Over Exfoliated? Here's What To Do

It's happened to all of us. You know exfoliating is the key to smooth, supple, gorgeous skin. Your skin feel so good you exfoliate just a little more to get an even greater glow. And suddenly your skin is dry, itchy, red. 

You over exfoliated.

Don't panic - here's some tips on how to get back to healthy skin quickly.

A Healthy Skin Barrier

The skin barrier is the outmost layer of your skin. It is top most when it comes to maintaining healthy skin. The skin barrier is made up of ceramides and lipids that basically hold everything else together when it comes to your skin. Combined, these lipids and ceramides are known as your skin's moisturizing factor (or NMF). They keep your skin hydrated and nourished.

Exfoliating is very important because it sweeps away dead skin cells and build-up that can hinder skin's optimal performance. Exfoliating also enhances overall skin tone and vibrance.

Over exfoliating can be very damaging to the skin barrier because it strips skin of it's moisturizing factor (NMF). This can lead to a long list of related issues.

How to Know if You've Over Exfoliated

The most noticeable signs of over exfoliating are redness, dryness, and irritation. Often our customers will say things like "no matter what I use, my skin just always feels dry".

Another telltale sign is stinging when applying moisturizer or cleansing.

You can over exfoliate whether using chemical or physical types of exfoliators. 

If you have very sensitive skin you may even notice dry patches (like eczema), broken blood vessels, or rashes. 

Your skin needs the lipids and ceramides in its outermost layer in order to protect everything underneath. When you over exfoliate you strip your skin of it's moisture barrier, causing all of the above issues.

Just because you over exfoliated once and never want to do that again does not mean you should stop exfoliating forever. Your skin needs a balance between exfoliated, clean skin and skin that is hydrated with plenty of water and nourishing oils.

How to Repair the Barrier

The skin has a amazing ability to repair itself over time but there are some things you can do to support this natural process.

1. Stop using exfoliants immediately! Reduce your routine and increase the products with barrier supporting ingredients.

2. Choose a gentle cleanser. It's very important to continue cleansing your skin but opt for a super gentle cleanser like our Gentle Purifying Cleanser with Willow and Iris. This micro-foaming cleanser will gently cleanse without stripping your skin barrier.


3. Supplement with barrier supporting oils. Restore Reparative Face Oil was created just for supporting those who need help restoring their skin barrier. This oil is formulated with a reparative blend of the unique seeds oils of Plum, Cucumber, and Oat with added vitamin E to support and heal the skin barrier/mantle.


4. Moisturize with barrier boosting ingredients. 7 Day Glow's INFUSE Retinoic Moisturizer with added Ceramides and Collagen is ideal for assisting in re-building a broken barrier. Formulated with advanced natural bio-technology, this moisturizing oil does it all - repair, hydrate, nourish, and protect.


When Do I Start Exfoliating Again?

Once your skin is back to a healthy state it is perfectly fine to pick up again with exfoliating. Just remember - less is more when it comes to exfoliating. Go slow, start with less than recommended and build from there. 

Listen to your skin. You know what feels best and your skin will be quick to tell you when something is off. 

Christine Untiedt, Owner, Brown Barn Botanicals


Notice: These statements and blog content have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information in our articles are not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and are not intended as medical advice. The content of these blogs and associated products is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using products or following blog advice.

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