My Quick RX for Over-Exfoliating

Posted 03/30/12 at 06:19AM by Audrey Fine

I'll admit that I sometimes get more than a tad over zealous with the whole exfoliation ritual. There's something about the promise of revealing "new" skin that fills me with gusto. Now, when you're scrubbing the floor or your kitchen counters, "gusto" is a good thing, when you're buffing the tender skin on your face, slow and steady is a much better tactic. But then, I'm not known for my pragmatic approach to most things.

So, what's a girl to do when she rubs herself raw? That my dear readers, is what I'm here to share.

Turns out that when you emerge from an exfoliating session looking like a lobster, it's because you removed not only the dead skin cells sitting atop your face, you went too far and hit the healthy cells beneath. Not good.

According to my dermatologist, the best way to coddle your skin after abusing it so is to apply a cool washcloth and then a thick, unscented, plain, and soothing moisturizer to help calm things down. Then, for the next few days avoid using anything containing retinoids or heavy fragrances and don't even think about dabbling in toners or the like as they can further irritate or even burn the tender new skin.

Things should revert to normal within a day or two but if they don't improve within a week, get thee to your derm pronto -- you may have caused some real damage.

Are you an avid exfoliator? What's your favorite product? And, have you ever gone the dermabrasion route? I'm soooo tempted!
And the survey says...
1-6 of 11 Comments

  • Posted by GigiSD on 05/15/13 at 08:08pm

    I only did this once--with a loofah on my wedding day (yikes)! Helpful tips to fix the damage.

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  • Posted by xXLunarxroseXx on 01/24/13 at 07:33pm

    i just did the same thing only with soap and a washcloth lol. it was an oopsy on my part as I have done this before and I just get a little over zealous during my time of the month, my cure is neosporin or an off brand of neosporin

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  • Posted by EricaF123 on 12/29/12 at 01:31pm

    Thanks

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  • Posted by sexysaydie on 04/26/12 at 06:31pm

    Exfoliating is a critical element in keeping our skin healthy, especially for women, since men naturally exfoliate every time they shave. Just like every other consumer product on the shelf, there are many to choose from, and many make the incorrect choice. Many feel more is better,, WRONG!! More is not better when referring to how often, really should not be more then 2 maybe 3 times a week. The other more to watch out for is the product ingredients. You do not want a product that is a "Super Exfoliater" What I mean by that is a product that is harsh and perhaps contain pits, and crushed shells, or anything that will scratch your skin. Start gentle and slow!!

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  • Posted by olkrav319 on 04/05/12 at 02:15am

    this is pretty useful..

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  • Posted by beautybody on 04/01/12 at 08:28am

    My skin is sensitive so I have to be super gentle with it so no microderm for me.

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