Is there such a thing a too much exfoliation or peeling?

Hi Dr Irwin, I've just been reading your tip which you emailed to me regarding the benefits of a monthly peel or microdermabrasion. I'm already using salicylic/glycolic acid every day (skinceuticals blemish +'AGE defence) as we'll as their RetinA 1%. Would having a peel as well be too much for my skin?

There absolutely is!!  Our skin has a barrier layer for a reason  (stratum corneum and upper epidermis).   It protects us in various ways – here are just a few:

  • it helps to decrease the amount of UV radiation/sun that penetrates deeper layers
  • it helps to retain and seal in water (hydration) in the skin
  • it protects against irritation and inflammation from products we put on our skin, and wind/cold injury
  • it decreases penetration into the skin by things that can cause allergic reactions

So……………while some peeling/exfoliation especially for those with acne, thicker oily skin, large pores etc may be great – more is NOT better.     And for those with thinner, less oily skin it can absolutely cause irritation, dryness, eczema and contribute to allergic problems.

If you’re not sure if you’re over doing it.   Give your skin a rest for 2-4 weeks – does it look and feel better??      Good products for skin rest.  

Hope this helps,  Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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