What Happens to Your Skin When You Exfoliate

What happens when you peel the skins off of the apples shown above?

The fresh juicy apple flesh beneath starts to turn brown and begins to dry out. Within just one short hour, the apple won’t look so appetizing anymore, will it?

Our skin’s protective barrier, acid mantle and microbiome all protect our fresh, living cells in the same way as those apple skins do.

When we strip our acid mantle, and disrupt the protective barrier and the skin’s microbiome, which can easily be done through:

  • over-cleansing (only night time cleansing is needed. 2 x’s a day is too much)
  • over-exfoliating, and
  • harsh products, like foaming cleansers, retinol, peels and acids (yes, even the “gentle” ones)

…we are causing our skin to become just like the peeled apples.

When we strip these vital protectors away from our skin, our skin health can dramatically decline overtime, only you will have no idea why because we’re never really taught much about these three vital components that form the top layer of our skin.

We NEED these three skin heroes because:

  • they help keep our skin hydrated. When we strip them, water evaporates causing chronic skin dehydration.
  • they protect us from the sun’s damaging rays. This top layer acts as our natural sun protection. Without it, we’re going to be asking for collagen breakdown and long-term sun damage, even with SPF.
  • they protect us from bacteria invasion. Our protective barrier and our microbiome both protect our skin and our entire body from bacteria invasion.

Our skin’s job is to protect us. Yet somewhere along the way, the beauty industry taught us that we shouldn’t trust this organ anymore. We’re somehow led to believe that this organ is the only organ in our body that needs to be forced to act in unnatural ways for the sake of vanity. Yet in this process of constant cleansing, exfoliating, chemical peels, enzymes and acids, we are not helping the skin, we are damaging its innate processes.

We really need to stop fearing this top layer of dead skin cells and begin nourishing them. The layer of dead skin cells that we’re constantly told to exfoliate away is literally what keeps the live, healthy skin cell underneath them whole, hydrated and youthful. And it’s all the years of synthetic, harsh skin care that will age our skin the most (well, next to stress). Less IS more. I wish I learned this earlier in my career, but it’s never too late to learn new, healthier options and share that knowledge with you. Trust me when I tell you to trust your skin! It knows what it’s doing far better than the beauty industry does.


About Rachel Devine

Rachel Devine is the founder and skin care formulator of R Devine Organic Skin Care. With a passion and deep understanding of the skin from the inside-out, Rachel goes against beauty industry standards to treat the skin from a holistic, whole-body approach, with focus on the nervous system and lymphatic system in particular. Rather than forcing the skin to act in unnatural ways like most skin care lines, R Devine Skin Care supports the skin's natural processes. The skin is the body's largest organ and it's important to respect that. Rachel is also a certified breathwork coach and guided meditation teacher. She believes that the mind-body-soul alignment is vital for both skin health and overall whole body health.