What is Exfoliation and How To Exfoliate Your Face and Skin

Get all Detailed information about Exfoliate, its Process, and its Benefits


What is Exfoliate and How To Exfoliate Your Face
Do you think your skin lacks a very glowing glow? Adding exfoliation to your skincare routine can help! Apart from adding a healthy glow to your skin, exfoliation can also help with many other skin-related issues.

But before you proceed, add this important step to your skincare regimen, that you must know how to do it. Here is all you need to know about exfoliation. let’s get started.

What is Exfoliation?

Exfoliation works by physical or chemical methods to remove dead cells from the outermost surface of your skin.

Skin cells endure a lot of wear and tear due to environmental factors. The dead cells of your skin naturally close and are replaced by new skin cells growing downward. This is known as cellular turnover, and typically takes 28 to 45 days in an average adult.

However, dead cells shed by your skin can accumulate on the surface of the skin. This can lead to an uneven skin tone or even acne breakout. Includes a well-chosen exfoliator for your skin that removes the build-up of dead cells, speeds up cell turnover, and brightens your complexion.

How to Exfoliate Your Face?

While the benefits of quitting are many, there is no one way that suits everyone. Before choosing the exfoliation method, you should know your skin type. Most importantly, special skin conditions such as rosacea, hypersensitive skin, etc, must be taken into consideration. In such cases, you should consult a dermatologist or avoid exfoliation.

Here are some simple ways to set an exfoliation routine at your home:

Step 1: Select the Right Products

Choosing the right exfoliator is of primary importance. You need to consider not only your skin type but which part of the body you want to leave. Therefore, you cannot use an exfoliation product on the delicate skin of your face and vice versa for the body. In addition, difficult areas such as your heel or elbow may require special attention.

Keep in mind that your facial skin can be oily and sensitive depending on a variety of factors ranging from dry or normal. So, you may need to change the product accordingly.

Step 2: Applying Exfoliator Correctly

When using a physical exfoliator such as a face scrub, apply it on a clean, dry face, avoiding the area around your eyes. If you are using a serum-based chemical exfoliator, apply a few drops on your face before using a moisturizer.

Step 3: Getting the Exfoliator to Work

While using a face scrub, gently massage your skin with wet fingers. If you are using a serum-based chemical exfoliator, use dry fingers to evenly massage the product on your face.

Step 4: Wash

If you are using a face scrub, wash it completely with lukewarm water. A serum-based chemical exfoliator, however, has to be discarded.

Step 5: Moisture

It is very important to apply moisturizer on your face immediately after exfoliation. This will keep your skin hydrated and prevent any external damage.

Physical relaxation vs chemical relaxation

Depending on how exfoliators work, they can be broadly classified into physical or chemical exfoliators.

1. Physical Exfoliation

Here, simple, mechanical motions such as rubbing or scrubbing are used to remove dead skin cells. This method usually gives immediate results, as it not only removes dead cell debris but also increases skin blood circulation.

Lofa, body brush, bath salt, muslin washcloth, etc. are good exfoliators for your body. The face scrub for exfoliation consists of small friction particles such as granules or ground-up nuts. You can also opt for microdermabrasion by a professional beautician for toned skin.

All told, it is important to remember that a physical exfoliation is a strong form of relaxation and if done properly can lead to irritation or dryness. In addition, you should check that your store-bought scrub does not contain large particles that can cause microtears (small cuts) on your skin.

2. Chemical Exfoliation

Chemical exfoliation, on the other hand, uses chemicals such as mild acids or enzymes, to remove dead cells and other deposits on the surface of the skin. Most tested chemical exfoliators are safe to use. But it is good to do a patch test first, to confirm that the product does not cause any adverse reactions.


Chemical exfoliators are Gentler and give slower but longer-lasting results. Your chemical exfoliator may include mild acids such as AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) or BHA (beta hydroxy acids). Some of the commonly used AHAs include lactic acid, citric acid, glycolic acid, etc., while salicylic acid is a BHA commonly used for exfoliation.

Chemical exfoliators can come in the form of masks from serums or peels.

Ways to Exfoliate Naturally at Home

The lightest way to comfortably exfoliate your skin is to use natural ingredients that are readily available. Listed below are some natural exfoliators and how they work.

1. Suger

It can be used on its own or in combination with other Granulars such as olive oil, green tea, etc. contain hydroxy acids such as glycolic acid, which removes tan and slows aging.

Avoid using sugar directly on your face, but it can be used safely on your body. Sugar scrubs not only remove dirt and germs from the skin but can also remove short, unwanted hair.

Apply the sugar scrub with gentle flows. Leave it for 9 min before washing it with lukewarm water.

2. Honey

Honey not only hydrates your skin, but it can also detoxify, remove germs and soothe inflammation. Raw honey or manuka honey is the product of choice at the time of exfoliation.

Apply honey on a clean face, leave for a few minutes before rinsing with warm water. If you want to get rid of acne then you can add baking soda to honey.

3. Papaya

Papaya contains the powerful enzyme papain, which can degrade dead skin cells along with bacterial cells on your skin. It is rich in Vitamin C and other antioxidants, which reduce the signs of skin aging and heal the skin.

Blend 1 tablespoon papaya fruit with 2 tablespoons of crushed seeds and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Scrub your face gently and wash off. Do not leave the scrub on your face for more than a minute, because the beneficial fruit enzymes can cause irritation if used for a long time.

4. Yogurt

This mild dairy product with the goodness of lactic acid, vitamin D, and probiotics (friendly bacteria) has many benefits for your skin. It brightens and develops your skin tone, helps fight acne-causing bacteria, and soothes the skin.

You can apply yogurt directly or add it to your face pack along with other ingredients for gentle relaxation.

5. Lemon juice

Lemon is rich in citric acid, a natural exfoliator. It also contains Vitamin C which reduces pigmentation and niacin which relieves dry skin and wrinkles.

Lemon and sugar are the most popular scrubs preferred by people with normal skin. However, lemon is a strong exfoliating agent. So use it with caution. It is better to avoid using it directly on sensitive skin. Also do not apply lemon juice to your skin for a few minutes.

6. Oats

Anti-oxidants rich Oats also remove excess oil from the surface of your skin.

Ground-up oats can themselves be used as great exfoliators. You can also add sugar, honey, or a little coconut oil.

7. Coffee

Fresh scrubs containing ground coffee beans are popular for the face and body. Coffee is rich in caffeic acid, which has excellent antioxidant properties that increase collagen and prevent premature skin aging.

Mix ground coffee with evenly coconut oil or olive oil. You can also add lemon juice and sugar instead of oil.

Which Exfoliator is Best for Your Skin Type?

Different skin types require different types of exfoliation. Furthermore, as the time taken for the total cell turnover of the skin decreases with age, the frequency of exfoliation needs to be adjusted accordingly. Always consult an expert about which exfoliator to use and how often you suspect.

Once you know the type of your skin, you can choose your exfoliation process accordingly.

1. Oily Skin

If your skin secures too much oil and sebum or feels greasy, a strong exfoliator such as a physical scrub or electronic scrubbing device may be a good option. Exfoliating two to three times a week is enough to keep excess oil away. For short periods use scrubs with small grains or tools.

2. Dry Skin

If your skin has less hydration, it can become flaky and rough. To reduce moisture loss, AHA or PHA (polyhydroxy acid) for dry skin, or a mild chemical exfoliator with a scrub, should be used.

3. Combination Skin

If you have oily and dry skin in the patch, both need to be addressed. You need to use a combination of mild physical and chemical exfoliators alternatively.

You can also use a versatile exfoliator such as salicylic acid that gently removes excess oil along with dead cell deposits from the deep pores of your skin.

4. Sensitive Skin

If your skin reacts negatively to most products, you may have sensitive skin. In such cases, it is better to consult your doctor before including any new procedures in your skincare routine. The use of muslin washcloth or fine rice powder may be a good option for exfoliation.

5. Acne Skin

Gentle chemical exfoliators with retinoids, glycolic or salicylic acid can help reduce breakout. If you have skin that can provoke acne breakouts It is best to avoid missing out completely.

6. Normal Skin

People with normal skin types can opt for any exfoliating agent according to their comfort. Exfoliate twice a week should be enough to keep your skin glowing.

Benefits of Exfoliation

Some of the surprising benefits of a regular and controlled exfoliation routine are listed below.

1. Unfolds the Skin Pores

Exfoliation removes excess dirt, oil, and cell detritus from your pores. This allows the removal of blackheads and also reduces breakouts.

2. Enables deep penetration of other skincare products

Skin products such as serums, growth factors, moisturizers are able to penetrate deeply into the skin by removing dead cells and opening the pores. This facilitates the desired action of these products and gives better results.

3. Prevents Acne

Moderate exfoliation removes germs as well as the dead cells on which they feed. It helps prevent acne breakouts.

4. Enhances Skin Tone

Exfoliation removes deep patches of hyperpigmentation. It also smoothes flaky skin, fine lines, and patches of light scars, resulting in a brighter and even skin tone.

5. Enhances Blood Circulation

Massaging the exfoliant increases the blood flow to your skin. This, in turn, removes toxins and nourishes skin cells. It also encourages lymphatic drainage which improves cell health leading to fresh and glowing skin.

6. Increases Cell Turnover

Clearing dead cells and other impurities from the skin increases the cell turnover of your skin surface. The presence of new cells on the surface makes your skin fresh and healthy.

7. Stimulates Collagen Synthesis

Regular exfoliation activates the production of collagen, one of the important structural protein in your skin. Collagen not only helps maintain the texture and tightness of your skin but also helps reduce lines and wrinkles, preventing premature aging.

How to know if you’re Over-Exfoliating

Excess exfoliating your skin more than your cell turnover can damage new cells on the surface of the skin. Signs of more relaxation include the following

1. Redness or Burning Sensation

Redness, burning, swelling, or irritation may occur on the skin as a result of being too stiff or too often missed. Your skin can be very sensitive and react to any product that you use later.

You need to be more careful when your skin is in wet condition and avoid rubbing as much as possible. Opt for milder products, and using richer emollients may help.

2. Dry Scaly Skin

Excessive exfoliation separates your skin from natural oils that keep it hydrated. It removes the moisture of the skin, causing it to dry out. You can also observe the presence of fine lines and wrinkles due to excessive drying.

Using a good moisturizer or serum can help reduce this condition.

3. Increasing Breakout

Exfoliation damages the skin’s protective barrier, making it prone to bacterial infections. This can lead to an increase in new acne breakouts.

In case such a situation occurred, stop exfoliating and switch to lighter products. If your skin condition is not improving then you can also check with your dermatologist.

Is Exfoliation Good for the Skin?

If done correctly, exfoliation is definitely good for your skin. An optimal exfoliation suited to your skin type, not only gives you a fresh and glowing look but also relieves skin problems such as acne and excessive oiliness.

How Often Can You Exfoliate?

Your skin type and choice of exfoliator will determine how often you should exfoliate. As a rule of thumb, you have to let new cells settle on your skin before doing another exfoliation.

Why do I have pimples after I leave?

Pimples are signs of over-exfoliation. That means the protective skin barrier has been damaged. It can also cause inflammation.


An optimal exfoliation regimen enhances your glow, giving your skin healthy, youthful skin. You should consider carefully before choosing from the range of options available to exfoliate your skin. Also be careful not to overdo it, because exfoliation will result in the conditions you were aiming to treat.