Exfoliation mistakes

Exfoliation education

Oh exfoliation, how we love you and the amazing benefits you deliver! But did you know it’s possible to overdo it? And overdoing it can have some pretty serious implications for your skin.

Common exfoliation mistakes

Mistake #1 – I exfoliate after using a foaming cleanser

As you may already know, our stance on foaming cleansers is that bubbles belong in your champagne, not your cleanser! The reason for this is that many foaming cleansers contain harsh surfactants which strip away your skin’s protective barrier, leaving it unprotected from the outside world. So, if you’ve just stripped away your barrier with a foaming cleanser and then apply an exfoliating scrub or an AHA or BHA exfoliating tonic, you’re applying it onto skin that has no natural protection and could become sensitised as a result. Ouch!

Mistake #2 – I exfoliate EVERY day, sometimes instead of cleansing!

So you found this amazing scrub, and you love nothing more than grabbing a good handful of it in the shower each night and going to town on your face. We know, your skin just feels SO smooth afterwards! The thing is, there’s such a thing as too much exfoliation, and if you’re not careful, you can completely strip away your skin’s protective barrier and start to notice some pretty undesirable side effects such as:

  • Bruising
  • Redness
  • Irritation
  • Breakouts
  • Dehydration
  • Peeling
  • Flaking
  • Tightness

Trust us, none of these are a good look and you definitely don’t want to overdo it! Instead, we recommend you limit manual exfoliation (try our Micro Cleanse Super Scrub) to 2-3 times a week, and chemical exfoliation (try our cult fave Liquid Gold) to 2-3 different nights a week.

The one exception to this rule is enzymatic exfoliation; check out our Gentle Daily Exfoliant which, as its name suggests, ok to use on the daily.

Exfoliation products Alpha-H

Mistake #3 – I only use one type of exfoliant

As you may have picked up already, there’s more than one type of exfoliant. The one which is best known would have to be manual or physical exfoliation. That’s your scrub variety that has little chunks in it to help dislodge “gunk” and loose dead skin cells from the surface of your skin.

Next up is chemical exfoliation; this utilises an acid. While it sounds scary, we promise it’s not! There are a few types of chemical exfoliants. One of our faves is Glycolic Acid, which you’ll find in our cult classic Liquid Gold. This water-soluble acid which can be sourced from sugar cane works to break down the glue that sticks dead skin cells together, thus allowing them to detach from the outer layer of your skin more easily.

Last but not least is enzymatic exfoliation which works like a little Pac-man, going around “digesting” dead skin build up. Cool huh?

You can find out more about the types of exfoliation here.

Our point here is that the different types of exfoliation offer different benefits. Using more than one variety can help to elevate your results! Just be sure to refer back to Mistake #2 before you get too carried away.

Mistake #4 – I don’t wear SPF

Let’s cut to the chase; if you exfoliate and don’t wear SPF, you’re asking for pigmentation. Exfoliation is great for removing that outer layer of dead skin cells to expose fresher, brighter and living skin cells underneath. In doing so, it can help to reduce pigmentation on your skin. However, if you don’t protect those lovely new skin cells you expose underneath, guess what? Yeah, they’re just going to end up with pigmentation too. And I’m pretty sure that’s not what you were hoping to achieve, right?!

Mistake #5 – I only exfoliate once every few months/ I never exfoliate

Ok, ok, put your pitchforks down! We get it, some people find that their skin is too sensitive for chemical or manual exfoliants, and we also completely get that some people just don’t want to exfoliate. That’s fine! You know your skin and you should do what feels right for you. Our point here is that you want to achieve the results that exfoliation can offer, you need to make sure you’re doing it often enough.

Still unsure of which is best for you? Submit a consultation card to receive personalised advice from one of our highly trained therapists.