Exfoliation can do amazing things for your skin, but too much of a good thing can sometimes be a bad thing. Redness, irritation, acne and shininess are just some signs and symptoms of a compromised skin barrier due to over-exfoliation.
If you start noticing any of the above indicators, stop using any exfoliating products immediately, and let your skin recover. After a week or so, you can ease back into it, but remember to do it less than you were before. In the meantime, here are some things you can do to help your skin recover faster:
1. Switch to a low-pH cleanser
Although essential, cleansing is actually one of the most damaging steps in your skin care routine! The last thing you want to do is use a harsh cleanser that can further sensitise your already red and inflamed skin. Instead, switch to a low pH cleanser like the COSRX Low-pH First Cleansing Milk Gel that won’t strip away your skin’s natural barrier.
2. Layer hydrating toners
When it comes to repairing skin damage, remember this: Moisture is king. Other than a moisturiser, one of the most effective ways to keep your skin hydrated is to layer your hydrating toners three or even up to seven times. This will help your skin to better absorb the next products, and maximise their moisturising benefits.
Try the Etude House Soon Jung pH 5.5 Relief Toner, which is formulated with the gentlest ingredients, making it the perfect toner to heal over-exfoliated or sensitive skin.
3. Sheet mask... a lot
Not only are they K-Beauty staples, sheet masks are also an easy and instant way to boost hydration levels. You can do this a few times a week, or even everyday if you're feeling extra. While any hydrating sheet mask will do, look out for formulas that contain healing ingredients such as ceramide, centella asiatica, aloe and hyaluronic acid.
Psstt... The Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Tencel Sheet Mask contains all four!
4. Slather on a sleeping mask
At the end of your nighttime skin care routine, seal everything in with a sleeping mask. Different from a moisturiser, sleeping masks like the all-time favourite Laneige Water Sleeping Mask do not only moisturise, they also work their restorative magic as you sleep, so you can wake up to soothed, more hydrated and overall just better-er skin!
When your skin barrier is compromised, it becomes more sensitive to sun damage, so it's even more important than usual to apply sunscreen!
Have you ever over-exfoliated? What are some of your favourite products to help your skin recover? Share in the comments!