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How to Exfoliate Properly — 6 Exfoliating Tips for Glowing Skin 

Everybody wants a complexion that rakes in stares and compliments. We want to be told we look younger even as age creeps up on us daily. We want to glow and shine with or without makeup. And is that even possible, we sometimes wonder? Yes, it is. It’s possible to look fresher and younger if you imbibe a healthy skincare routine one of which is knowing how to exfoliate properly and doing it often.

lady exfoliating her face

Exfoliation is one anti-aging skincare tip that does all the magic. Unfortunately, not everyone does it. Out of the few who do, some don’t do it properly. And as a result, they miss out on the perks proper exfoliation would serve their skin or experience more harm than good.

man exfoliating his back

You don’t have to be among those missing out on this. Use the exfoliating tips you’ll find in this piece when next you want to scrub dead skin cells off your face and you’ll be glad you did.

Let’s jump in.

What Does it Mean to Exfoliate?

lady with chemical exfoliate on her face

Exfoliation involves washing or rubbing a part of your body to remove dead skin cells from the top layer of your skin. You can do this by using a granular substance, washcloth, chemical sustances, etc., on your face or entire body.

smiling lady with exfoliate materials on her face

Why’s it Important to Exfoliate?

As you already know, exfoliating helps discard dead skin cells. But that’s not all it does.

It also brightens your skin and helps to maintain its glow.

Hear it from Rachael Burns, Consultant Dermatologist for Sönd:

“Exfoliating helps to brighten your complexion, improve the appearance of your skin, and crucially, it helps prevent pore clogging, acne spots, blackheads, and whiteheads.”

Rachael Burns

Furthermore, when these dead skin cells are no longer on your skin, it gives room for your skincare products to penetrate easily and work better. And that’s only if you know how to exfoliate properly.

Methods of Exfoliation

The two major methods of exfoliation are chemical and mechanical. Let’s look at them in detail:

1. Mechanical 

man with sugar scrub on the face

This method involves using a tool such as:


This includes sugar scrub or any other type of exfoliant that contains granular substances. You apply the exfoliating scrub directly to your skin in a gentle, circular motion. Afterward, wash your skin with warm water.


This involves lathering your body with an exfoliating sponge mixed with warm water, soap, or body wash.


You can also use a bristle brush on your face or entire skin to remove dead skin cells. Some exfoliating brushes can be used dry while others work with your facial cleanser or body wash.


If you feel a brush or sponge will be too hard on your skin, try an exfoliating glove.  Just lather it with soap or body wash and use it on your body.

2. Chemical

smiling lady with white exfoliating material on her face

As the name implies, this involves using chemical-based products to exfoliate. They mostly include:

Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs)

AHAs break dead skin cells from your skin’s surface and cause your skin to naturally shed dead particles. They include products made with glycolic, tartaric, lactic and citric acids.

Beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs)

If you always suffer from acne, BHAs are better options for you. They include products made with beta hydroxyl and salicylic acid. 

How to Exfoliate Properly

lady manually exfoliating her hand

Know Your Skin Type

Before exfoliating manually or using chemicals, it’s important you know your skin type. This will determine how often you exfoliate and what processes to follow.

For instance, if your skin is dry, using AHAs works better when exfoliating. The same goes for sensitive skin types. Avoid scrubbing your sensitive skin. Instead, use a gentle chemical exfoliant.

And if you have an oily skin type, any of the mechanical methods will do a great job in removing buildups from your skin.

But if you have a combination skin type, any of both methods will be perfect for you. Just pick one, stick to it or alternate.

Be Gentle

Be careful when using any of the manual methods. Don’t scrub your skin too hard to avoid complications. Instead, be gentle. Apply your scrub in circular motions or use your brush or glove in light strokes.

Don’t Exfoliate When You Have an Injury

If you have any cut or bruises on your face or skin, don’t exfoliate. Save it for when your injury must have healed. If not, you’ll wind up worsening the cut by causing further irritations.

Moisturize After Exfoliating

There’s a high chance your skin will feel dry after exfoliating. So, to keep it healthy and hydrated, apply your moisturizer.

Don’t Over-Exfoliate

If you tend to scrub hard when exfoliating, don’t do it every day lest you should strip your face of its natural oils and cause skin irritation.

Instead, exfoliate two to three times a week, or more, depending on your skin type.

Exfoliating helps you enjoy the value of your skincare products as it clears your skin, giving space for products to work better. Adopt exfoliation today by using these exfoliating tips on how to exfoliate properly.

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Victoria B. Willie

Writing has always been a part of me. From writing stories as a young child to studying Communication Arts in the university, it has always been more than a medium of expression to me.

And then one day, I found myself toeing the path of an entrepreneur and becoming a fashion enthusiast. This made me develop an interest in content marketing and copywriting which I've been chasing alongside my fashion career.

That aside, when I'm not sharing style articles, selling with stories, or sketching fashion-forward pieces for Ria Kosher, you'll find me telling wild stories that always come with a twist.

Articles: 501

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