SUNDAY, Jan. 8, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Many skin care products promise to improve appearance by exfoliating -- or removing dead cells -- from the skin's outer layer.
But sometimes, exfoliating can do more harm than good, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).
"For some people, exfoliation can actually make their skin worse with increased redness or acne breakouts," said Dr. Rebecca Tung, associate professor of dermatology at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill. "If you choose to exfoliate, it's important to do so safely so that it does not damage your skin."
Before exfoliating, consider your skin type, Tung advised in an AAD news release.
"Understanding your skin type will help you choose an exfoliation method that best suits your skin," Tung said.
There are two ways to exfoliate at home. Dead skin can be removed with a mechanical tool, such as a brush, scrub or sponge. It can also be removed gently with chemicals, such as alpha and beta hydroxy acids, Tung said.
These steps will help prevent damage:
If you have questions, a dermatologist can evaluate your skin and help you decide if exfoliating will be beneficial for you, Tung said.
The U.S. National Institute on Aging provides more information on skin care and aging.
SOURCE: American Academy of Dermatology, news release, Dec. 13, 2016