If you’re diligent about cleansing and taking care of your skin but are still experiencing complexion issues like breakouts or discoloration, maybe it’s because you’re over-exfoliating. It might seem like exfoliating your face and getting rid of those dead skin cells would always be a good idea, but the fact of the matter is that doing it too often can do damage.
“The person who is exfoliating too much is also putting on actives [such as Retin-A and salicylic and glycolic acid], is doing facials, is doing microdermabrasion,” dermatologist Ranella Hirsch told Allure Magazine.
Hirsch also pointed out that using exfoliating products like these on their own is beneficial, but when you mix them all together, it’s doing your skin more harm than good.
The bottom line is that you should be using a gentle cleanser to clean your face twice a day, then exfoliating a couple times a week if your complexon is normal and once a week if your skin is more sensitive. Use a salicylic acid cleanser if your skin is prone to breakouts, and try retinol every other day if fine lines and wrinkles are a problem. Any more than that is likely going overboard.