We have often heard skin experts or ad commercials say that exfoliating skin is vital for good skin health. However, did you ever wonder what’s exfoliating and how to exfoliate the face correctly? Exfoliating skin is the process of removing dead skin from your face or body to expose healthy skin cells under them and ensure good skin health.
During our daily skincare regime, we sometimes tend to forget the importance of exfoliating skin and only use a cleanser and face wash. However, using a face scrub suited to your skin type, such as a homemade body scrub for oily skin, is vital as it will remove the dead skin layer from your skin to give you a healthy glow. Let’s understand the importance of exfoliating skin, how to exfoliate skin and more in detail.
What is exfoliating your skin?
Exfoliating skin is the technique to remove dead skin cells from your face and body. There are generally two ways to perform exfoliation - mechanical or chemical. In some cases, exfoliating skin can be as easy as using a washcloth to clean your face or using a wet wipe. But in some cases, you might need face scrubs, face peels, microdermabrasion or anti-ageing products.
Exfoliation can also be done at home using skincare products, or you can visit a professional if you feel your skin requires professional attention right now. To understand how to exfoliate skin at home, let’s first understand what’s exfoliating and why you need to exfoliate the skin.
At any given point in time, your skin is undergoing several changes and regeneration that cause a build of dead skin cells on your face. To remove these dead cells, you need to exfoliate, which will also unclog your pores and let your skin breathe freely. There are several benefits of exfoliating skin as well, such as:
- Exfoliating helps to restore your skin’s natural complexion
- By exfoliating, you remove the dead cells and let newer and fresher cells replace them
- Exfoliating also helps reduce acne, breakouts and oily skins by cleansing the skin pores
Now that we know the importance of exfoliating your skin, let's talk about different types of exfoliation before we dive into how to exfoliate skin naturally.
What are the different types of exfoliation?
There are two types of exfoliation that require different types of tools to exfoliate the skin. You can use facial scrubs and brushes, which are a part of the mechanical type of exfoliation or use skin peels and acids which are forms of chemical exfoliation.
- Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs): There are different types of AHAs, such as glycolic, lactic, citric and tartaric acids. AHAs break dull and dead skin cells by breaking their bonds apart, which cause your skin to shed the dead cells naturally.
- Beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs): BHAs include beta-hydroxy and salicylic acids that are more suited for acne-prone skin.
- Brush: You can exfoliate your face using an exfoliating brush that will help in removing the dead layers of skin cells.
- Sponge: Exfoliating sponges are designed to gently exfoliate your skin with the help of a body wash or body scrub.
- Glove: Exfoliating glove is another good tool to exfoliate your skin as it mimics your hand actions and can be more effective on large and hard-to-reach areas such as the centre of your back.
- Scrub: You can apply an exfoliating scrub directly on your skin and gently massage the area in a circular motion and wash it with lukewarm water.
These are the two types of scrubbing that you can perform, depending on your requirements and skin type. Skin type also plays a crucial role in determining the proper exfoliating routine for your skin. Women with dry or sensitive skin should avoid using mechanical exfoliation and should gently exfoliate using AHAs.
How to exfoliate Face at Home by Skin Type
When mechanically exfoliating your face at home, it is vital to be gentle on your skin. Ideally, you should make small circular motions with your fingertips to apply the scrub or use tools such as gloves or a sponge.
When using a brush, make small light strokes and exfoliate for about 30 seconds before rinsing off with lukewarm water. Do not exfoliate if you have open wounds, cuts or are sunburned to avoid complications. Let’s look at the best exfoliating technique depending upon your skin type.
If you have dry skin, exfoliating skin is essential. However, you should not use mechanical methods as it can cause redness and irritate your skin. You can use glycolic acid that will help remove dead cells that are sitting on your face and encourage healthy skin growth. You can also use a homemade body scrub for dry skin by mixing natural ingredients to perform a mechanical exfoliation.
If you have sensitive skin, avoid scrubbing or using mechanical exfoliating methods, as it might make your skin more sensitive. Use a mild chemical exfoliator or salicylic acid if you have acne.
Oily skin will benefit more from manual exfoliation using a brush. Oily skin has another layer of buildup on the surface that you can remove using manual exfoliation. Use an exfoliator or scrub and massage it in a circular motion. You can also use a homemade body scrub for oily skin to perform manual exfoliation.
If you have normal skin without any apparent complications or problems, you can safely choose between any of the two methods of exfoliating skin. You can also experiment with different methods to find out the best working method for you.
These are the best-suited methods to exfoliate the skin, depending upon the skin type. Let’s now look at the steps to perform chemical and mechanical exfoliation.
Steps to exfoliate my Face at Home
Now that you know how to remove facial dead skin by using any one of the two exfoliating methods, let’s look at the best way to perform this exfoliation.
Physical or Mechanical Exfoliation
- When performing mechanical exfoliation, use tools such as a face scrub.
- First, cleanse your face thoroughly using a face wash.
- Take a small amount of homemade body scrub for dry skin or according to your skin type, and lightly massage it in a circular motion on your skin.
- Rinse the scrub off your face using lukewarm water and pat dry using a soft towel.
- The first step is to cleanse your face and get rid of any dirt or impurities on your face.
- Apply the chemical exfoliant according to the instructions on the package while avoiding the mouth and eyes.
- Revolve the exfoliant after the prescribed duration and gently wash your face.
Natural products to Exfoliate your skin at home
There are several products on the market for exfoliating skin for both mechanical and chemical exfoliating. However, it is essential to only rely on natural products as chemical-based products can actually damage your skin and cause problems.
If you are looking for a natural scrub to exfoliate using a mechanical method, we suggest you try Pure Sense. Pure Sense is an entirely natural beauty care products manufacturer that does not use any synthetic ingredients that might hurt your skin. Moreover, the brand is eco-friendly and cruelty-free.
You can use Macadamia 3-in-1 Renewing Face Mask, Scrub & Cleanser that works as a cleanser, scrub and face mask simultaneously to exfoliate your skin, moisturise it and nourish it from within. This product is packed with Capric Triglyceride and hydrates your skin to give you a natural glow.
Alternatively, if you are looking for a DIY face scrub that will gently exfoliate your skin, you can mix a Cafe Au-Lait Scrub or Brown Sugar Body Scrub.
Cafe Au-Lait Scrub
Take a half cup of grounded coffee, one cup of brown sugar, two tablespoons of milk or buttermilk and one tablespoon of honey. Blend all the ingredients together to make a coarse paste and store it in an air-tight container. Rinse your face and apply the scrub to your face, and gently massage throughout the face and neck. Rinse it off using lukewarm water.
Brown Sugar Body Scrub
Take half a cup of coconut oil, a quarter cup of honey, half cup of brown sugar and three tablespoons of ground oatmeal. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl to make a thick paste and apply it to your wet skin. Gently massage the scrub on your whole body and rinse it off.
Even though it might seem like a struggle to perform an additional step in your skincare regime, we cannot stress enough the importance of exfoliating your skin regularly. Not only does it help to get rid of all the dead skin and buildup in skin pores, but it also enables your skin to absorb all the goodness of skincare products you are using, increasing their efficiency.
FAQ on exfoliating skin at home
Is it okay to exfoliate your face every day?While there are several benefits of exfoliating your skin, overdoing it might cause more damage than good. You should not exfoliate your skin more than twice or thrice a week to give your skin a chance to breathe and replenish some of the natural oils that are stripped away when exfoliating. Moreover, dead cells take time to accumulate and exfoliating the face every day won’t help.
Is it better to exfoliate in the morning or at night?
When talking about exfoliating your skin in the morning or at night, you will be able to reap the most benefits when exfoliating in the mornings. During the night, your skin secretes a lot of natural oil. You can scrub it off in the morning to have naturally glowing skin.
How frequently should I exfoliate my body?You should not exfoliate your skin more than twice or thrice a week as it can strip off your natural oils and moisture. If your skin starts to feel dehydrated, dry or dull after exfoliating, it is a good indication that you should avoid exfoliating for some time. Moreover, you can also use a hydrating mask after exfoliating to restore some of the hydration stripped away during scrubbing.