How To Exfoliate Face: Top 6 Natural Ways

6 mins read
How to exfoliate face
By: Sophia Charlotte/Flickr @All Rights Resrved

Some suggested readings before we begin our article on how to exfoliate the face. 

The flawless, glowing skin of your favorite actor you see in the Netflix series while laying on the couch and binging on snacks is not that difficult to achieve. Still, it requires including a basic skincare routine in your daily lifestyle.

The underrated hero of any skincare routine is exfoliation and knowing the correct way of how to exfoliate face and skin.

The three golden steps of any skincare routine are:

skincare products
By: Alkira skincare/Flickr @All Rights Reserved

1. Cleansing

2. Toning

3. Moisturizing

How to Exfoliate Face: What is Exfoliation?

Exfoliation is simply a skincare method where you remove dead skin cells from the uppermost layer of the skin. Exfoliation is a natural process that slows down with age when the skin cannot get proper nutrients.

But how to exfoliate face the correct way? Before we get into that, let’s look at what exfoliation is.

The exfoliation process helps eliminate all impurities off the top layer of the skin, dark spots, dull complexion, brightens the overall complexion, improves skin’s texture, gives a more smooth glowing and radiating skin.

It also helps the make-up and skincare products to penetrate deeper into the skin and work better.

But the process of exfoliation can easily be overdone if using the wrong method or product, and it can be harmful to the skin.

Over-exfoliating can often lead to accidental removal of the protective layer, which protects the face from infections, harmful sun rays, sun damage, and toxins present in the surroundings.

It is essential to exfoliate the face skin gently as the facial skin is more sensitive comparatively. So here is the complete guide on to exfoliate face the proper way.

How to Exfoliate Face: What are the Different Types of Exfoliation?

There are mainly two ways by which we can exfoliate our face:

1. Mechanical/ Physical  

2. Chemical

Mechanical or physical exfoliation involves using skincare tools like a sponge, towel, or brush and scrubbing the face physically to remove the dead skin cells.

The chemical exfoliation process involves using liquid gel, scrub with ingredients like microbeads and sugar granules.

Chemical exfoliation commonly has ingredients like alpha or beta hydroxy acids, salicylic acid and glycolic acid, alpha hydroxy acids, benzoyl peroxide, which helps loosen the composition that holds the dead skin cells together and makes the removal smooth.

The best method depends on the preference and the face skin type. Knowing the right way of exfoliation can help slow down aging and prevent skin from looking dull darker skin tone.  

Why Should You Exfoliate Your Face?

We shed millions of dead skin cells every day without realizing it, which means the dead skin will continue to build upon the top layer of the face and slows cell turnover if left unattended.

Exfoliating your face and facial scrubs will help you get rid of the dead skin cells building up, and when done correctly, it exposes the healthy, glowing, brighter skin underneath.

For acne-prone skin, exfoliating the face helps clean the clogged pores, leading to skin breakage. It may help get rid of acne marks and scars faster by rejuvenating the face.

Skincare Routine and Exfoliation

Any skin care routine aims to give you healthier, newer, glowing skin and improve skin’s appearance. Our skin changes with age and therefore we require new products and methods.

The first step of exfoliating the face is cleansing is the most basic and primary step towards skincare, therefore washing the face daily with a facial cleanser to avoid environmental pollutants, clogged pores, dull skin, and acne.

Everyone’s skin type is different. What might work for some might not work for others. It is essential to find the perfect facial cleanser suiting your skin type and the PH levels suitable for you. The right cleanser would cleanse the face without drying out the skin.

There are five basic types of skins, namely:

1. Normal Skin
2. Oily Skin / Acne-Prone Skin
3. Dry Skin
4. Combination Skin
5. Sensitive Skin

How to Exfoliate Face

face scrub
By: Eva Sharma/Flickr @All Rights Reserved

Finally, let’s get started with how to exfoliate the face. 

When physically exfoliating the face using a clean brush or favorite facial scrub, begin by washing the face with a regular cleanser then by taking a pea amount of the scrub.

Apply it on the entire face except for the eye region in circular motions, massage in light strokes with gentle hands as long as the product recommends.

Then wash away with lukewarm water and gently pat the fresh skin with a clean towel, followed by applying a serum or moisturizer.

Moisturizing the new skin is extremely important as exfoliation can be a drying process for the skin.

If chemically exfoliating the skin, wash the face with a regular cleanser. If using a chemical exfoliant like a serum, gels or even peels are supposed to be applied all over the face leaving out the eye region.

If it is a “peel” product, let it sit on the face for the time advised on the product directions, then rinse the face with lukewarm water, pat it dry and moisturize.

Moisturizing is the most crucial step required because exfoliation can dry out the face making it red and irritated; therefore applying moisturizer, gives the face hydration.

It is crucial to apply moisturizer after the face scrub and add it to the regular skincare routine. While using a chemical exfoliator, an SPF or sunscreen is a must as the UV lights and sun exposure may harm the skin’s surface.

How to Exfoliate Face: Natural Ways Of Exfoliation?

There are some natural ways, too, other than mechanical exfoliation and chemical exfoliation through which you can physically exfoliate your face and achieve superior results.

The ingredients required can be easily found on the top shelf in your kitchen and are pretty easy to follow.

 1. Sugar

By: Riana Ambarsari/Flickr @All Rights Reserved

Yes, you heard it right. It is not only used in cupcake recipes but for skincare too. Sugar contains glycolic acid, which is responsible for boosting skin cell production and smoothening the skin. Additionally, it removes dirt and excess oils and re-textures the skin.

All you need to do is mix olive oil and sugar by the proportion of 2:1. Apply it on the face, gently rub and massage in a circular motion and rinse after a couple of minutes with lukewarm water.

 2. Honey

By: Nisreen Rahhal/Flickr @All Rights Reserved

It is an excellent hydrator that helps remove germs, dead cells and relaxes irritated skin. Heals the skin with its antibacterial properties.

Mix one tablespoon of honey with half a tablespoon of lemon or orange zest and apply on a clean face; wash with water after few minutes.

 3. Yogurt

By: Doktor TV/Flickr @All Rights Reserved

Yogurt is known as a natural exfoliator. It contains probiotics, lactic acid, and vitamin D, which soothes and evens skin tone. Apply directly and rinse after 20 minutes.

 4. Lemon

By: Diane/Flickr @All Rights Reserved

Vitamin C reduces pigmentation, treats wrinkles and dry skin. Rich in citric acid, it gently exfoliates the skin and also brightens it. Mix 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and one tablespoon of sugar, apply the mixture on face scrub for 10 minutes and rinse.

5. Papaya

By: Samantha Thayer/Flickr @All Rights Reserved

It contains enzymes that help dissolve dead skin, heals the skin, lightens fine lines and aging spots. For this,  mix one tablespoon of papaya, one tablespoon of its seeds, and one tablespoon olive oil. Gently scrub on the face and rinse; it should not be left on the face for more than a minute.

 6. Oats

By: stilesiana/Flickr @All Rights Reserved

This ingredient has moisturizing properties, which is a plus for dry skin—mix two tablespoons of grounded oats with one tablespoon of honey. Rich in antioxidants, it also removes excess oil. Apply for 3-5 minutes and scrub gently, end by rinsing.

The most important thing to keep in mind while exfoliating is to use ingredients that will suit your skin type. If you have sensitive skin, try finding hydrating and gentle ingredients; for acne-prone skin, choose products that have glycol acid.

How Often to Exfoliate Face?

These are ways you can learn how to exfoliate your face but, consult a board-certified dermatologist if you have sensitive skin or known skin issues like an allergic reaction.

Typically the exfoliating process should be done only up to three times a week as when done too often, and it can lead to ripping off the protective layer of the face rather than removing dead skin cells and can cause breakage and skin damage.

For dry or sensitive skin, exfoliate once or twice a week. For oily skin, exfoliate twice or thrice. For combination skin, exfoliate twice or thrice.

Depending on how your skin reacts to the process, try reducing or adding the times you want to exfoliate. As stated before, knowing your skin type is very crucial before getting into the process and choosing the products.

When you are looking for tips on the exfoliating face, I hope this article on “how to exfoliate face” comes in handy. Please note that it is best to use natural exfoliators, as they do not cause any side effects. Moreover, natural exfoliators are a much cheaper and feasible option. 

Do let us know your thoughts on this. And if you have your tips on how to exfoliate the face, kindly share them with us. 

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