There’s no denying exfoliation is a wonderful thing for your skin. A good scrubbing session takes off dirt and excess oils, boosts circulation and leaves your face smooth and silky. But too much of a wonderful thing can be a bad thing. Over-exfoliating is the one skincare mistake almost all of us make. While we scrub and peel our faces in an attempt to keep our skin happy and healthy, too much of it is doing more harm than good. Here, the experts at ZO Skin Health have revealed the 7 signs of over-exfoliation to watch out for:

Your face is too shiny

If your face shines like a disco ball, you need to give it a break from exfoliators. Light reflects off over-exfoliated skin easily, because its natural texture has been overly smoothed (yes, there is such a thing as too much smoothness).

Your breakouts are getting worse

Excessive exfoliation strips your skin from its natural moisture which prompts your sebaceous glands to produce more oil to compensate for the loss of hydration. In addition, scrubbing too aggressively too often can disrupt skin’s lipid barrier and hinders its ability to protect the under-layers from bacteria and free radicals.


Your skin feels like it was sunburned

Redness, itchiness, and puffiness are all inflammatory responses, signaling that your skin is in distress. The top layer of your epidermis acts like a shield against allergens, irritants and pollutants. When this natural exterior barrier is compromised, your skin becomes more susceptible to irritants and environmental damage.


Your skin feels like crepe paper

When you are over-exfoliating, you are scrubbing away healthy skin cells and lipids that help your skin retain its natural hydration levels. If your skin feels flaky and fine lines suddenly become more visible, that’s a sure sign your skin doesn’t retain sufficient moisture.


Your skin becomes dry

Over-exfoliation can cause your skin to be drier and even worse peeling. If you notice dry patches and find yourself reaching for the moisturiser then this is a clear indication that your skin needs a break from exfoliation. If you see that your skin is peeling, then you should never try to exfoliate it as you will only make the situation worse.


An increase in acne

Over-exfoliation is a major reason why people develop acne or why it won’t go away. Moderate amounts of exfoliation is a great way to prevent pimples as it keeps the pores clear of debris. Excessive skin rubbing can actually weaken the skin so it can’t defend itself against any bacteria, this means that the main form of debris is broken down so pimples can form much easily.

Your skin feels tight

Sometimes we feel like our skin is tight after washing your face but when you have been over exfoliating your skin will feel perpetually tight which you will notice each time you make a facial gesture. This can feel uncomfortable and cause other skin related issues such as cracked dry skin. The tightness feels like someone is standing behind you and pulling your face back.