Yes, There's Such A Thing As *Too Much* Exfoliation

Too much of a good thing can be bad.
PHOTO: Jeffrey Westbrook/Studio D

If you didn't know by now, exfoliation is a necessary step in your skincare routine. It may seem like an ~extra~ step that's keeping you from your precious bed in the evening, but trust when we say that it's important!

When you exfoliate, the dead skin cells are gently scrubbed off your face, letting new ones regenerate and leaving behind smoother and brighter skin. It sounds like your #RoadToClearSkin2020 game plan is fast-tracked, right? Seeing results from regular exfoliation can be pretty addicting, and soon enough you'll find yourself doing too much of it, hoping to accelerate good results.

What are the signs that I'm over-exfoliating?

But (and it is a big BUT), as with everything else in life, too much of a good thing can also be bad. This can mean the following: You may be exfoliating more than the recommended once or twice a week, you scrub a little *too* hard, or you went for a high percentage of acids. 

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If you exfoliate too much, it will lead to dryness, redness, sensitivity, irritation, and inflamed skin. 

Help! Can this still be reversed?

Okay. So you checked off everything in the "am I over-exfoliating?" checklist. Not a problem, we can "fix" this. The very first thing that you should do is to stop exfoliating and let your skin just BREATHE!

Let your fancy-shmancy skincare routine rest for a while and just go back to the good 'ol basics (wash, tone, and moisturize). Your skin was overwhelmed, so it's best to let it heal first before using drying cleansers, retinol products, and of course, your exfoliator of choice (whether physical or chemical) again.

What products can I use?

The key here is to use products that have soothing, anti-inflammatory properties such as those infused with green tea and licorice extract. Aloe vera is also a good choice as it is very soothing and calming to the skin. Gentle cleansers are also your best bet at this point, because they get the job done of cleansing your face but without stripping it of its moisture.

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All in all, following a simple, no BS routine will ensure that your skin returns to its baseline texture. Soon enough, you'll be able to reintroduce your favorite acids/grains in your skincare routine (just make sure not to make the same mistake again!)

  1. Neogen Green Tea Real Fresh Foam Cleanser

    The star ingredient of this bestseller is fermented green tea extract that will help soothe irritated skin.

    Neogen Green Tea Real Fresh Foam Cleanser, P900, BeautyMNL

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  2. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

    Its super mild, non-irritating formulation is the reason why it's so loved by thousands of loyal customers. It's actually mild enough to use on a baby's skin, so you know it's v gentle.

    .

    Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, P220, Watsons

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  3. Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum

    This is one of Innisfree's bestsellers and it has thousands of positive reviews to back it up! It's perfect for locking in moisture after your cleansing and toning.

    Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum, P1,359, BeautyMNL

  4. ACWELL Licorice pH Balancing Cleansing Toner

    This is one of Charlotte Cho's (co-founder of Korean skincare online retail giant, Soko Glam) holy grails, so you can be sure that it's really effective!

    ACWELL Licorice pH Balancing Cleansing Toner, P990, Kbeautycafe

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  5. Nature Republic Aloe Vera 92% Soothing Gel

    Aloe vera gel is great for soothing inflamed skin. Plus, it's multipurpose—don't feel limited by using it just on your face. It also works on your hair and body!

    Nature Republic Aloe Vera 92% Soothing Gel, P245, Kbeautycafe

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  6. Physiogel Daily Moisture Therapy Cream

    This is a godsend for those with super dry skin as it intensely repairs and hydrates the skin. It's also gentle enough to use even in the most delicate of areas.

    Physiogel Daily Moisture Therapy Cream, P769, Watsons

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  7. Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner

    This toner soothes the skin post-cleansing and helps maintain the skin's natural pH balance. It's also the ~~preparation~~ step (see what I did there?) for your other skincare products!

    Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner, P1,150, BeautyMNL

  8. Eunyul Aloe Vera 98.5% Soothing Mist

    If your skin gets easily irritated, pop this in your bag for a quick spritz of coolness while you're out and about.

    Eunyul Aloe Vera 98.5% Soothing Mist, P340, Althea

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