Sometimes less is more: Spotlight on Exfoliation

In the quest for healthy skin many of us will try anything and everything. Armed with a drawer full of products we follow every tip we have every read or heard.  And then we wonder why our skin isn’t “perfect”. Could it be that we are overdoing it? When it comes to skin care, sometimes less is more. Overusing or combining certain products can have the opposite effect of the one you are hoping for – irritation, dryness or cancelling out the benefits of the product completely!

While we cannot say enough about the benefits of exfoliating your skin, exfoliation is definitely one of those things you can overdo.  Beyond using the wrong exfoliator for your face and scrubbing too often, there are ways you may be over exfoliating without realizing it.

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Do not use a Sonic Brush with an exfoliating scrub

Exfoliating tools like a Sonic brush are designed to be used on their own to gently exfoliate skin without additional products. Exfoliating scrubs are designed to remove dead skin cells with the pressure from just your fingers. If you are combining an exfoliating scrub with the brush, you may be exfoliating too much, stripping your face of healthy oils, and roughing up your skin. Either method will gently exfoliate your skin when used alone. So just choose one!

Limit the number of products with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) you use

So many products today have AHAs to combat wrinkles and fine lines. If  you are using multiple products throughout the day, for example an acid-  based moisturizer in the morning and an exfoliating cream with AHAs at  night, you run the risk of inflaming your skin. If you are having problems,  try eliminating one of your AHA products.

Keep it to one acid at a time 

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that should be used to treat skin with acne. Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that exfoliates dead skin cells without scrubbing. For those with acne, it may seem like a good idea to use both to really attack the problem, but when used together, they can seriously dry out your skin –  which could make acne worse in the long run. Both are great ingredients; just use one at a time.

Do not use an exfoliant scrub with Retin-A

Last time we focused on Retin-A and Retinols.  As a reminder, if you are using Retin-A, your skin may be so dry that it begins to peel. Rubbing a gritty exfoliator against it will only make the situation worse. Use a damp wash cloth to gently buff away dead skin cells.

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There is an art and a science to getting healthy skin. If you are not seeing the results you want or your skin feels overly irritated, you need to look at your regimen holistically. Ensuring that you are not overdoing it with any products is as important as determining if you are using the correct products for your skin type. And before you decide to try the latest new trend, remember less is more.  You may need to remove a product from your regimen before you add.

Determining what products to use and how to achieve better skin health is easy with OKU. Analyze your skin type, troubleshoot your current skin care regimen, and get unbiased advice on the skin care products you should be using – all in the privacy of your own home or wherever else you want! Track your results and stay on top of your skin care health with OKU. Learn more and pre-order at

Sometimes less is more: Spotlight on Exfoliation

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Sometimes less is more: Spotlight on Exfoliation

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