EXFOLIATION | When is enough, enough?!


Let’s face it, we’re all addicted to that baby smooth feeling that a good scrub or peel leaves behind. Not only does the skin feel fresh, but the new youthful skin cells that appear are radiant and plump!

Our body naturally exfoliates through a process known as desquamation. In fact, every minute, of every day, we shed 30000-40000 cells – that’s app. 4kg a year! However, as a result of our modern world – sun exposure, pollution – use of incorrect skincare products, excess oil production and the natural ageing process (where metabolism starts to slow down), sometimes our skin needs a helping hand.

BUT, when is enough, enough? Could you be sensitising your skin? Could you be reducing the healing ability of your skin?

Are you actually accelerating the speed your
skin ages by over-exfoliating???
{ In a word, YES! }



It’s 2018 and many of our everyday skin care products and treatments use ingredients and techniques that exfoliate, with the promise to correct surface damages and reveal a younger looking skin. From scrubs, to cleansing brushes, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) to enzymes, micro-dermabrasion procedures to laser resurfacing and professional strength peels – there’s no shortage of exfoliation options out there to choose from. And let’s be honest, it’s hard to know what’s what!

Gone are the days where we’re using mineral-oil based, occlusive moisturisers that glue down the dead skin cells and restrict natural exfoliation. Gone are the days where a grainy scrub was needed just to remove the build-up of sticky skin cells that hadn’t naturally been able to fall off.

Our skin care now contains actives that both absorb (i.e. don’t clog the surface) as well as promote healthy cell turnover and therefore, we aren’t seeing the same ‘build-up’ to justify using numerous exfoliation techniques. If anything, the focus has shifted away from skin rejuvenation to skin strengthening!


Let’s first remember – the skin is a living organ designed to first PROTECT the body against aggressors. The truth is, scrubs and acids are considered ‘aggressors’ by the skin.  So the frequency and strength of the product you use is incredibly important – the last thing you want is an impaired barrier!

In addition to disrupting healthy barrier function, over exfoliation (or exfoliation with the wrong ingredients/technique), can cause inflammation which weakens the cell network, strains the immune system, causes hyper-pigmentation, acne and, you guess it, PREMATURE AGEING!

{ Here’s a thought } Instead of potentially destroying healthy cells, it might just be a better approach to first strengthen, hydrate, nourish and protect the skin.

OVER-EXFOLIATION What to look for?

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it’s time to STOP + REASSESS your skin health routine.

  • Redness
  • Irritation
  • Tightness
  • Excessive dryness, dry flay patches
  • Uncomfortable stinging
  • Burning sensation
  • Inflammatory acne
  • Blackheads (over-exfoliation can cause inflammation which triggers the release of interleukin 1a which has been linked to comedone formation)
  • Puffiness
  • Skin that looks thin in appearance


The very best advice we can give you is to consult with a Professional Skin Therapist. Take out the guesswork and develop a sensible skin health program to ensure that you aren’t overdoing it with your home care and professional treatments combined.

The following considerations will be made by your Skin Therapist to ensure your skin care regime is causing no harm:

  • pH | this determines the strength of the product (too acidic, or too alkaline for that matter, will affect the function of the skin)
  • Frequency of use | just because the result is good after one application, doesn’t mean the results keep getting better and better if you use the product every day – your Skin Therapist will advise you on how often you need to use your active skincare (it might not be every day)
  • How many exfoliation products are being used at home | if there’s exfoliating ingredients in your cleanser, toner, serum and exfoliant, you’ll need to reassess!
  • What Professional exfoliation treatments are you having and how often???

Time to book in for a SKIN HEALTH CHECKUP???

You bet!












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