Why Your Face Gets Oily After Exfoliating – and How to Stop It

No effective skincare regimen is complete without exfoliating the skin on a regular basis. For some folks, exfoliation is simple, straightforward and produces no negative side effects. For others, though, even mild exfoliants make the skin unbearably oily. If this happens to you, don’t despair. You don’t have to resign yourself to having oily, shiny skin or give up on exfoliating it entirely. By following the right steps, you can effectively exfoliate your skin without triggering excessive oil production. Ultimately, this proven regimen will produce skin that’s brighter, healthier and more youthful than ever.


Why Does Exfoliating the Skin Make it Oily?

So, why does exfoliating the skin sometimes make it oily? Most often, this happens due to overzealous exfoliating habits. Ideally, exfoliators gently loosen up and remove dead skin cells from the outermost layers of the skin. All too often, however, excessive amounts of surface skin cells are removed. These outer layers are what give skin its texture, and that texture gives excess oil somewhere to go. When too many of these cells are removed at one time, oil has nothing to cling to, so it appears more prominently on the skin. This is what produces the shiny face that people dread. To make matters worse, this phenomenon also causes light to reflect more easily on the skin, which intensifies the effect.



How to Keep Oily Skin at Bay

Fortunately, maintaining an effective exfoliation regimen without ending up with oily skin is relatively easy. Keep these tips in mind to keep your skin fresh, new and oil-free throughout the year:

Alternate Chemical Exfoliants with Hydrating Serums – For seven days in a row, use a chemical exfoliant like glycolic acid. Moisturize the skin promptly. For the next seven nights, apply a hydrating serum right before bed. By repeating this pattern, you’ll effectively exfoliate your skin while giving it time in between to rejuvenate itself.

  • Take Care with Physical Exfoliants – Care should be taken when using any facial products, and physical exfoliants like facial brushes and facial scrubs are no exception. Use them two or three times per week at the very most, but make sure to use them. They help lift away the dead skin cells that are loosened up by chemical exfoliants. Just use a light touch to avoid damaging the skin.
  • Occasionally Use Chemical Peels – Finally, use a professional-grade at-home chemical peel every two to three weeks or so. Every other month, go to the salon or spa for a professional chemical peel. These peels penetrate more deeply into the skin, helping to lift away dead cells that may slip through the cracks when using other exfoliation techniques.


Oily skin isn’t the only sign of over-exfoliation. Your skin may also be dry, red, tight and easily irritated. Exfoliating the skin is important, but it should make your skin look better–not worse. By implementing the tips above and take care to moisturize your skin regularly, your days of dealing with oily skin should be over.