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3 Types Of People Who Should Be Careful With Exfoliation

Updated on November 15, 2015

Exfoliation and Skin Types

Are there certain types of people who shouldn’t exfoliate their skin? This is one of the most frequently asked questions about exfoliation. Recently, I received a message from a reader who has very sensitive skin and had read somewhere that too much exfoliation isn’t very good for people with sensitive skin. She asked me if indeed too much exfoliation or over-exfoliation was bad for sensitive skin. She also wanted to know whether there are people with certain types of skin that shouldn’t exfoliate too much or who shouldn’t exfoliate at all.

Her questions were very interesting and very pertinent, so I took no tome in answering them. Below are my answers to the woman's question. And I hope that these answers will go a long way in helping anyone with a sensitive skin or with the other types of skins who wants to venture into the world of exfoliation.


Depending on your type of skin or skin condition, exfoliation can be bad news for you. There are certain groups of people who are not supposed to be engaging in exfoliation or who should be very mindful about the number of times they exfoliate. But there are also certain groups of people who can exfoliate regularly without having to worry about any problems.

Sensitive skin and exfoliation

If you have a very sensitive skin, then you should be very mindful how often or how much exfoliation you do simply because sensitive skin and exfoliation (exfoliating too much) are not really compatible. So many exfoliation products can easily cause irritation to a sensitive skin – especially when you over-use them on the skin. For example, many acidic cleaners aren’t very good for exfoliating sensitive skin. If you have a sensitive skin, you should be very careful how you go about exfoliating your skin. My advice to you is to make sure that you do not exfoliate too much. Exfoliating once or twice a week is good for a sensitive skin, but exfoliating on a daily basis is too much, and it isn’t the best for a sensitive skin since it can easily cause irritation or even worse cause scarring. In addition to this, people with super-sensitive skin should be mindful of how they go about using exfoliating products on their skin. If you have a sensitive skin, before you go about using an exfoliating agent to exfoliate, make sure that you apply just a little bit of the product on a small part of your skin to see if it causes irritation to your skin. If it doesn’t, then you can safely use it to exfoliate. Some of the best exfoliation products for sensitive skin include: Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash and Pink Grapefruit.

Acne-prone skin

If you are one who has an acne-prone skin, then you should also be very careful how you go about exfoliating. Exfoliation is not bad for people with acne-prone skin. As a matter of fact it is very good for these people since it helps in no small way in preventing breakouts. But the problem with exfoliating an acne-prone skin is that if care isn’t taken, things can go wrong during the exfoliation process and result in an increased risk of developing acne instead of preventing breakouts. According to dermatologists and other skin experts, rough exfoliation can easily cause inflammation on the skin and cuts that allow bacteria to breed and cause acne. In order to avoid this, a person with an acne-prone skin should always be gentle and avoid excessive rubbing during the exfoliation process. When you exfoliate your acne-prone skin gently, you avoid breakouts but when you exfoliate aggressively, you can cause more acne problems than you bargained for.

People with darker skin

Exfoliating darker skin can also be tricky sometimes. The reason this is so is because people of color or people with a dark complexion are more prone to suffering from pigmentation issues and complications than their Caucasian counterparts whenever they exfoliate their skin. Because of the nature of the skin of darker pigmented individuals (mainly Africans and African Americans), exfoliation normally leads to post-inflammatory pigmentation, commonly known as hyperpigmentation in these people. Hyperpigmentation normally results in the discoloration of certain parts of the skin on the face and body.

Young children do not need exfoliation

One of the cardinal rules in exfoliation is never to let children undergo exfoliation. Why is this so? It is so because exfoliation does more harm than good to a child’s tender skin. We all know by now what exfoliation does to the skin. If you don’t know what exfoliation does to your skin, this is what it does: It gets rid of old, dead skin cells so that new, fresh skin cells can reach the surface therefore giving you a healthier and more beautiful skin. The skin naturally exfoliates itself once every 28 – 30 days. This natural exfoliation process is very active and happens very frequently in young children and young adults. But as one gets older, the process drastically slows down thereby allowing a build-up of dead skin cells on the surface making the skin look very rough and old. This is why adults need regular skin exfoliation in order to get rid of the build-up of dead skin cells. Children don’t need this because the natural exfoliation process of their skin is still very active in sloughing dead skin cells and renewing the skin.


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    • myvenn profile image

      myvenn 2 years ago from Ghana

      I am very happy to hear that this hub has been very helpful to you.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      I have sensitive skin and am so glad I caught this article. I was wondering if exfoliation would be an option. I will follow your advice on this one. THank you!

    • myvenn profile image

      myvenn 2 years ago from Ghana


    • Jasmeetk profile image

      Jasmeet Kaur 2 years ago from India

      well written... we should be careful with our skin and exfoliating it..