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How Often Should You Exfoliate / Dangers of Over-Exfoliating

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Exfoliation is a process that helps get rid of dead skin cells and is typically done using grainy, chemical exfoliators, or even a physical exfoliator tool. It is normal for your skin to shed these dead cells in a 30-day cycle (approximately) for new cell formation to take place.

Benefits of exfoliation

Before answering the question ‘how often should you exfoliate?’ let’s look at the key benefits of the exfoliation process.

Exfoliation is an essential part of one’s skincare routine as it helps maintain the health of your skin by removing dead cells and allowing new cells to grow. The new cells ultimately make your skin appear more radiant. Another major advantage of exfoliating is that it helps eliminate dirt and other toxic particles blocking your pores. A lot of people notice reduced breakouts when they exfoliate regularly.


Dermatologists inform that exfoliation is also critical to prevent premature aging of the skin. If you’re worried about the appearance of wrinkles on your face, consider including exfoliation in your regular skincare routine. Retinol and retinoic are two exfoliants that specifically work on the deeper skin layers and leave your skin looking smoother and younger.

Frequency of exfoliation

The fact is that while exfoliation is essential for healthy skin, over-exfoliation can do more harm than good. So, it is very important to understand how frequently one should exfoliate to accrue the maximum benefits of the process.

If you have normal skin, you should consider exfoliating a minimum of three times per week. You will notice your skin looking more luminous and feeling softer over a period of time. For those with acne-prone skin, dermatologists recommend exfoliating almost daily to ensure that the skin is clean. Also, exfoliation should be done before cleansing as cleansers can sometimes miss some dirt embedded in the deeper layers of the skin.

Dangers of over-exfoliation

Generally, you should exfoliate your skin only once or twice a week to fasten the cell turnover and not cause any damage. Anything more than that could cause harm to your skin. Take the example of acne control; those who over-exfoliate might encourage more sebum production, thus leading to increased acne.

The second major disadvantage of over-exfoliation is that it could lead to all types of skin irritation. As mentioned earlier, skin cells are shed as part of a regular cycle, and new skin is formed from time to time. When you exfoliate every day, you end up scrubbing the fresh, new skin on your face, and this could ultimately lead to pain and irritation.

Over-exfoliating can also result in rosacea, which is a skin condition that can cause your facial blood vessels to enlarge, and leave your skin looking flushed. You might even notice some swelling as a result. It is important to understand that an exfoliator has beads that could be extremely harsh, especially if you have sensitive skin. So, while exfoliation does help improve circulation, too much of it can be quite harmful.

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