How to Exfoliate Your Face Without Hurting Your Skin [Pro Tips]

No doubt you need a sunny glow. Then your skin deserves a good treatment. And getting glowing and healthy skin includes exfoliating your skin, especially your face.

It’s one thing to get clear skin, it’s another to end up looking red all over. This usually happens to people who are new to a self-exfoliating regimen. Or the odd ones like me – people who get things wrong.

Sometimes I wonder why things like this always happen to me. Then again, I wouldn’t have a personal stake in this if I haven’t experienced my fair share of mishaps. That’s why I would be discussing how to exfoliate your face.

You might be wondering, why the face? Well, why not the face? It’s the most exposed area of our skin. Also, it’s our most attractive physical attribute. And it’s what gets people’s attention.

Your face is the window to your soul. Therefore, you need to care for it.

how to exfoliate face

How to Exfoliate Your Face

Having clear bright skin means being able to clear away the dead skin cell, grime, and makeup residue effectively. That is why exfoliation is a major part of your skincare routine, be it morning, night, or minimal routine.

Exfoliation also helps your skin to repair itself, replacing the new healthy skin with the old. This is a perk of exfoliating. Additionally, you can control your oily skin by adding exfoliation to your skincare regimen. Consequently, getting it right without hurting your skin is important.

There are two types of exfoliators; mechanical or physical and chemical exfoliators.

Mechanical exfoliation uses tools or scrubs that physically remove dead skin cells through friction. They include face scrubs, sponges, brushes, or exfoliating scrubs.

On the other hand, chemical exfoliation uses components that peel or detach the dead skin cells from your skin by using enzymes or acids. The most common chemical exfoliators are alpha hydroxyl acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxyl acids (BHAs).

How to Exfoliate Your Face With Mechanical Exfoliation

Now, this causes more damage because you literarily have to scrub the grime off your face. That’s why you have to be careful, especially if you have sensitive skin.

When you exfoliate your face, what matters is what type of skin you have. Mechanical exfoliation is a method that better suits oily and combination skin.

Normal skin types can use this method, although their frequency of use is much more spaced than oily and combination skins.

A face scrub is a good starter for a mechanical method of exfoliation. This simple guide would help you.

  • Wash or cleanse your face with your regular skin cleanser.
  • Take a sizable amount of face scrub and apply it to your face.
  • Spread evenly around your face.
  • Rub gently in a circular motion. Massage the scrub on your face for as long as the product guide recommends.
  • Also, leave it for as long as recommended.
  • Then you can rinse off with lukewarm water.
  • Dab your face with a towel and add your face toner.

How to Exfoliate Your Face With Chemical Exfoliation

Chemical exfoliators are easy to use. They do not require rigorous hand exercise as mechanical exfoliation. Moreover, chemical exfoliation is great for all skin types, especially for dry and sensitive skin.

Chemical exfoliators can come in form of a normal face cleanser, a cotton pad, or pre-moistened cloth. The steps in exfoliating through the chemical method are simple and fast.

  • Apply the exfoliator to your face.
  • If it is a liquid, use a cotton pad to evenly spread on your face.
  • Let it sit on your face for as long as required, if stated.
  • After the product has been absorbed into your skin, wash off if instructed to (if you are using a peel).
  • If the exfoliator does not need to be washed off, move on to the next skincare product in your regimen.

Read Also: 10 Best Exfoliators for Dark Skin Tones- Goodbye to Dull Skin

how to exfoliate face

Benefits of Exfoliating Your Skin

Exfoliating is a process we all should get into, and regularly because it benefits the skin in various ways.

1. Removes dead skin cells

Exfoliation is a regimen carried out to remove dead skin cells from the face. Not all dead skin cells shed. Some stick to the skin, creating a dark or dull-like surface. Exfoliation brings out healthy new skin, by peeling off dead skin cells.

2. Unclogs skin pores

Exfoliation is a great method of clogging skin pores with excess sebum. Oily and combination skins experience clogged pores which lead to acne breakouts. However, when you exfoliate, you are unclogging your skin pores.

Furthermore, when you unclog your pores, products and ingredients can penetrate the skin easily, providing necessary nutrients to keep the skin healthy.

3. Brightens the skin

Exfoliation brightens the skin. This is due to it shedding dead skin cells, bringing out new, bright, and clear ones. Moreover, some exfoliators have ingredients that brighten the skin.

Ingredients like turmeric and vitamin C can be found in mechanical or chemical exfoliators to brighten the skin surface.

4. Smoothens the skin

When you exfoliate, you are smoothing your skin texture. Asides from this, your skin feels wonderful to touch. The new skin cells exfoliation brings out are usually smooth and clear. This helps your overall skincare.

Frequently Asked Questions

how to exfoliate face

What method of exfoliation is the best?

There is no best exfoliation method. However, there is a suitable exfoliation method.

That is, use the method suitable for your skin. For instance, the chemical method is the most suitable for sensitive and dry skins. Meanwhile, oily skins can use mechanical methods due to the excess sebum in the pores.

Normal and combination skin types can use both depending on their skin texture at that very moment.

How often should I exfoliate my face?

This is determined by your skin type.

Sensitive skins are to be gentle and exfoliate once or twice a week, even with chemical exfoliators. Normal and combination skin types can exfoliate up to three times a week.

On the other hand, oily skins can exfoliate up to five times a week. Also, it’s safe for oily skin types to exfoliate twice a day. You can use a cleanser or soft scrub in the morning. And a soothing serum or light peel at night.

Will exfoliation harm my skin?

Yes, it can. If you do not exfoliate properly, you could harm your skin.

Skin redness, inflammation, or irritation could occur if you are using the wrong type of exfoliator or you are using it improperly.

For example, sensitive skin is likely to react to a face scrub than a chemical peel. This is because a face scrub would be abrasive on the skin. The friction could redden your skin if you are not careful.

Furthermore, exfoliating too much without applying soothing and hydrating serums or moisturizers would harm the skin or dry it up.

skincare oily skin


To avoid getting red skin or inflammation, you need to learn how to exfoliate your face safely.

How you exfoliate your face is dependent on the type of skin you have. Next, you can decide if you want a mechanical/physical method or a chemical method. I would recommend you use a chemical exfoliator, especially if you have sensitive skin.

However, mechanical exfoliation is not less effective than chemical exfoliation. They are both useful methods of exfoliating your skin. But mechanical is suited more for oily skin types due to the excess sebum from the skin pores.

In all, you can choose the right one for your skin type, but always remember to use it as instructed by the manufacturer. Then you would not only be protecting your skin, but you would also improve your overall skin complexion.

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