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Thursday, 27 September 2012

How to heal over exfoliated, damaged skin!

Damaged skin be it due to over exfoliation, chemical peels, medications and other harsh chemicals can be very hard to deal with. Skin feels irritated, raw, red, wrinkled and flaking of skin may occur. Makeup may seem like a good idea to cover up, but it can sometime exasperate the problem and make damage appear worse that it is.

I should state the reason that I'm writing this is because I'm currently sitting on my laptop typing, while the left side of my face is severely damaged due to increased sensitivity by retin - a, it looked fine, but i had to go on and put tea tree cream on the side of my spots which had a few spots, nothing major just tiny little bumps, but the tea tree has just made my skin red,raw, and scab like... not nice, if i open my mouth to eat for example, the skin is unable to stretch so looks and feels like sand paper!!! ugh!

Now I don't know anything that can make your skin as good as new in a second, but there are things you can do at home to ensure skin renewal is at its optimum level. Some of these you may already be doing, but you may be doing things you think will either cover damaged skin, or help it heal faster, but really it's just making things worse!
  1. Do not exfoliate further!!  This might seem obvious to some, but when you have you to leave the house in 10 minutes and your skin is peeling to no end, that bottle of exfoliator seems like your last choice! This will only make your skin more damaged, raw, and you might end up with a scab rather than a bit of flaky skin!
  2. Treat your skin very gently!  Try not to use facial wipes, even if they're organic, the fibres tends to be very abrasive to skin, especially sensitised skin. Be gently with your towel or facial tissues(best to use a towel) so pat dry gently. 
  3. Really think about what your putting on your face! The products used on your skin whilst it was normal, may be detrimental in a sensitised state. For example I steer clear of my normal vitamin C lotion when i have over exfoliated, as vitamin C will only cause your skin to shed further. Don't assume just because a product is natural it will be safe for your skin. The very cause of my damaged skin was because i assumed my tea tree cream was organic, hence would be safe for my skin.  DUMB!!!
  4. Put things on that are known to treat damaged skin! Products rich in Vitamin E are great for skn renewal, especially and oil like product or a balm.This will prevent the skin from drying out as the skin is exposed and thin. Try to treat it like a burn. Sweet almond oil, Grapeseed oil, Rosehip oil are all good sources of vitamin e, except the latter which is a source of Vitamin A. Do patch test these, as a further reaction on your skin is the last thing you want!
  5. Work from the inside out!... Your skin is re building it self, it is doing this all the time so truly you should be providing it with the essential building blocks it needs ALL THE TIME, but it would not hurt to up the water intake, and eat foods rich in vitamin E, protein, essential fats, Omega 3,6 and 9. 
  6. It takes about 28 days for the skin to renew itself, but the initial damage should go away in less time!! Im hoping to rid my skin of this damage in 3 days!! Luckily i don't have any where to be, so i can hide out in my room, lathering my face in balms!!
I thought i would add what I'm doing right now to get rid of the damage, and to cover it up when you just have to be out in public! 

When I'm at home I am putting glycerin on my face after washing with a facial gel( to further the healing, cleanse with full fat milk-- do not use cotton wool, it will just be abrasive to sensitive skin, apply the milk with hands in circular motions, best done when you don't have makeup on). The glycerin is diluted wiht a little water( dilute with more water if you live a particularly dry environment, Im in London so its pretty humid over here!). The glycerin will stop the skin drying out. Then i apply aloe vera gel, for it soothing properties, And lastly sweet almond oil. Your gonna look like a grease pit, so don't answer the door bell! 
I would normally also apply rose hip oil  as well at night, but ive run out :(. And in the day even if I'm in doors, i will skip the aloe Vera and apply my OY! SPF 15, even if I'm indoors as it contains aloe Vera, green tea and chamomile, which are great for damaged skin to calm the skin. 

I will update this post to show how many days it will take to heal my very damaged skin!

Ok so It took about 4 days for my skin to heal by doing the above routine. My skin was stil peeling yesterday(4th day) but it was well enough for me to do a facial (rose akamuti) and hair removal( threading) . All in all I think a mixture of rosehip oil and glycerine really helped my face!!.


  1. Thanks for the info and update.

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  2. This give me so much hope! I'm very new to the world of make up, cleansing exfoliation etc ( and I'm 20! I know how sad :( )

    But I have just realised that I have over exfoliated my skin as my skin ( it's naturally a caramel colour) feels tight, sore and apperance wise it looks like I have scalded myself :'(

    I'll tell you what my routine was.
    Once in Morning and before I go to bed: Get up, exfoliate skin with Nertrogena. Clense skin with a mixture of 1/3 Castor oil and 2/3 Olive oil by lathering on face and steaming it with a warm towel, then removing the oil. Then apply the nertrogena on placed where my acne spots on my face were to dry them out.

    Please do tell me if it's not actually over exfoliation but the oils I'm using. I'm so lost.

    As inexperianced with all this I don't know where to turn! This article has given me hope. Thanks for telling us your experiance too as it gives alot of assurance. Will try this.


    1. Hi there.Its most likely that your exfoliating too much. 2-3 times a week at the most is recommended. Exfoliators with large beads do not benefit the skin and have more of a scrubbing action. The skin on the face is very delicate. Try a muslin cloth with gentle circular motions combined with your favourite cleanser. You can even wet the muslin cloth with warm water and cleanse with oils. The oils would be beneficial to your skin to nourish skin and rehydrate, especially if you have over exfoliated.

  3. I have over exfoliated my bottom lip and now it's black. What can I do about this? The only products I have in my household are coconut oil, olive oil, brown sugar, tumeric, lemons, and Vaseline. Help!

    1. Definitely do not use lemon and brown sugar! If you can buy something, buy a spf lip balm if its summer to protect your lips from further damage, and use the vaseline to protect and prevent loss of hydration. Also rosehip oil is the best to speed up skin renewal and help prevent scarring, as the lip area is thin - the best is rosa mosqueta. If you cant purchase anything, then vaseline and coconut oil. Also avoid licking your lips too much, it will just make it dry out more.

  4. Hi. I am a 23 year old who scrubbed her face very hard some 8 years back. After that my skin became thick, dry, raised. It does not have only ugly appearance but it makes me feel sick too.I have been to 10 dermatologists who gave me moisturisers, Some said its rosacea. I am totally confused. I have fine lines too. I m totally into depression finding the way out to it. going to every best doctor. Please help ...

    1. Tanvi I'm dealing with the same exact thing for 15 months now. It sounds to me that you severely compromised your skin barrier and it has not been able to rebuild all of these years. I know this was a very old post but I'm curious if you ever healed and would love to tell you what I'm doing to fix this! Shoot me an email at or text me 609-339-0092

  5. Tanvi, have you tried Jojoba oil? It seems to be a solution to almost everything, you should definitely try it for a month and see how it helps.

  6. Isn't that Hyperkeratosis - Tanvi

    I scrubbed my face too hard aswell and am dealing with the damage, cumalitive over the years it isn't getting any better. Amazing how yours took four days, I know many that have been and still are suffering. I still can't figure out if large pores is from damaged thin skin or thickened

  7. I did the same thing because I was suffering from horrible oil.cysts that spread.due to milia and comedones some years back. my skin has gotten a lot better in the past year. I have babied it with essential oils and have continued to exfoliate, but carefully, usuing top of thr line products. the.retin a is what harmed it as well. it was too much. I know that laset gets rid of years of.damage and renews the skin. you need the right dr. and the right laser. because there are many different laser methods. hang in here!!!! be positive!!

    1. hello did the closed comedeones go? was it over exfolating?
      i have closed comedones all over face been here a year wont go.
      any help please

  8. Which Essential oils do you think helped? So far I have lavender and geranium because apperantly that combination is good for dehydrated skin. For me laser is a no go, I've been on and let me tell you its a very dark place online.

  9. hey guys, i made the big mistake of usinh retina-a this summer and it overexfoliated my face and now my face is always red plus much darker around my has shot my self-esteem. I stopped retina a but then I was even stupider and started scrubbing my face thinking it would help will dead skin from retina a and now it is worse. I am so embarrsed and i feel like everyone is starting at my two-toned face. My face literally is red/dark and the rest of me light. I was thinkinh if just stopping everything and letting my skin heal for the next 6 months on its own ? but Im worried the darker skin on my face maybe permanant??? any advice

    1. how is your skin now?

    2. Hey, I have learned to run to Aloe gel for all skin woes of this character. It acts very fast at healing SUNBURNS (ding-din-ding, exfoliation is that same sun-burn). I did the same mistake about a week ago. Olive oil is normally my only rescuer from all the facial woes, but even that didn't help ('cos its not supposed to heal sun burns, duh).

  10. I would apply vitamin E oil or tablet morning and night and not use any thing with vitamin c or alpha hydroxy or anything that would exfoliate your skin. you can also make a aloe vera mask with honey and bananas to help to repair damage. leave on for about 15-20 min you can do it every 2-3 days .aloe vera help to repair skin and vitamin E .you can do your own research on bananas too it helps with acne and wrinkles etc also the honey you moisturizes skin. you can take vitamin E supplements too.

  11. Hello, i find that i may have over exfoliated my lip and now there is this small circular patch on my bottom lip, on the left side. It feels rough and feels like there is something on your lip, but there isn't a bump. Has anyone experienced this? Help please )-:

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. hello.
    I have a serious problem about my face skin my face is very thin now because of those harsh soap chemicals I used since I was 16, I guess I damage too much my face skin because til now my skin is still very thin and I'm looking now matured.
    please help me for this kind of problem I've been waiting this for years to heal itself til now.
    but nothing change I hope you will help me :(( .
    thank you.

  14. I scrubbed my forehead way to much, and my scar is all pink, and ugly! What can I do?

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  16. I accidentally fell asleep on a mechanical facial scrubber (long story) and it left a large, red, burning ring on my cheek. Very painful. Could you used Shea or Cocoa butter? What is a good way to conceal it?

    1. Pure Shea butter is great for soothing sensitive and sore skin. During the recovery process it may feel dry too and Shea butter and Pure cocoa butter is moisturising even for cracked skin. Shea has anti-inflammatory properties that benefit sun burns, itchiness, insect bites, rashes and eczema but it all depends on what works for your skin as I presume you are missing the first few layers of it. Perhaps you could try a patch test with a small section of your damaged skin and wait a couple of hours to see if you feel better or worse and if all feels good then you will know. If you are going to conceal it, I would avoid powder makeup as it will not give a good finish, powders look better on undamaged/healthy well moisturised skin. I would suggest a moisturising foundation with medium to heavy coverage to conceal better and cream concealers as they are thicker than liquid and would create better texture on the skin but if you don't want to use something heavy then a moisturising tint is also ok. The Jane Iredale BB cream has a thick consistency and great coverage although not many colours too choose from and I would say the finish is slightly matt but not too much to make dry damaged skin look bad. The Jane Iredale concealer is very creamy with medium coverage but if you want you can mix mineral powder foundation with it to get heavier coverage and to stop creases. If your someone that doesn't use natural makeup brands then Mac studio sculpt foundation and Mac studio fix concealer is heavy coverage and thick in consistency for good texture on skin. P.s Aloe Vera gel helps with the burning and healing. Hope your skin feels better.

  17. my exfoliated armpit turned into dark color . i dont know how to treat. after exfoliation ,my skin developed irritation. pls help i need advice. thanks

    1. Hi - I would put coconut oil on it. What I do is put it somewhere cold for 10 minutes then I grab a whisk and stir it really fast. This whips the coconut oil I find and makes it much mor applicable. Use cold pressed, pure, virgin coconut oil.
      I hope I helped!

  18. Hello! For as long as I can remember, I've always had pretty good skin. About two months ago I started using my clarisonic at night and a gentle scrub in the morning everyday. Sense then, I've seen my skin go from bad to worse, and now it looks as if I have acne. Im switching to more gentle cleansers and haven't used a scrub in about a week. I've always had normal/dry skin, so I'm not sure if these new small dry patches are because of over exfoliation. I'm trying very hard to get my skin back to the good condition it was in before this mess. What cleansers do you recommend, and how often should I cleanse my face? Best of luck to anyone reading this as well.

  19. Hi I kinda over exfoliated on my face with a towel and has left a reddish mark which has shot down my self esteem. It has been about 6 months and the mark hasn't gone. What should I do?

    PS: I was thinking Aloe Vera or something but am not very skilled in these sorts so help would be nice

  20. its been a while since you wrote this article. did your skin go back to normal?

  21. its been a while since you wrote this article. did your skin go back to normal?

  22. I over exfoliated my face... Had cyst now scars.... Dry skin I've done everything and nothing is working fast enough.... I have scars now n lines n heard something about yogurt??? I'm trying it now... I just want my smooth pretty face back I'll live w the scars idk what to do.. I cry n pray everyday.... I hate this !!!

    1. Hello I have had the same problem and I have answers for you that I am confident will help your skin heal up. Certain peptide ingredients like matrixyl 3000 or syn-coll will help all the skin grow back. I purchased both of these from you mix these two ingredients into a plain moisturizer. With these you will gradually see your skin healing and becoming thicker. You will need to use them for about 3 or 4 months for your skin to regrow to its normal thickness but every week you will see a gradual improvement in your skins thickness. Make sure you also apply it under your chin an jaw an right at the edges of your faces as well as in eyebrow area as the skin starts regrowing from the edges just like it does with wounds. Matrixyl 3000 and syn-coll can also be found in many skin care products but make sure their concentration is at least 5% for both of them and also make sure they are fresh products that are not more than 2 years old as matrixyl 3000 and syn-coll are only stable for about 2 years before they start breaking down and becoming ineffective.

    2. Hello I have had the same problem and I have answers for you that I am confident will help your skin heal up. Certain peptide ingredients like matrixyl 3000 or syn-coll will help all the skin grow back. I purchased both of these from you mix these two ingredients into a plain moisturizer. With these you will gradually see your skin healing and becoming thicker. You will need to use them for about 3 or 4 months for your skin to regrow to its normal thickness but every week you will see a gradual improvement in your skins thickness. Make sure you also apply it under your chin an jaw an right at the edges of your faces as well as in eyebrow area as the skin starts regrowing from the edges just like it does with wounds. Matrixyl 3000 and syn-coll can also be found in many skin care products but make sure their concentration is at least 5% for both of them and also make sure they are fresh products that are not more than 2 years old as matrixyl 3000 and syn-coll are only stable for about 2 years before they start breaking down and becoming ineffective.

    3. Hi fast letters,
      Is there any way we can chat? I know this is an old post and I hope you get this but I'd love to chat about your experience. If you could email or text me 609-339-0092 or

  23. Yogurt is working !!!! Everyday I put it on after a clean showered face.... For 20-25 mins... And I can tell it's working !!! My makeup is starting to look so much better !!! Now someone advices I try tree tea oil while doing this.... But think I'm gonna try the skin growth from FAST LETTERS..... Omgosh I'm feeling more n more confident!!!!!

  24. Hi, I have cold most of the time and I used to squeeze nose all the time, along with it there were white heads making things worse after bath my nose sides used to be with white skin whch I used to remove with hand scrub making things further worse, now my nose side has turned black and very sensitive and skin breaks out if gently rubbed could anyone suggest me any natural oils or anything which could cure

  25. Hello, I scrubbed the skin on my checks and around my nose very harshly about a year ago. My cheeks are slightly splotchy red and the skin by the side of my nose is puffy, slightly rough, and the pores seem larger. I was using a brightening serum that has vitamin C, but after reading this post I will stop using it. I just turned 28 and feel so terrible about my skin's appearance. What can I do to heal my skin?

    1. Hi Kathleen, I can give you some tips and ideas that may help, but since i cant see your skin and the actual condition it is difficult to give you an exact treatment advice. If you scrubbed your skin a year ago and its still damaged it really depends on what you used to scrub it for example a hot cloth or flannel, beaded exfoliator or flannel after recent chemical peel, that could give some insight to the extent of trauma it may have caused. Also it depends if you did it once or if you continued to do that method for while.

      The skin does heel after the damage but it takes time depending on how gentle you are after the damage however sometimes on some people the trauma can cause discoloration, perhaps even broken capillaries and even though pores are always existing the damaged can make pores larger and as Debra Jaliman, a dermatologist in New York City says "you can't make pores physically smaller". So since pore shrinking is impossible you can try to make them appear smaller or prevent them from getting worse by avoiding further trauma but work on the redness and the puffiness first and try to figure out what may be the cause of it.

      Look closely at your face and if you find those thin reddish facial capillaries that typically appear around the chin, nose and cheeks, they could be the cause of the area appearing red. There are some home remedies such as a few essential oils like parsley and to prevent them from flushing bright red such as avoiding wine and extreme cold to hot temperatures etc. and I believe laser treatment is an option to go through if they are a major concern. Another thing to wonder is if the redness is caused by hormones. When I was 27-28 I started getting red cheeks and it didn't look like acne as I did not have raised skin or risen spots but it was red and blotchy and it never went so I went doctors and he said it is acne and to be honest my google research taught me it was acne too. Acne medicine helped the redness almost disappear but it was drying my skin out causing dehydrated damage so I stopped that and instead I do weekly at home facials for the acne and eat really super healthy and I know its hormonal so It wont go until my hormones are balanced and for that I have to go to professionals like my doctor to check my hormones and health and perhaps a dermatologist for the acne. The redness you are experiencing could even be from the products you are currently using or your skin regimen. Check the ingredients online to see if they cause skin irritations. Switch up products to see if you notice a difference. Also check if it is Rosacea and I do recommend using natural products to see if it stops or minimizes. So try to figure out what may be causing the redness first.

    2. Continued....sorry ran out of space.

      For the puffiness around the nose i am wondering whether you might be allergic to something again I cant see it to really know, but avoid any rubbing on that area or nearby. If it is water retention that is making it puffy, perhaps massage with ring finger around the nose and upwards towards the inner eyebrows, there are some videos on youtube for water retention facial massage techniques also.

      You can brew Chamomile tea and use it as a toner after cleansing. It really helps my redness and when its damaged, I have used it when my skin has swelled up after using something that I was sensitive too and it really calms the skin down. Try using it every night after cleansing and you can even drink the left overs. You can even try Pure Rose water alongside the chamomile as a toner. If you do not have broken capillaries try using ice to see if the puffiness goes. Just to keep the pores healthy and clean I do recommend doing a facial steam at home with a comfortable water temperature that would not burn the face, I add essential oils in the water for my skin type however if your skin is dehydrated then avoid the steam and only use essential oils once you know how to use them and after reading about them perhaps. I use recipes from and Iv never had any problems from their recipes and I have extremely sensitive skin.

      There are many things to do for healthy skin such as using a non foamy cleanser such as Organic Surge or Tarter Harper cleansers, then using a mild acid toner such as First Aid Beauty facial radiance Pads (Do not use when skin is damaged and perhaps hold this off till you figure out whats causing the redness) and then a floral toner that contains glycerin, chamomile and rose and no alcohol, topping up with a serum perhaps that targets redness such as 'Pai instant calm redness serum' in the day and facial oil at night such as 'Barefoot SOS Repair & Renew Intensive Treatment Oil' and then a moisturizer for your skin type. I recommend always patch test first before using anything new.

  26. Hi im Nicol, I think i over exfoliated my skin using that kojie acid soap because my face now is red, irritared and dry.. i used kjs for 2 years then i stop it when i found out that my skin is over exfoliated. how can i bring back my normal skin?? is that good to wash face twice a day??

  27. I have over exfoliated my face and Im trying a teaspoon of brown sugar and one teaspoon of honey with one teaspoon of olive oil remedy it seems to be working

  28. Hi there, Im 14 and have a bit of acne on my forehead and my nose. My friends told me that exfoliating will get rid of the bumps on my nose so 2 days ago I tried it but scrubbed way too hard and used a really harsh cleanser. My face immediately went raw and the next day I had huge scabs on my face. They're really ugly and I have to go to school, what do I do? how long will it take to heal?

  29. i rubbed a pumice rock on my face and it was red and raw. i applied coconut oil and vaseline and left it alone. the next day i woke up and it was purplish red. i rubbed a towel against it and it was shedding and bleeding

    how can i heal it

  30. Would syn-coll and matrixyl really work to repair the skin? If so how would we make a moisturizer out of these ingredients. I know we can purchase them from lotioncrafters but how much do we put in and how often would we need to apply it? Anyone have any additional information? I do not think this texture is pores I believe it's a barrier in emergency mode as it seems the skin had too many layers taken off of it. If we rebuild the barrier then we can fix any lingering issues with treatments. But obviously no chemical peels or exfoliation! Anyone dealing with this contact me