl’s ultra facial cream, olay regenerist moisturizer and olay chamomile in white tea mist. Please help I am African american women age 60.

Hi Robin. Thank you for your inquiry. I would recommend Fortify, Biolipid and ceramide repair balm to start with, I have an amazing exfoliator that you might also like to try, that wdoes not contain scrubbing bubbles that cause tiny micro tears, instead this is very effective and gentle and will leave your skin feeling like glass. Please reach out if you want further information Samantha

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