Exfoliation: When enough becomes too much.

We all know the benefits of exfoliation to remove the outermost layer of dead skin cells from the surface of our skin  --a  brighter, less congested complexion and better absorption of skincare products.  But, it is easy to over-do. Be careful about piling on products with exfoliating ingredients.  These would include those containing:  salicylic acid; glycolic acid; retinoids; tretinoin; mechanical exfoliating agents like micro beads and crushed apricot pits; and fruit acids such as bromelin from pineapple and pumpkin enzymes.  It is very easy to inadvertently combine exfoliating washes, with peels, scrubs, refining masks, complexion brushes, topical medications and other treatment products and find that you have done far more harm than good.  Too much exfoliation can lead to red, dry, painful skin, and sometimes, even swelling.  Also, dark spots, called post- inflammatory hyperpigmentation can occur, particularly in people with darker toned complexions. (Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation may persist for weeks or months and can be challenging to treat.)   Better to be safe than sorry.  Know the ingredients in your skncare products and carefully guage how much you can tolerate.