Here’s Why Over-Exfoliating Might Be Messing with Your Skin

Maybe your skin is parched after a long flight. Or maybe you've committed the cardinal sin of sleeping in your makeup (been there). Whatever’s causing your dull complexion, exfoliation can speed up cell turnover and help restore some radiance. But celebrity aesthetician Renée Rouleau says as much as we love the smooth results, it’s important not to overdo it.

“When you exfoliate too much it creates little invisible cracks in the skin,” the expert told us during a recent episode of PureWow’s new beauty series, The Glow Up. When we damage this delicate skin barrier, moisture can escape and irritants can enter through these tiny pathways. So ingredients that were once tolerated by the skin may now “cause a stinging sensation, which sets off a response of inflammation and irritation,” she explains.

Yikes, so how do we avoid this sensitivity? Rouleau suggests taking a break between treatments. This could mean limiting the scrubbing to only once or twice a week, as long as you’re massaging the product in lightly and opting for gentle formulas (skip anything that feels scratchy). After buffing away dirt and dead skin cells, replenish your skin with a nourishing moisturizer and get glowing.

Want to see exactly what goes into a luxurious facial with Rouleau? She treats us to her fascinating multi-step (and multi-colored) skin-care experience, and shares her genius tips along the way. Watch it all go down here:

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Senior Social Strategy & Trends Editor

From 2017-2023 Michaela Magliochetti held the role of Senior Social Strategy & Trends Editor covering wellness, horoscopes, trends and more.