Should You Be Exfoliating Your Skin Every Day?

There have been many amazing advancements in skin care the past twenty years but one area that has really exploded is with products that exfoliate the skin. Between enzymes, acids, retinols, exfoliating brushes (like Clarisonic) and facial scrubs, should these products be used every day? Is exfoliating on a daily basis too much for the skin?

Without a doubt, you can dramatically improve your skin’s appearance by removing dead, expired skin cells and revealing new cells that make your skin look bright, smooth and glowing. But exfoliating the skin daily, for most skin types, is too much. Here’s why.

Exfoliating the skin daily with the various types of exfoliants can cause:…

-a stripped moisture (lipid) barrier layer resulting in dehydration, flaking, redness and inflammation

-dryness (moisture will seep out of the cells)

-aging due to chronic and prolonged inflammation

– destruction of healthy cells

-stimulation of melanin activity possibly resulting in an increase of hyperpigmentation (brown spots and patches)

-products to sting and irritate the skin (due to a stripped barrier function)

Simply put, your skin needs those protective layers to keep the skin in a healthy state and retain its natural moisture. Daily exfoliation of rotating brushes, retinol, acids, enzymes and scrubs is harming the skin, more than you realize. Trust me on this one.

My tips for safe exfoliation:

-If you use the Clarisonic brush, my professional recommendation is that for most skin types it not be used twice a day as suggested by the company, but instead 2-3 times a week in place of a facial scrub. Read: Is The Clarisonic Brush Harmful Or Helpful To The Skin?

-If you’re using a prescription retinol product, read how to use retinol properly.

-Use acid serums (like AHA Smoothing Serum 10%) three nights on, three nights off under moisturizer at night.  When you choose your skin type you can see how to use it, alternating with a specialty serum.

-Use facial scrubs using round beads only (like those found in Mint Buffing Beads) only 2-3 times a week.

Bottom line: Go easy with your exfoliation and don’t use aggressive exfoliating products on a daily basis, despite what you may have been told. Note: A cleanser with mild exfoliating acids (such as AHA/BHA Cleansing Gel) may be fine to use daily (as long as it’s recommended for your skin type) since it’s not left on the skin for very long and rinsed away.

For more information on how to exfoliate safely, read how to use exfoliating acids correctly.

Read: Are You Exfoliating Around Your Eyes? If Not, You Should Be

Read: How To Use A Facial Scrub

Read: Is It Normal To Break Out When Using Exfoliating Products?

Read: Must-Have Skin Care Ingredients For Those Who Exfoliate Regularly

Which skin care products are best for you? See our nine skin types or take the Skin Type Quiz and get products recommended.

Need expert advice from a licensed esthetician? Schedule a virtual consultation to get customized advice in person, over the phone or online via Skype or FaceTime.

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Content found on, including: text, images, audio, or other formats were created for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.