How To Care For Your Over Exfoliated Face
How to Heal over Exfoliated Skin
Exfoliating your skin can leave it youthful and glowing. But there’s a delicate balance between just enough exfoliation and too much. Over-exfoliating can occur from using products that are too strong or improper application techniques. This can leave your skin glowing red and irritated or even burn or scar it.Over-exfoliation can cause pain and discomfort and affect your appearance until the skin heals. You can heal over-exfoliated skin by treating it at home and soothing painful areas.
Soothing Over-Exfoliated Skin
Detect over-exfoliated skin.If you suspect you applied the wrong strength product, applied too much pressure, or used too many exfoliators at once, look for symptoms of over-exfoliated skin. These may include:
- Burning sensation
Apply cool compresses.Gently press a cool, clean washcloth on skin you have over-exfoliated. Hold on your skin for a few minutes or until your skin feels less irritated. Avoid rubbing the washcloth over your face, which can make irritation worse. Repeat doing this as necessary.
Press on aloe gel.Gently dab on a thin layer of aloe gel. This can soothe irritation and promote healing of areas you over-exfoliated.
- Keep the aloe gel in your refrigerator for added cooling and soothing benefits.
Take an anti-inflammatory pain reliever.Use a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, or NSAID, medication if your over-exfoliated skin causes you pain. NSAIDs can ease your discomfort and may minimize any inflammation on your skin. Follow your doctor’s instructions or the dosing recommendations on the packaging. The most common over-the-counter NSAIDs you could use are:
- Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
- Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)
Treating Over-Exfoliated Skin
Use a gentle cleanser.When you wash your face each day, use a gentle and non-foaming cleanser.Use lukewarm or cool water and lightly work the cleanser over your skin. This can minimize the risk of further irritation and clear away bacteria or germs that could cause infection.
- Use a gentle, non-foaming cleanser to wash your face. Avoid using anti-aging creams.
- Avoid products with exfoliants, fragrances, or retinols because they can irritate or exfoliate your skin even more.
- Allow the skin to heal completely before beginning your new, toned-down exfoliating regimen.
Pat your skin dry.Rubbing your skin dry can easily irritate already fragile skin. After you’ve cleansed your skin, gently pat it dry with a clean towel. This can prevent further irritation.
Moisturize your skin.Apply a thick moisturizer to your skin after cleansing. This can calm your skin and promote healing.
- Avoid creams with fragrance or exfoliating ingredients such as retinoids. These can further irritate and exfoliate your skin.
Dab on a hydrocortisone cream.Put a 1% hydrocortisone cream on top of moisturizer twice a day. Focus the cream on irritated areas for up to two weeks. Hydrocortisone cream can ease irritation and inflammation. It can also get out any red on your skin and provide a barrier from bacteria or germs.
Consider a vitamin C cream.Use a mild vitamin C cream instead of hydrocortisone if you prefer something more natural. At a concentration of about 5%, vitamin C cream may soothe your skin and help it heal faster.
- Avoid exposing any area with vitamin C cream to the sun. Vitamin C creams and lotions can make you especially sensitive to the sun. Covering yourself up can protect you from sunburn and further irritation and inflammation.
Layer on vitamin E oil.Gently apply a thin layer of vitamin E oil on your over-exfoliated skin. This can keep your skin moisturized, soothe any discomfort, and promote healing.
Avoid the sun or wear sun protection.If you’ve over-exfoliated, you took off not only dead skin cells, but new ones as well. This can expose delicate, new skin that is prone to sunburns. Protect your skin and promote healing by staying out of the sun if possible. Wear sunscreen or sunblock even if you’re just running errands. This can minimize the risk of sunburn, further inflammation and irritation, and hindering the healing process.
Go au-natural.Wait a few days to a week to return to your normal skincare and makeup routine. This gives your over-exfoliated skin time to heal completely before you apply anything with chemicals on it. It can also minimize irritation and speed up the healing process.
See a dermatologist.If you notice your irritation worsening or it won’t go away after a week, make an appointment with your dermatologist. They can determine if you have severe damage or an infection on your skin.Depending on their exam, you may receive a prescription for a stronger cortisone cream or a prescription barrier repair cream.
QuestionI have exfoliated my leg with a pumice stone, and I think I rubbed too hard, which has left a red inflamed mark. Will it heal?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt will, yes. If it's burning, apply a little aloe vera. Using vitamin E oil would also be a good idea.Thanks!
QuestionCan I use argan oil to heal damaged skin?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, argan oil can be very beneficial if used constantly and correctly. Definitely try argan, coconut (if you can), and any other oils and/or creams.Thanks!
QuestionI used the Vaseline skin lotion on my red/inflamed skin, but it causes burning and pain. What can I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou may want to try other creams, oils, lotions, etc. Depending on how long it has been red/inflamed you may want to see a dermatologist.Thanks!
QuestionCan I use coconut oil to heal damaged skin?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, coconut oil can help heal damaged skin if used consistently.Thanks!
QuestionI have over exfoliated my skin. It's been more than 4 months, and it still hasn't recovered. I've stopped exfoliating, but what else can I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerUse soothing creams and wash your face with lukewarm water. Try a products from the MooGoo skin care line, this brand is great for problems like yours.Thanks!
Where can I find Moo Goo skin care products to heal my skin?
Sources and Citations
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Video: Are you Over-Exfoliating? | Signs, Treatments & My Weekly Skincare Schedule | Beck Wynta
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