*This* is the first sign that you’re over-exfoliating your skin


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It’s easy to overdo a lot of things in your skin-care routine. Cleanse too often, and you can strip your skin of its natural oils. Swipe on too many layers of comedogenic skin care and you could wind up with clogged pores. And you can most definitely over-exfoliate your skin.

Exfoliating ingredients are lurking everywhere. This isn’t a bad thing—exfoliating is the skin-care practice that involves getting rid of crap in your pores in order to keep them clear and acne/inflammation/redness-free—but it is a double-edged sword. While dermatologists and facialists always recommend that you exfoliate your face on the reg, there’s a fine line between doing it regularly and doing it too much.

At the Well+Good TALKS panel last night—aptly titled “Beauty State of the Union“—Glow Recipe co-founder and co-CEO (and K-beauty queen) Christine Chang brought up this common skin sitch, noting that there’s typically one very telltale sign that you’re overdoing it. “A lot of the times, when I meet customers at Sephora or pop-ups, a lot of people have irritated skin with redness, or rosacea, or a shiny forehead, which is the telltale sign of over-exfoliation,” she said at the New York-based event. “I think that with this new boom of skin care and actives, people tend to as they experiment overdo it a little bit.”

She’s right. “A shiny forehead means that your skin barrier is compromised, or rather that essential skin proteins and fats have been stripped away by harsh skin care,” says Mona Gohara, MD, a board-certified dermatologist. And exfoliants are harsh skin care if you’re layering exfoliant upon exfoliant.

This is exactly why Chang believes that the beauty world is now calling for more calming ingredients. Because of the current obsession and infiltration of skin-care actives, it’s “really creating the need for the healing and soothing oasis for skin,” she says. “And that’s where ingredients like CBD and Cica have really kicked in—that’s why we’ve seen ingredients like this take off recently.” So if you’re using exfoliants and your forehead starts to get noticeably shiny, maybe take a step back… and reach for the CBD serum.

BTW, I tried a CBD beauty product routine and my skin was definitely better (and calmer!) for it. And if you’ve messed up your skin’s barrier, slather on some niacinamide to heal it back up. 

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