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Over-Exfoliated? Don't Overthink it!

Over-Exfoliated? Don't Overthink it!

With everything in life, there should be balance. From relationships, to work, fitness and wellbeing - balance is key! Even in skincare, too much or too little of something can lead to problems. Here at Saya, exfoliating is one of our favourite things to do - it brightens, improves texture and corrects the complexion. But, overdoing it can lead to breakouts, premature ageing, dehydration, or excessive oiliness. We’re going to guide you through over-exfoliation. What it looks like, how to avoid it, and what you can do to fix it.... especially when you’ve gone a little OTT.

Our skin is in a constant state of repairing and replacing, usually leaving layers of dead skin that build up over time (our bodies shed up to 500 million cells a day!). While exfoliation is imperative for a healthy complexion, and aids topical products to sink deeper into the skin, too much can lead to damage. We generally recommend exfoliating 2-3 times per week, the exact amount is completely up to your skin type and what it can handle.

Here’s where it gets a *little* confusing. Some of the reasons we exfoliate (dry, flaky skin and/or breakouts), can be signs of over-exfoliation. If you’ve been dousing yourself in acids, or scrubbing your face daily, there’s a big chance your skin is crying out for a break. 


How do you tell if you’ve taken the exfoliation a little too far?


  • Redness and peeling
  • Breakouts, usually small pimples
  • Irritation & sensitivity 
  • Overly shiny appearance to the skin


How can you get your skin back to normal?

The damage from over-exfoliation may take up to a month to heal, but it IS possible! The first step? Stop all exfoliation. The goal is to support your skin through this time of healing. So cut back on the actives, retinol and exfoliating acids, and give your skin a break. Your skin routine should be simple, including a mild cleanser, gentle moisturiser and a facial oil

Once your skin is recovered, gently incorporate face exfoliants back into your routine, starting with once per week. If you don’t run into any issues, feel free to ramp it up! A good tip to keep on track and not to overdo it is to choose an exfoliation day of the week. We like to recommend Monday and Thursday (pre & post the weekend!). Exfoliation is definitely one area of our skin routine where less is more.


Australian Skincare 

At Saya, we value natural and active ingredients, supported by research, and backed by science. Australian botanicals meets advanced technology - making for the most perfect match, packaged in an aesthetic and sustainable bottle. 

We believe that skincare is not just about looking good, but also feeling good about the products we use and their impact on the environment and society. We encourage you to make conscious choices when it comes to your skincare routine and to prioritise sustainability and social responsibility.


Explore our collection of Australian skincare products



Great insight, thank you!


Love this


This is so helpful! I think this is exactly what I’m doing to my skin, explains so much!

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