How Often Should You Exfoliate Your Face and Body

In simple terms, exfoliation is the process of removal of old, dead skin cells. Along with cleansing and moisturizing, exfoliation is a important step in a healthy skin care routine.

It can be done mechanically using facial and body scrubs or chemically using an exfoliating acid. Microdermabrasion facials and chemical peels are based on the process of exfoliation.  

How Often Should You Exfoliate Your Face

The amount of times you should exfoliate your face will ultimately depend on your skin type. If you have very dry, sensitive skin, try exfoliating one or two times per week. If you have combination to oily skin, you can get away with exfoliating multiple times a week, up to once per day.

For oily skin, use a facial cleanser for oily skin before exfoliating.It will ultimately depend on which type of exfoliation method.

What You Should Use to Exfoliate Your Face and Body

There are two main types of exfoliation: mechanical and chemical.

1. Mechanical Facial Exfoliators

These include scrubs and face washes that contain some kind of an abrasive to remove the dead skin cells while washing. Users of such an exfoliator apply it on wet skin and gently massage all over face and neck. 

2. Chemical Facial Exfoliants

These are facial products that contain an exfoliating acid like glycolic acid or enzymes from fruits like papaya or pumpkin.

They are mainly divided into two types: AHAs  or Alpha Hydroxy Acids and those that contain BHAs or Beta Hydroxy Acids. You need to find an exfoliant suitable to your skin type and effective for your skin issues.

Just apply a few drops on your face and then rinse clean. They do the job of rejuvenating skin through exfoliation, without the scrubbing action.

How Often Should You Exfoliate Your Body

Exfoliation is great for the rest of the body too. But how often should you exfoliate your body? This again, will ultimately depend on your skin type and sensitivity level. You can get away with exfoliating your legs, and feet much more often than more sensitive areas like your arms and your hands.

A good rule of thumb it to start slow, and gradually work your way up. Using a exfoliating body wash or scrub can easily help you gain smooth and younger looking skin all over. You can also achieve similar results using a loofah or body scrubber with your regular body wash.

Benefits of Exfoliation

What are the benefits of exfoliation?

Exfoliation Reduces The Appearance of Pores

Skin that does not get regularly exfoliated, holds on to a lot of dirt, dead cells and excess oil. All of this is stored in the skin’s pores that get larger to accommodate for the extra build up. Hence, pores appear larger. Regular exfoliation will prevent this situation from occurring and reduce the appearance of pores keeping them cleaner and smaller in size.

Exfoliating Can Reduce Acne and Get Rid of Blackheads

The root cause of acne and blackheads is the dirt and dead cells getting trapped in your pores along with the excess oil. Once you exfoliate, the pores get unclogged and this prevents further breakouts.

Exfoliating the Skin Reveals Younger Looking Skin

Regular exfoliation will get rid of the older, dead skin cells on the surface of the skin and reveal the younger, fresher skin that is beneath. This evens out your complexion and also improves the tone of your skin making it healthier.

Exfoliation Helps Your Skin Absorb Moisturizers

As exfoliation reduces the build up in your skin and clears out the pores, it helps skincare products do their job more effectively. Clear pores will allow for better absorption of your moisturizer, hydrating your skin and make it healthier. Even medication for acne will work faster when you skin is clean, and the pores are unclogged.

Exfoliating Can Help Reduce Appearance of Wrinkles

Old and dead skin cells make your skin appear dull and accentuate the wrinkles. Regular exfoliation brings out the youthful, radiant skin. As the skin is free from debris, your anti-aging products will absorb better and work more effectively.

Can You Over Exfoliate Your Face or Body?

Now that we know how important exfoliation is for our skin, lets make sure that we are doing it right. Exfoliating regularly is good but over exfoliating at a time or exfoliating too many times a week is not good at all. Exfoliating excessively or using a very harsh product, can cause dryness, inflammation, breakouts and even premature aging of skin.

According to skin experts, people with normal to oily skin can safely exfoliate their faces two or three times a week. However, those with sensitive or dry skin should do it no more than once a week. Before exfoliating, use a gentle face wash, such as the Vanicream Gentle Cleasner. Using a good moisturizer on your skin after exfoliation is a must.

The skin on the rest of the body is tougher and contains more oils than the face. Hence, you can use a scrub or exfoliating body wash more often if necessary.