A friend passed on this link to a great article on Yahoo, 5 Skin Care Mistakes. My favorite part is that the number one mistake is over exfoliation. Stop. Right now. Put down that harsh scrub. You know you are using one. Probably St. Ives Apricot. That'll rip the skin right down to the bone. I'm not anti harsh exfoliation and huge scrubber pieces. For exfoliating the body, particularly the legs, they are great. But on your face you are doing more damage than good.
People with dry skin try to scrub all the flakes off. But then you keep your skin from being able hold any water so that makes your skin look worse! People with oily skin. OY! You know who you are. You tend to be the worst scrub offenders. The problem is that the more you scrub the more your skin fights back and then the oil problem/acne problem that you are trying to scrub away will never disappear. It's a downward spiral.
So what do you do if you put down the scrub? Pick up a wash cloth, preferably white so you can have it be as free of dyes as possible. Wash your face, definitely at night, and then rinse it off with a wash cloth. That's the best investment you can make into your skin. If you want to do a little more exfoliating, try a manual scrub like Dermalogica's Skin Prep. I like it because it has very gentle grains. You can use it once a week depending on your skin type. The best exfoliation, besides wash clothes, comes from chemical exfoliations, like peels. I just got a great Pumpkin Enzyme Peel for my clients that does an awesome job of true exfoliation, i.e. breaking down the cellular glue in your epidermis so that you can really take off old dead skin cells. When you scrub scrub scrub on your face with huge pieces of Walnut skin your not able to get that deep or be that gentle.
PS I like to link to Makeupalley.com whenever I talk about products. If you aren't a member you need to be! The best place on the web to get customer reviews of all your favorite beauty products.