Most of us know that you can sometimes have too much of something good, from spending a bit too long in the sun without adequate SPF and regretting it the next day, or staying up just a bit too late and spending the next morning pulling yourself into work.
In skincare, the most common example of this is exfoliating too much for your skin type and instead of gently clearing away dead skin cells causing breakouts, burning sensations and redness.
However, can you have the opposite problem, where you overuse even the best organic moisturisers and end up doing more harm than good?
The short answer is yes, although it should always be noted that it’s far more likely to under-hydrate than over-hydrate your skin unless you are regularly slugging your skin.
How Can You Over-Moisturise?
Whilst it can be difficult to think of skin in the same way we think of our heart, liver and kidneys, the skin is the largest organ in the human body and needs to be able to respire and produce oils that serve as a natural moisturiser and barrier.
Because of this, how we treat our skin will affect this natural behaviour, so if we use products that dry out our skin too much such as those used to treat oily skin, our skin produces more oil to compensate for what it assumes is a skin crisis.
The opposite is also true, however, and if the skin feels like it is moisturised all of the time, it will stop producing as much oil as it feels it is no longer necessary.
This can create a bit of a vicious cycle where your skin can feel drier, making you reach for more moisturiser to compensate and inadvertently make the issue worse.
This is not always the case. After all, if you have dry skin or a condition such as eczema, you will need to apply moisturiser to compensate for the redness and irritation.
What Are The Telltale Signs You Are Moisturising Too Much?
An early sign you might be moisturising too much is, oddly enough, oily skin. Skin will initially continue to produce sebum and oil at its typical rate, and if you feel your skin become oilier than you expect, it could be a sign to reduce how much you slather on.
Similarly, clogged pores, acne and blackheads are a sign that the skin is struggling to absorb all of the moisturisers on the surface of the skin, and it is creating a dirt layer and thus an increased chance of infection.
Finally, it can lead to a cycle of dry skin that can take as long as a month to break if you are regularly putting too much moisturiser on.
However, it is far more likely that your skin needs more hydration rather than less so as long as you are moisturising twice a day at most, use lighter products unless your skin absolutely needs them and switch out skincare products that are not helping, most of the time you will be fine.