Does exfoliating make you break out?

I got a sample of Dr.Brandt anti aging lotion for mattifying purposes and ole henriksen new beginning exfoliator. I used the exfoliator twice and dr. brandt everyday since I got it. I really like the dr. brandt because its hydrating, not sure it actually mattifies or helps reduce the oil in my skin. The problem I have is that I broke out with 3 horrible pimples and 1 of them is a huge ingrown that hurts when i touch it. I'm wondering if it was the exfoliator cleaning out my pores or if it was the lotion and I should stop using it.

Answers: 5

Over exfoliation can irritate the skin so it is possible.  No matter what skin type, twice a day daily sounds like overkill.  Since your profile says oily, once every other day might work or even cut back to 1-2 times a week.  


If you are still seeing the same results, go for a more gentle exfoliation.  Still nothing, then maybe the lotion. 


Best of luck!


It is really hard to tell which product is affecting you adversely if you started using two new ones at the same time.  In the future, try to only introduce one new product at a time, and then wait a few weeks before you introduce another one.

Yes, skin can go through a "purging" period with any new treatment. 


Physical exfoliators (Scrubs) can be hard on your skin if you use them too often.  You might want to look into chemical exfoliation (peels) instead, but this could still cause skin purging.


Hi Cutey7,


I think that exfoliating can cause break outs for some people. If you have current acne it will only spread the bacteria. Personally, I like to use a chemical exfoliator instead of a manual one. I feel that it gets deeper into the skin and leaves your skin feeling very soft and clean. I highly recommend the Kate Sommeriville or the Sephora Collection Double Duty Exfoliator + Mask. 


ExfoliKate® Intensive Exfoliating Treatment


Double Duty Exfoliator + Mask

<3 Melissa
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Exfoliating with scrubs will just spread the bacteria around to other areas of your face. Do not use the exfoliator! Rather use a toner instead to remove the dead skin cells that will clog your pores

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Yes. I do not have sensitive skin and have never had acne in my life. Only after I bought the Clarisonic--which is supposed to be very gentle and good for even sensitive skin--did I start breaking out. I returned the Clairsonic and tried exfoliators (both chemical and scrubs) that are supposed to be extremely gentle and good for very sensitive skin. I still break out no matter what I use. In my case, the breakouts are not due to my skin being sensitive or spreading acne bacteria. It's just that even the most gentlest forms of exfoliation irritate my skin and cause breakouts. Unfortunately (because there are so many interesting exfoliation products!), my skin does not like exfoliation, but I think I'm in the minority. I suggest trying gentler or other forms of exfoliators (scrubs with beads are supposed to be the gentlest) and/or exfoliating less to see how resistant your skin is to exfoliation.

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