How to exfoliate. Exfoliation is , quite simply, defined as “the removal of dead skin cells from the surface of the skin in order to improve its appearance”.

Correct removal of these dead cells will leave the skin healthier and also feeling smoother, softer and fresher, brighter looking.

It should be regarded as an important part of any regular skin care regime. Often most associated with the face, the whole body will in fact benefit from exfoliation … in moderation, in the right way and using the correct products though.

How To Exfoliate

How To Exfoliate

There are two main methods of exfoliation:

1: Mechanical Exfoliation.

Mechanical exfoliation (also referred to as Microderabrasion) is the physical removal of dead skin cells through the process of scrubbing with some form of abrasive.

By the word “abrasive” we don’t just mean textured cloths, specific exfoliation sheets, brushes, loofahs etc but also natural facial scrubs which are applied as a liquid or paste abrasive.

Basically, it’s the removal of dead skin cells by natural methods and friction without the use of any chemicals.

2: Chemical Exfoliation.

Chemical exfoliation on the other had and as the name suggests is the use of certain chemicals and is often recommended when exfoliation is more important from a medical point of view.

The chemicals used are mainly certain types of acids – salicylic acid, glycolic acid, citric acid and others. You can find over the counter exfoliating scrubs containing such chemicals in low dosage but higher strength solutions need to be prescribed by medical professionals. They work by dissolving the sort of glue that is holding the dead skin to the surface thus removing without the need for abrasive rubbing.

Chemical exfoliation is often recommended for those with certain skin conditions, most commonly those with acne where keeping the skin clear of dead cells is of significant medical benefit.

Why Exfoliate ?

It’s really simple … dead skin cells are dry, dull looking and clog up the pores. They therefore have a negative effect on the appearance and slow down the natural skin renewal process. So, by removing any dead skin off the surface, your skin can instantly look brighter and feel cleaner and refreshed. Exfoliate regularly and your skin with become healthier too which will help against wrinkles, fine lines and discoloration.

That’s why exfoliation, on a regular basis, is highly recommended.

Exfoliation Made Simple

  • Exfoliation is more important as we age. When in our younger years the skin will naturally renew itself every 25 days or so. This process slows as we get into our 30’s and beyond.
  • Make sure the skin is clean and clear from makeup before exfoliation.
  • Exfoliate in the morning simply because your skin renews itself overnight meaning that the morning is the time when dead skin cell numbers are at their highest.
  • Be gentle. Remember, you’re only removing the layer of dead skin which will come away quite easily. You don’t want to damage the healthy skin.
  • Don’t exfoliate too often. You only want to keep the skin clear of the very outer layer of dead skin cells. Exfoliating too often will start to affect healthy skin cells, strip away essential oils and have a negative effect on the balance resulting in inflammation and irritation.
  • Exfoliating is recommended just two or three times a week for those with normal to combination skin. Reduce this down to just a single time each week if you have sensitive skin.
  • Know your skin type and use the right product. Always test a new product on a small area to check it’s right for you and your particular skin.
  • Different areas – different approach. The skin is a sensitive organ but more sensitive in certain areas than others. Sensitive skin always needs a more gentle, less harsh approach. Make sure you don’t use body scrubs on the face as they are much too abrasive and always be extra careful with delicate facial skin.
  • If you suffer from a medical skin condition such as acne you should always seek medical advice.

How To Exfoliate – What Product To Use ?

Where do we start – there’s so many choices!

How To Exfoliate

Non-Sensitive And Body Exfoliation

There’s a lot of skin area to cover and so we suggest a natural bristled brush if you’re intending to exfoliate away from the shower or bath and a body scrub used with a loofah or exfoliating sponge or glove.

Sensitive And Facial Exfoliation

A specifically formulated gentle facial exfoliating scrub is the easiest and most popular method. The specific exfoliator being dependant on skin type.

The Golden Rules Of Exfoliation

How to exfoliate … the golden rules.

  • Make sure the skin is clean. Thoroughly wash away all dirt, debris and traces of make up before exfoliating.
  • Exfoliate. Gently strip away the dead skin using your chosen method of exfoliation.
  • Moisturise. Lock in the moisture to keep the skin bright and healthy.


How To Exfoliate – Useful Links:

A few links which you may find of interest.

Exfoliation Wiki

Dermalogica UK