So you over-exfoliated... don’t panic — we’ve all been there. Read below for our best tips to nurse your complexion back to health in no time.
WHAT MAKES YOUR SKIN HEALTHY?
A healthy skin barrier (the outermost layer of the skin) is number one when it comes to maintaining a healthy complexion. In order to understand overall skin health, first we need to understand what makes up the skin barrier. You can think of your outer skin layer almost like a brick wall, with your skin cells making up the individual bricks. The barrier is almost like the mortar that holds the wall together. This mortar is made up of things like ceramides and lipids. Together, these are known as your skin’s natural moisturizing factor, or NMF because they keep your skin hydrated, nourished, and healthy.
Exfoliating away dead skin cells is another key part of skin health. Sweeping away dead skin cells via exfoliating helps to keep the skin functioning optimally, and enhances overall tone and radiance. But, with all good things in life, moderation is key! Over exfoliating can be extremely damaging to the skin barrier, and strips the skin of it’s NMF. This can lead to a cascade of skin issues.
HOW TO TELL IF YOU’VE OVER-EXFOLIATED YOUR SKIN
Redness, dryness and irritation are all tell-tale signs that you’ve gone a little too far with your favorite exfoliant. Other signs include stinging when you cleanse or apply moisturizer. These signs go for both chemical and physical exfoliators. Extra sensitive skin types may even notice broken blood vessels, rashes, or eczema like patches. Over-doing exfoliation strips the skin of the essential water and lipids it needs to thrive. A good amount of oil and water keeps skin cohesion in tack, like the mortar, when this barrier begins to loosen you increase your risk for environmental damage and irritants. The skin needs these barrier boosting essentials to function optimally just as much as it needs your exfoliant. It’s important to find the balance that works best for you.
STEPS TO REPAIRING YOUR BARRIER
So, you’ve realized you’ve over-exfoliated. Now what? First, don’t panic! Our skin is amazing at repairing itself over time. But — there are a few things you can do to help speed up the natural repair process. Most importantly, stop using exfoliants right now! It’s really important to pare back your routine, and provide the skin with barrier healing ingredients.
Choose a non-stripping, gentle cleanser.
It’s essential to continue to cleanse your skin, but try reaching for something non-stripping like our Softening Cleanser.
We designed this cleanser with constructive cleansing technology to support the barrier, not strip it. This cleansing technology includes ingredients like jojoba esters and castor seed oil to gently dissolve build up while maintaining moisture within the skin to restore healthy suppleness.
Supplement your skin with barrier-boosting ingredients like lipids and ceramides.
Since lipids and ceramides help make up a “mortar” (so to speak) of a healthy skin barrier, we like to consider these ingredients like liquid band-aids. They help to patch up an irritated barrier and get your skin back to its prime in no time. Products like our Bio-Barrier Serum were formulated with irritated barriers in mind and have ingredients like plant ceramides. These ceramides form a protective lipid bilayer barrier against internal water loss and external aggressors, perfect for those with a damaged barrier.
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!
Moisturizing helps to ensure that your skin is getting the oils and water content it needs for a healthy barrier. Try our Fortifying Moisturizer, which is packed with a lipid complex. This complex is a specially curated blend of oils from apple seed, phytosqualane, grape seed, and evening primrose provide biocompatible nutrition, including multiple sources of Omega 3, 6, and 9, to replenish natural skin lipids and essential fatty acids and restore a healthy skin barrier.
READY TO GET BACK INTO THE EXFOLIATION GAME?
Once your skin is starting to feel healthy again, it’s perfectly ok to introduce exfoliating back into your life. Just remember, moderation is key! Start slowly and listen to your skin. It takes some trial and error to find what works best, but ultimately, you know your skin better than anyone else. Ready to get back into it? Try our newest SuperKind Launch: Refining Cleanser. This cleanser is our cushiony everyday exfoliant made with sensitive skin in mind. It gently exfoliates with Rice Powder and Cranberry Enzymes to leave skin feeling soft and radiant, but never over-done.