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How often should I exfoliate?

Dr. Ellen Marmur, MD
Dermatology
Exfoliating too often is yet another example of overdoing a good thing. Like everything else, moderation is golden. Only oily or acne prone skin should be exfoliated more than twice a week. If you have sensitive or dry skin, once or twice a month is sufficient, and more than that could be detrimental. People don't always know the purpose of the products they are using or the ingredients they contain. This can lead to an overload of more than one exfoliating ingredient in your regimen, which can lead to irritation. With all but the oiliest skin, it's extremely important to moisturize after you scrub or use an acid exfoliant. Your skin has been stripped of its uppermost layer and needs that moisture and protective barrier replenished. For the same reason, it's vital to apply sunscreen when you use exfoliants - AHAs have been shown to increase sun sensitivity by 50 percent. You want to protect that fresh, beautiful skin you've just uncovered. Exfoliation will make your skin more sensitive to anything you apply to it: sunscreens, moisturizers, perfumes, or medicines.
Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

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Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

What if a leading dermatologist just happened to be your best friend and you could ask her anything? DR. ELLEN MARMUR, a world-renowned New York City dermatologist, answers all your questions with...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.