Exfoliation is an important step in any skincare routine. It is a fantastic way to help you shed dead skin cells to reveal a fresh, radiant complexion and can benefit a variety of skin conditions such as acne, premature ageing and pigmentation. But with all of the chemical and physical exfoliant options that are available now in cleansers, toners and serums, you could be overdoing it without knowing and causing your skin more harm than good. So how can you tell?

When you exfoliate, you speed up the turnover rate of skin cells to reveal newer, fresher skin beneath. When you over-exfoliate, you prematurely reveal young skin cells, leaving your skin looking unusually shiny with a tight, waxy texture. This shine is anything but healthy and underneath, your skin is often very dry and exposed which can lead to increased sensitivity to products and the sun. If your forehead is shining like a mirror, try cutting down.

Red, angry and reactive skin is a classic sign of over-exfoliation. Over exfoliating can lead to a compromised skin barrier and unfortunately, quite often this can cause the exact problems we are trying to fix by exfoliating in the first place. When your natural barrier is compromised, your skin is left exposed to dirt, pollution and toxins. It can also lead to a crepe-like appearance which can exaggerate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. If your skin is flaking and your lines become more visible, it’s a sign you might be overdoing it.

You would assume that exfoliating would be highly beneficial for acne, but when it’s done too much, it can have a less than desired effect. When you exfoliate correctly, you clear out dead cells that may have blocked your pores, but excessive scrubbing can lead to your sebaceous glands producing more oil to compensate for the loss of hydration, which can lead to more acne.

Giving your skin a break and getting the right products is essential to healing. If you are suffering the effects of over-exfoliation, you are likely suffering from transepidermal water loss (TEWL). When the skin’s barrier is compromised, it is unable to hold water. To help with healing, DMK products such as Herbal Pigment Oil and Seba-E are great options. When combined with Herb & Mineral Mist, Herbal Pigment Oil and Seba-E assist with imitating the skin’s acid mantle and restoring natural barrier function. Seba-E is designed to prevent skin dehydration and address roughness, flakiness, reactive red skin, and a loss of bounce and elasticity in the skin – all of which can result from over-exfoliation, while Herbal Pigment Oil has the added benefit of brightening skin that is suffering from pigmentation.

When the natural barrier of the skin is compromised, it is also important to ensure you are getting enough essential fatty acids. DMK’s EFA Ultra not only helps barrier function but is also a natural anti-inflammatory that can assist with boosting the immune system of the skin and body.

To determine the frequency of exfoliation and the right product for you, consult with a DMK Skin Technician. They will be able to conduct a thorough analysis of your skin and create a unique treatment plan for your skin. Our in-clinic treatments involve professional exfoliation that removes dead cell build-up without irritating the skin or damaging the skin’s natural moisture barrier. This is followed by our rebuilding phase, which includes our signature Enzyme Therapy, a transepidermal delivery infusion of vitamins, amino acids, proteins, essential fatty acids and finished with barrier repair therapy.

For home care, how often you exfoliate depends greatly on your skin type and condition. DMK’s Micro Peel is a great Home Prescriptive. With citric, glycolic and lactic acid, it gently removes dead cell material and debris easily and is recommended to be used one to two times per week between clinic treatments. Our signature at-home Enzyme Masque, Foamy Lift and Exoderma Peel works on the internal structure and function of the skin re-educating it to function optimally while at the same time exfoliating. A must-have for home care!