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The Worst Face Exfoliant Mistakes For Women Over 50, According To Skincare Experts

By Georgia Dodd,


When it comes to skincare, finding the right face exfoliant is one of the best ways to ensure a wrinkle-free and glowing appearance. This is especially true for women over 50. However, overusing exfoliants can actually cause more damage to your face than not using them at all. They can strip the skin of the oils it needs to shine.

To get a clear answer on the worst face exfoliant mistakes for women over 50, we spoke with Dr. Lily Talakoub, board-certified dermatologist, a fellow of the American Board of Dermatology, owner of McLean Dermatology, and founder/CEO of personalized skincare shopping platform, Derm to Door, and board-certified dermatologist Dr. Marisa Garshick. Find out what they want you to know before choosing your exfoliant!

Over exfoliating

Exfoliating is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. This can be done with a scrub, face pad, or homemade solution. That said, while exfoliation can be an excellent tool for resurfacing your skin, there is such a thing as exfoliating too much. Over-exfoliating may be the root cause of premature aging.

If you exfoliate too frequently, it can cause redness, irritation, and even dryness on the skin. And, if you already have existing issues or if you have aging skin, it can make it more difficult to achieve the glowing complexion we're all striving for. Exfoliating too frequently could even potentially cause infection in the skin if it becomes irritated. Because of this, limiting your exfoliation to two or three times a week is the best option. But, be sure to check in with your dermatologist to make sure you're exfoliating the right amount for your skin type and the climate your line in.

"Over-exfoliation can disrupt the skin barrier which can increase the potential for irritation or dryness of the skin. If the skin becomes dry, it can worsen the signs of aging, making fine lines and wrinkles more noticeable," Garshick explains. To prevent the drying effects of an exfoliant, you just need to add moisture back into the skin. So, double down with an extra thick moisturizer throughout the winter to prevent flaking and the appearance of wrinkles.

Avoid exfoliants with microbeads

While exfoliating is critical for beautiful skin, you also have to be careful about which kind of exfoliant you use. Experts recommend avoiding exfoliants with microbeads. Microbeads, or the thousands of tiny plastic beads commonly found in exfoliating scrubs, can be "vicious on your skin" explains TIME Magazine. And, microbeads are also horrible for the planet.

We know it can be tricky finding an exfoliant without microbeads considering how often cosmetic companies used them in their products. But, microbeads can scratch your skin too much and actually remove underlying healthy skin cells–this can accelerate the aging process. Instead, opt for natural alternatives.

Exfoliating is an essential part of any successful skincare routine. As long as you aren't overdoing it, you should be exfoliating between one and three times a week with an exfoliant without microbeads. This can help smooth out your complexion and allow for your natural glow. And if you aren't exfoliating, you should be!

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